May EVP Share: Physicians Converge on the Capitol in Harrisburg

Last Updated: May 9, 2019

Marty-Raniowski-doseBy Marty Raniowski, MA, FCPP, Executive Vice President, PAMED

There is nothing quite like springtime at the Capitol in Harrisburg when the legislature in session. On its busiest days, that historic building teems with visitors – from schoolchildren learning about the political process to advocates rallying for a cause.

This past April, Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) members had two chances to make their voices heard at the Capitol:

RepRapp Rep. Kathy Rapp, pictured in center, meets with PAMED members on Advocacy Day.
PAMED’s Advocacy Day – On April 29, physicians and medical students had a chance to meet and talk with legislators from both sides of the aisle. I’m proud to say that PAMED has been able to cultivate strong relationships with many of our state’s political leaders. Issues discussed ranged from prior authorization to scope of practice.

Many thanks to the members who attended and to Rep. Bryan Cutler, Rep. Bridget Kosierowski, Rep. Kathy Rapp, Sen. John Gordner, Rep. Stephen Kinsey, Rep. Rosemary Brown, and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale for taking the time to speak with us. 

Mentzer-prior-auth Rep. Steven Mentzer addresses the crowd at the Capitol Rotunda to announce his plans to introduce legislation to reform prior authorization.
Prior Authorization Media Event – On April 30, PAMED physicians and leaders joined with medical and patient partners like the American Cancer Society to crowd the stairs of the Capitol Rotunda. We were there to raise awareness about how prior authorization processes by insurers which delays care and undermine decisions made between physicians and their patients.

Rep. Steven Mentzer plans to introduce legislation to reform prior authorization. You can help to ensure that this bill is introduced by contacting your House member and asking them to co-sponsor House Bill 1194 – PAMED offers an easy-to-use online form here.

 

What’s Next

Here are a few issues we will be keeping a close eye on over the next few weeks:

  • Pennsylvania’s 2020-2021 Budget – It’s budget season, and we’ll be on the lookout for any provisions that impact health care. For instance, PAMED opposes a proposal to tax ambulatory surgery centers – Get details here.
  • Proposed changes to medical liability venue rule – We strongly oppose changes that would allow medical liability lawsuits to take place outside the county where the alleged malpractice occurred. PAMED has provided information and plans to testify at venue rule hearing that will be held by the state’s Legislative Budget and Finance Committee. Learn more at www.pamedsoc.org/venuerule.

And, if you missed our announcement about PAMED’s legislative priorities for 2019, I encourage you to read about them at www.pamedsoc.org/advocacy


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