Click here for updates on bills the PaACC is following.
Lawmakers are on summer recess and will return to Harrisburg at the end of September. The state House will return to session onSeptember 27and the state Senate will return onSeptember 20.
Hereis a look at some of the noteworthy highlights over the past month:
The Pennsylvania Department of Stateannouncedthat its professional licensing waivers issued under the COVID-19 disaster declaration will begin to expire in several phases starting August 17. Under Act 21 of 2021, all waived and suspended regulations initiated because of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration will expire on September 30, 2021, unless terminated sooner.
The Department of Human Services (DHS)announcedthat Pennsylvania was awarded more than $1.2 million in federal funding to support work towards better health, well-being, and long-term outcomes for pregnant and parenting families of young children. The Wolf Administration alsoannouncedPennsylvania’s intent to extend the postpartum coverage period to one-year for mothers eligible for Medicaid because of their pregnancy. The Medicaid postpartum coverage period for mothers to one year following the birth of a baby. The Medicaid postpartum coverage period for mothers is currently 60-days following the birth of a baby. This will allow thousands of birthing parents to continue to access physical and behavioral health care necessary to keep themselves healthy and their families on a path to good health and well-being. Medicaid was the primary payer in Pennsylvania in about 53 percent of pregnancy-associated deaths and nearly 60 percent of all pregnancy-associated deaths came between six weeks and one year after giving birth, largely outside of the current 60-day limitation on coverage.
The Departments of Health and Educationreleased recommendations to families and schools to help safely prepare for in-person teaching and learning. During a recent hearing, Acting Health Secretary Beam said, “At this time, we support a universal masking requirement in K-12 settings as a critical layer to facilitating safe, full-time, in-person learning.” She added: “We’re asking the school districts to actually implement these recommendations, but at this time, there is not a plan to mandate the masking requirement in schools because decisions of such magnitude are not made in a pure public health vacuum.”
PaACC Advocacy Webinar
Date: September 27
us for an opportunity to discuss the issues (Act 112, Prior
Authorization and others), make sure that we're all on the same page,
and strategize for the future. Adding to the discussion will be some
veterans of cardiology/ACC advocacy as well as our fantastic PaACC
lobbyists, Andrew Goodman and Kerry Lang.
Great news!….Governor Tom Wolf just signed much needed informed consent reform legislation (SB 425) into law. Our chapter has strongly supported this bill and communicated the importance of reform. Now known as "Act 61 of 2021” this important legislation corrects the misguided Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision from 2017.
The new law basically says that a physician may delegate another person, generally another physician or qualified practitioner (typically CRNP, PA, CRNA, resident/fellow doctor) to obtain consent but that person must have knowledge of the procedure and of the case, and be acting in concert with the doctor doing the procedure.
This will return our cardiology teams to our previous efficiency and will improve patient care when seconds count. The perfect example of why we supported this: the CCU cardiologist should absolutely be able to rapidly obtain witnessed informed consent from a patient with STEMI/ACS/CHB/shock, etc. on the way to Cath Lab.
Also, we are planning a PaACC Cardiology Advocacy Day in Harrisburg on Monday, September 27th to meet with key legislators and staff. We are working on the details but plan on coming in the evening before, discussing issues/strategies as a team over dinner (including our lobbyists) and then starting early the following morning. For those of you want to participate but would rather sleep in your own bed and come in early Monday morning, that is fine. Please let us know if you are considering or definitely want to join us by completing this form. You are not making a firm commitment, this just provides an idea of who is interested so we can target our communications.
Finally, there has been some other movement in bills that we support, including passage out of committee of these:
HB 1220 (to reform the terrible ACT 112 - notification of patients' tests)
These positive steps are victories of all of us (physicians, CVTeam, staff, and patients) and we need YOUR continued help to get these across the finish line. We will keep you updated as the process continues to unfold.
Andrew R. Waxler, MD, FACC
Immediate Past President, PaACC
ACC Governor, representing Eastern Pennsylvania
(Pictured: PA delegation at the U.S. Capitol during Legislative Conference)
Pennsylvania Chapter, American College of Cardiology