“It’s a Process” – New Proposal for Pa. Hospital Regulations Expected This Year

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2019

hospital-signWe’ve been talking about the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) plans to release proposed hospital regulations since 2016. They are expected sometime this year and will likely look like a draft that DOH circulated to a workgroup in 2017.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMAED) was part of DOH workgroup. As a member of this workgroup, PAMED shared its concern and opposition to the expansion of medical staff membership and the administration of anesthesia without physician supervision.  

Be aware of two major provisions in the draft:

  • Changes to medical staff membership that would expand the practitioners who would be eligible for medical staff membership.
  • Who may administer anesthesia without direct supervision of the operating physician or anesthesiologist.

If these provisions are included in the proposal, PAMED will submit comments to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), the body charged with approving an agency’s regulations, expressing opposition to the proposed changes.

PAMED’s Next Steps

The regulatory process is lengthy – a process most physicians and patients don’t have patience for  –  and that’s why PAMED is in it for the long haul. Most Pennsylvania regulations take shape over the course of several years before they are finalized. Here’s what you need to know:

  • In summer/fall 2016, PAMED was part of a workgroup that DOH convened on updating the hospital regulations. As part of this workgroup, PAMED and other stakeholder groups were prohibited from discussing or releasing draft language that was proposed during the workgroup.
  • Once proposed regulations are released and open for a 30-day public comment period, PAMED will notify our members and tell you how the proposal could impact you.  PAMED will also provide information to our members on how you may submit your own comments.
  • If DOH’s proposal includes medical staff membership changes or authorizing practitioners to administer anesthesia without being under the supervision of an anesthesiologist or other physician, PAMED will submit comments to IRRC expressing its opposition to these proposed changes.

PAMED continues to monitor this process, advocate for our members, and will keep you posted with any new developments as they arise. For a detailed overview of the regulatory process for hospital regulations, read PAMED’s article here.


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