Gov. Wolf Vetoes Civil Immunity Protections Bill, Signs Bill Allowing Pharmacists to Perform Strep Tests

Last Updated: Nov 20, 2020

Despite the strong advocacy efforts of PAMED and other stakeholders, including physician advocates, Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed HB 1737 late this afternoon. This legislation sought to grant civil immunity protections to all health care practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the governor has previously granted limited protections through executive order, this legislation would have expanded liability protections to include all frontline practitioners in this most unprecedented time.

Gov. Wolf also signed HB 770 into law, despite patient safety concerns raised by PAMED. This piece of legislation will grant pharmacists the authority to perform rapid strep tests. Again, we understand that this legislation was passed with the current pandemic in mind, but PAMED believes that patient safety should never be compromised. Further, it is imperative that we continue to work toward health care cost containment whenever possible. This legislation not only jeopardizes patient safety but will also lead to increased health care costs to consumers.

PAMED is disappointed in these actions. We will continue our tireless advocacy for the best interests of Pennsylvania physicians and patients.

2 comments

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  1. Heather Hart | Nov 21, 2020
    Thank you
  2. Heather Hart | Nov 21, 2020

    As a Family Physician practicing outpatient medicine, managing chronic medical  problems as well as mild to moderate COVID infections, approval of HB1737 to protect all practicing  physicians is a fair action.

    Please pass this bill immediately as we continue to see a rise in COVID cases so outpatient physicians can continue to care for ALL of our patients.

    Thank-you,

    Heather Kirk Hart,MD

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