Capitol Update Blog

Home > Advocate > Topics > Capitol Update Blog Update Blog<p> <strong>About the blog:</strong><br><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/PublishingImages/PaCapitol.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" />The Capitol Update provides you with an inside view of PAMED's advocacy efforts in Harrisburg. The blog discusses legislative and regulatory issues that are likely to impact the practice of medicine in Pennsylvania and how PAMED is serving as physicians' advocate with policymakers and other key influencers.</p><hr /> on the Hill: 6 Health-Related Issues Getting Attention<p>​With the state budget recently completed as of October 2017, the legislature has acted upon some bills of importance to physicians. Get details on bills concerning opioid prescribing limits, direct primary care, and more. </p> the Physician-Patient Relationship: What You Need to Know <p>PAMED often receives from member physicians about how to correctly withdraw from physician-patient relationships. This blog offers information on how to avoid patient abandonment and includes tips on providing notice of termination to patients. </p> on the Hill: A Look Back at the First Half of 2017<p>​In this blog, Michael D.I. Siget, JD, MPA, PAMED's legislative and regulatory counsel, takes a look at Pennsylvania bills of importance that have been enacted into law during the first half of 2017. He also provides updates on bills that have passed either the Pa. House or Senate.<br></p> on the Hill: Investigational Drugs, Minor’s Consent, the PDMP, Death Certificates, Reporting of Convictions, and CRNPs<p>PAMED's Michael Siget reviews current state legislation on investigational drugs, minor's consent to treatment, exceptions to the PDMP, who may sign death certificates, requirements to report convictions, and CRNP independent practice.</p>Physicians;#Legislators;# on the Hill, Part 2: E-Prescribing, PDMP, State Prescription Forms and CRNPs<p>​PAMED's Michael Siget, JD, MPA, examines state health care bills that include e-Prescribing, PDMP, State Prescription Forms and CRNPs.</p> Do New Laws Impact Physician Responsibilities With PA’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program?<p>​On Nov. 2, 2016, Gov. Wolf signed four pieces of legislation into law that updated the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) law and also set certain prescribing practices for opioids and benzodiazepines. PAMED has received questions and requests for clarification regarding prescriber responsibilities under these new laws.</p>Physicians;# on the Hill, Part 1: Credentialing, Opioids, and Non-Compete Clauses<p>​PAMED's Michael Siget, JD, MPA, examines state health care bills that include credentialing of physicians by insurance companies, abuse deterrent opioids, and non-compete clauses.</p>Legislators;# What Items On Gov. Wolf’s Proposed Budget Impact Physicians? Flurry of Activity Highlights the End of the Legislative Session<p>​PAMED's Michael D.I. Siget, JD, MPA, says the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed several bills late in this legislative session that will impact physicians.</p>Physicians;# Supreme Court Declares Medical Gag Rule Unconstitutional<p>The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an opinion invalidating certain provisions of Act 13. PAMED explains what this ruling could mean for physicians.</p>Physicians;# DOH Issues Final-Form Regulations to School Immunization Regulations<p>​By a vote of 5-0, the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission approved the Department of Health's regulations regarding school immunizations on Oct. 20, 2016.</p> Prescription Drug Monitoring Program: Your Prescriber Questions Answered!<p>​Since querying began on Aug. 25, the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) has received numerous questions from physician members and requests for clarification regarding prescriber responsibilities under the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). </p>Physicians;# and Record Request Charges: What Are the Permissible Charges a Health Care Provider May Charge Attorneys for Copies of Their Clients' Medical Records?<p>HHS Office of Civil Rights determines that attorneys are not automatically considered personal representatives for the HIPAA rate applicable to patients' requests for records.</p>Physicians;# Capitol Highlights: A Legislative Update for Pennsylvania Physicians<p>​Pennsylvania's budget deliberations in June were accompanied by a flurry of action on other legislative initiatives, including a number of health-care related measures.<br></p> Department of Health Granted New Authority to Combat Hazardous Substances<p>On June 8, 2016, Governor Wolf signed Act 37 into law. Modeled after a federal law, part of Act 37 provides unprecedented authority to the Pennsylvania Department of Health to schedule substances on a temporary basis and quick add substances in reaction to federal scheduling.<br></p> Creates New Requirements for Hospitals Regarding Caregivers for Patients<p>​PAMED's Michael Siget examines a new law that will require hospitals to provide patient information to lay caregivers after that patient has been discharged.</p>Physicians;# Department of Health Announces Statewide Implementation of Electronic Reporting of Death Records<p>​The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) announced its statewide rollout of the Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS).