2019-2020 Regular Legislative Session Summary

Executive Summary Highlights

  • The Pa. General Assembly completed its 204th legislative session on Nov. 30, 2020, ending two years of legislative deliberation and lawmaking.
  • At the conclusion of the session, there were 4,200 bills filed in both the House and Senate, with only a small portion (290) making it to the Governor’s desk for signature into law.

  • PAMED was actively tracking  312 bills during the session that in some measure affected physicians and their patients. Legislation not approved by the General Assembly during the session automatically expire and must be re-introduced in the new 2021-2022 session.

  • When the 2019-2020 session commenced, much of the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s (PAMED’s) focus was on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s proposed change to the venue rule related to the medical professional liability claims.

  • In addition to venue, PAMED anticipated engaging in other “priority” areas such as scope of practice, restrictive covenants, surprise billing, telemedicine, and prior authorization reform. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic surged to the forefront in early 2020, attention rapidly shifted to protecting our frontline health care providers and ensuring that they had the necessary tools and support to remain treating patients and keeping themselves and those around them safe. Other legislative initiatives were unfortunately relagated to the back burner.

  • It is fair to say that absent the public health crisis, the 2019-2020 session would have looked a lot differently from a legislative outcome perspective. As a new legislative session begins in January 2021, PAMED will continue to engage and actively work to advance our key legislative priorities.  With that being said, the pandemic still persists, and we will continue to work to protect our heroes serving in the trenches.


2019-2020 Regular Legislative Session Summary

  • COVID-19

  • Out-of-Network/Surprise Billing

  • Scope of Practice

  • Gag Clause for Pharmacists

  • Opioids

  • Photo ID Badges

  • Insurer Issues

  • Telemedicine

  • Non-Compete Agreements

  • Venue

  • Informed Consent

  • Firearms

  • Other Issues

2021-2022 Legislative Session Preview

  • The 2021-22 legislative session began on Jan. 5, 2021, and members of the General Assembly took the oath of office.

  • Attention will likely remain focused on pandemic related issues along with the most recent election results and processes.

  • PAMED will be swiftly working to see key legislation reintroduced (some of which already has as of this writing) in the new session. We will continue to actively engage and advocate to see these critical issues get across the finish line. Additionally, we will be continuing our efforts to protect and provide support for our providers in the trenches during the on-going pandemic.

  • The PAMED government relations team will be working in the early days of the new session to develop relationships and rapport with newly elected legislators. Included in these efforts will be familiarizing new members with our key priorities and white papers on critical physician issues.



PAMED's David Thompson, Senior Director of Legislative Affairs, sits down with Dr. Edward Balaban, Board Chair, to discuss the 2019 - 2020 legislative session

Video 1: Recap of 2020 Election Impact on PAMED

Video 2: What Do You Expect Over the Next 12 Months? 

Video 3: How Will the COVID19 Pandemic Influence PAMED Efforts in 2021?

Video 4: How Does PAMED Work with Other Professional Societies?

Video 5: What Can Physicians do to Help?