State Legislative Advocacy for Family Medicine
The PAFP advocates on state government matters of importance on behalf of its members and the patients they serve. For information and updates, please join our Governmental & Practice Advocacy Committee group on PAFP Connect, or advocate online on specific topics via SpeakOut (below).
BUDGET UPDATE NEW!
Pa. budget includes increase in Primary Health Care Practitioner line item
On Tuesday, Feb. 4, Governor Tom Wolf presented his FY 2020-21 State Budget to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. His proposed budget includes an increase of $450,000 in the Department of Health’s Primary Health Care Practitioner line item, part of which is allocated through a grant to the PAFP to provide financial assistance to create new residency slots at family medicine programs throughout the Commonwealth. Since 2014, this grant has supported nine new residency positions in four Family Medicine Residency training programs serving rural and urban underserved communities. To date, the program has generated an additional 18 family medicine residency graduates for the state’s family physician workforce, with a total of 36 projected to graduate by July 2020. Expanding existing residency programs has an immediate impact on improving access to primary healthcare services through the three-year residency in safety net residency clinics, select Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs, also known as Community Health Centers), nursing homes, and outreach programs in underserved communities.
In addition to the 2019-2020 Legislative Agenda items listed below, the PAFP will be advocating to maintain the proposed $5 million funding for this line item as the state legislature negotiates the details of the budget over the next several months.
Action Alert NEW!
Tell the Pa. House to
Oppose Legislation Expanding Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice
Senate Bill 25 seeks to remove the collaborative agreement requirements for CRNPs, contending the agreements are no longer necessary and restricting service to rural areas. The PAFP, along with all the other physician associations in Pennsylvania, opposes this legislation in the name of patient safety. Nurse practitioners are integral, valuable members of the health care team, held in the highest regard by family physicians. However, patients are best served when a physician-led, highly coordinated health care team provides care. Please help us oppose nurse practitioner scope of practice expansion by clicking on the link below.
> Contact your Representative (AAFP SpeakOut tool)
Governmental & Practice Advocacy Committee
This committee guides our policy positions on health care legislation and regulations. For PAFP members interested in joining please visit our PAFP Leadership page.
The PAFP uses SpeakOut, an advocacy tool developed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, to distribute Advocacy Alerts to members as needed. Click here for more information on how this advocacy tool works. Watch this page for future SpeakOut campaigns.
One of the ways primary care professionals can effect change is to personally engage those individuals who write and pass legislation on the state level. Physicians and medical students are well-respected members of the community and having their voices heard makes a difference. The PAFP has put together a brief primer to help you get involved.
PAFP 2019-20 State Legislative Agenda (Updated Nov. 15, 2019)
Prior Authorization Reform
Prior authorizations have become significantly burdensome to family physicians, and more importantly result in delays and jeopardized quality care to patients. The PAFP supports reforms that would maximize electronic communications for authorizations as well as adverse determinations, and define consistent response times for authorizations, rejections, appeals, and external utilization review. Rep. Steve Mentzer has introduced HB 1194, which has strong bipartisan support. The legislation has been referred to the House Insurance Committee.
Nurse Practitioner Independence
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are integral, valuable members of the health
care team, held in the highest regard by family physicians. However, patients
are best served when a physician-led, highly coordinated health care team
provides care. Therefore, the PAFP opposes
legislation that would expand their scope of practice and eliminate
collaborative agreements. The Senate passed Sen. Bartolotta’s SenateBill 25 on June 12. Rep.
Topper has introduced House Bill 100. Both bills now rest
in the House Professional Licensure Committee.
Health Insurer Credentialing Reform
Delays in credentialing of new physicians or existing physicians changing practices create undo hardships most notably on the communities they serve. The PAFP supports legislation that would standardize the credentialing form and set processing standards. Rep. Owlett has introduced House Bill 533 seeking to codify significant reforms. The bill passed the House Health Committee and awaits consideration on the House floor.
Buprenorphine Medically Assisted Treatment Act
Access to care for
patients suffering from substance abuse disorder is critical, and state
regulation could significantly jeopardize access to office based opioid
treatment (OBOT). The PAFP opposes
legislation that would require prescribers of Buprenorphine to be licensed by
the state and pay any state licensing fee.
Sen. Brooks has introduced Senate Bill 675 which passed the Senate on June 17. The bill is in the House Human Services
Committee and the PAFP is working with the Committee and stakeholders in trying
to find a compromise.
Direct Primary Care Authorizing Legislation
DPC is a model of care outside the bounds of health
insurance and an emerging option for patients and physicians. The PAFP supports legislation that specifies
direct primary care agreements are not insurance and therefore not subject to
insurance laws or regulations. Sen.
Browne is circulating SCO 877 seeking cosponsors for the impending bill.
In this age of health system
consolidations, PAFP supports legislation limiting restrictive covenants in
health care practitioner employment agreements. Rep. Deluca has introduced House Bill 601 that rests in the House Health Committee.
Working with the Pennsylvania Medical Society, the PAFP supports updating and revising Pennsylvania law to include codification of Pennsylvania Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) to be used by medical professionals across all health care settings for patients who voluntarily wish to execute a POLST order. Sen. Yaw has introduced SB 142 that has been assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers
The PAFP supports legislation that
requires employers to provide employees time to express breast milk in a
sanitary environment for her nursing child. Rep. Mary Jo Daley has introduced House Bill 1177 that rests in the House Labor and Industry Committee.
Expanding Pharmacy Vaccinations to Minors
The PAFP opposes legislation that would amend the Pharmacy Practice Act and allow for pharmacist to administer all CDC recommended vaccinations to patients 9 years of age or older. As part of a compromise several years ago, pharmacists obtained the ability to provide influenza vaccine to those 9 and older. Sen. Judy Ward has introduced SB 274 that rests in the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee,
while Rep. Grove has introduced House Bill 91 that rests in the House Health Committee.
Frivolous complaints to the state Board of Medicine
When complaints against physicians to the Pa. Department of State are found to be frivolous or lack merit by the Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (BEI), physicians must continue to disclose them when asked if their license has ever been subject to an investigation or complaint. Because the details of BEI investigations are confidential, physicians are unable to explain the nature of the complaint. The PAFP supports legislation that would remove the requirement that physicians acknowledge a complaint if the case was closed without any formal action by BEI or the Board of Medicine. Rep. Curt Sonney has introduced HB 1743, which is awaiting consideration in the House Professional Licensure Committee.
> Download PDF - PAFP 2019-20 State Legislative Agenda
PAFP’s State Legislative Agenda is crafted through the Government and Practice Advocacy Committee with position decisions made by the Board of Directors.
Questions/Comments? Please contact Brent Ennis, PAFP Deputy EVP/COO and State-Registered Lobbyist at firstname.lastname@example.org.