</p>Physicians;# Voice On End-of-Life Decisions: POLST Provides Peace of Mind<p>​Guest blogger Leon Kraybill, MD, CMD, tells a personal story to show how POLST gives families comfort when making end-of-life decisions.</p>Physicians;# Opinion: Effective Telemedicine Requires Patient-First Policies<p>​Guest blogger Bruce Brod, MD, writes that while telemedicine seems like one solution to the high cost of delivering medical care, it is important to remember that patient safety and quality of care must be the guiding principle behind any use of telemedicine.</p>Physicians;#Legislators;# Your Advocacy Skills: Keep an Open Dialog with Lawmakers<p>Kristen Sandel, MD, an emergency medicine physician from Reading Hospital and the early career physician representative on PAMED’s Board of Trustees, shares why she has a passion for advocacy.​</p> Your Advocacy Skills: Educate and Empathize With Your Lawmaker<p>PAMED member Martin Trichtinger, MD shares why he has a passion for advocacy.​</p> Your Advocacy Skills: Set Goals And Find Strength in Numbers<p>PAMED members are sharing why they have a passion for advocacy. Part 3 of this series features Charles Cutler, MD, Internal Medicine, Norristown Internal Medicine Associates, and President-Elect at PAMED.​</p> First Time for Everything<p>With Pennsylvania’s state budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year still only partially enacted, you may be wondering how this unfinished business will affect next year’s budget cycle or what in general the impact will be. ​​​​​​​​</p>Legislators;# 22 16Improving Your Advocacy Skills: Give Lawmakers Solutions, Not Just Complaints<p>Pittsburgh area surgeon Amelia Pare, MD, FACS, provides advice to physicians on building better relationships with their lawmakers.​​</p> Your Advocacy Skills: Dr. Heine Says To Follow the 3 ‘Rs’<p>​Marilyn Heine, MD, FACP, FACEP, explains why she has a passion for advocacy and how physicians can more effectively advocate for their profession and their patients.</p>Physicians;#Residents/Fellows;#Medical Students;# Tort Reform Journey<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​PAMED's Scot Chadwick reflects on several decades of tort reform advocacy for Pennsylvania physicians.</span></p>Physicians;# in EREmergency Care Liability<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">PAMED revisits legislation that would provid expanded liability protection for emergenc</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">y physicians and explains why it's important.</span></p>Physicians;# 20 15 Capitol BlogNew Prostate Cancer Awareness and Screening Law Imminent<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​Legislation to improve awareness and increase screening for prostate cancer is on Gov. Wolf’s desk, after unanimous approval by the state House and Senate. SB 609, introduced by Sen. Bob Mensch (R – Berks, Bucks and Montgomery Counties) will establish the Prostate Cancer Surveillance, Education, Detection and Treatment Act.</span></p>Physicians;# 12 15 Capitol BlogRep. Matt Baker Introduces Credentialing Reform Legislation<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​Citing a need to improve access to care and eliminate unnecessary costs in the health care system, Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga County) has introduced HB 1663, prompt credentialing legislation that has PAMED’s strong support.</span></p>Physicians;# 29 15 Capitol BlogExpanded Authority to Manage Diabetes in Schools May Be Coming<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​In 2012, the PAMED House of Delegates adopted a resolution directing the Society to seek legislation or regulation to support medically authorized self-management of Diabetes Mellitus in schools, along with the authority of trained school personnel to assist a child with diabetes.</span></p>Physicians;# 2 15 Capitol BlogState Guidelines for Prostate Cancer Screening May be Coming<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​Citing a lack of consensus regarding prostate cancer screening guidelines and an environment of confusion leading to inconsistent screening rates across the Commonwealth, Sen. Bob Mensch (R- Berks, Bucks and Montgo</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">me</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">ry Counties) has introduced legislation to raise awareness and create uniform screening guidelines for Pennsylvania.</span></p>Physicians;# 4 15 Capitol BlogWhat Pennsylvania Physicians Should Know About the New Collaborative Drug Therapy Management Regulation<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​Collaborative drug therapy management is not a new concept; this strategy has been around at lea</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">st since the late 1970s. And, now, we have it in the Commonwealth.</span></p>Physicians;# 1 15 Capitol BlogTaxing Health Care?<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​As the state budget stalemate drags into its second month, news reports have begun quoting individuals close to the process who indicate that negotiators are “making progress” and “narrowing their differences.”