Lawmakers Advance Pa. Bill to Extend Certain Health Care Waivers Beyond the COVID-19 Emergency

Last Updated: Sep 17, 2020

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The Pennsylvania House Health Committee approved a bill that aims to extend the state’s COVID-19 health care waivers and flexibilities for one year after the end of the emergency declaration. The bill – known as the Retaining Health Care Innovations Act (House Bill 2779) – now moves to the full House for consideration.

On Aug. 28, 2020, the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) sent a letter to House Health Committee Chairwoman Kathy Rapp expressing our opposition to HB 2779.

PAMED opposes the bill for two important reasons:

  • While this temporary easement of regulations and licensing helped to ensure that the front lines of the crisis were adequately staffed, the fact remains that these stringent requirements are in place, under normal circumstances, for one important reason: protecting patients and ensuring that health care providers are appropriately educated and trained for the license for which they are applying. 

  • This legislation will lead to the erosion of important regulation and certification requirements that are in place to ensure patient safety and the best possible course of care and treatment for patients.

While we understand why these were granted during the pandemic, we believe that extending these easements could ultimately jeopardize patient care.

To learn more about regulatory and licensure flexibilities issued for Pennsylvania health care practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Resource Center here.

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