</span></p>Physicians;# 16 15 Capitol BlogClearing Minor Violations off Your Disciplinary Record<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​​Over the past month, I’ve been reporting on the progress of SB 538, legislation that would expand the obligation of professional licensees to </span><a href="" target="_blank" style="line-height:20.8px;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#0066cc">notify their licensing board when they run afoul of the criminal law or another state’s licensing body</font></span></a><span style="line-height:20.8px;">. That measure is now just one step away from the governor’s desk,</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;"> needing only Senate approval of amendments added by the House, which could occur in the near future.</span></p>Physicians;# 3 15 Capitol BlogIs Retirement Calling You? A Few Things to Consider….<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​With more than 25 years of work life left in my career, I am far from  retirement. Many of our physician members, however, can see retirement on the horizon and for some others, retirement has finally arrived.</span></p>Physicians;# 26 15 Capitol BlogPunitive Damages, Licensure Board Reporting, and Oral Chemotherapy Insurance Coverage<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​​</span><a href="" style="line-height:20.8px;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#0066cc">As I suggested last week</font></span></a><span style="line-height:20.8px;">, all indications are that Pennsylvania will not have a new state budget in place when the fiscal year ends on June 30.</span>​</p> 12 15 Capitol BlogFlu Shots, Data, and Reporting to the Licensing Boards<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​​As I’ve said many times in the past, June is a very busy month at the state capitol. And although most of the attention is focused on the annual state budget negotiations (not going well, but that’s another story), many other legislative initiatives also see action, as our solons try to get as much done as possible before leaving town for their hoped-for summer recess.</span></p>Physicians;# 8 15 Capitol BlogKing v. Burwell and the future of the Federally Run Marketplaces: And the winner is ...? <p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​​Well, we do not know yet, but we are definitely going to find out soon!</span></p>Physicians;# 18 15 Capitol BlogTaxes, Marijuana, Biosimilars and a Chief Nursing Officer<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​​The General Assembly has now recessed for two weeks, but before leaving town, lawmakers acted on several significant health care-related bills.</span></p> 3 15 Capitol BlogWill the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision Regarding North Carolina’s Board of Dental Examiners Impact Pennsylvania?<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​​By now, I am sure that you have heard the news about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding North Carolina’s Board of Dental Examiners. If not, let me be the first to summarize this information for you and share my thoughts on </span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">potential</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;"> implications for Pennsylvania’s medical boards.</span></p>Physicians;# 13 15 Capitol BlogBudget Hearings Take Center Stage<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​The state House and Senate are on an extended recess, with the House scheduled to return to Harrisburg on March 30, and the Senate on April 13. There’s a good reason for the break, as the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are holding daily budget hearings, reviewing the spending proposals of various departments and state agencies.</span></p>Physicians;# 18 14 Capitol BlogWhat Should Happen to Medical Records when Physicians Leave Practice?<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​​I don’t know about you, but I am totally amazed at how fast this year has gone by! In a blink of an eye, here we are, approaching the last third of the summer.</span></p>Physicians;# 4 14 Capitol BlogIt’s Important for Physicians to Know Obligations for Elder Abuse Reporting<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​​As I am sure you are all very aware, Pennsylvania recently passed a number of </span><a href="" style="line-height:20.8px;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#0066cc">child abuse laws</font></span></a><span style="line-height:20.8px;">. And, rightfully so; children are among the most vulnerable and, as the spate of new and updated child protective services laws suggest, we all play a role </span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">in</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;"> protecting “our” children.</span></p>Physicians;# 6 14 Capitol BlogMaking It Easier for Physicians to Practice in Multiple States<p>​<span style="line-height:20.8px;">​</span><span style="line-height:20.8px;">​​The bar exam is a rite of passage for many law school graduates. After at least three years of law school, approximately two months of preparation, and anywhere from 16 to 21 hours of test time, the capstone for a fortunate applicant is admission to the illustrious state bar.</span></p>Physicians;#

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