Which Health Care Regulations Are on the Governor's Agenda for the Second Half of 2018?

Last Updated: Aug 7, 2018

rules-regulations-articleIn the latest issue of the Pennsylvania Bulletin (Vol. 48, No. 31), Governor Wolf's office released its regulatory agenda for the second half of 2018. All agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor are required semi-annually to publish an agenda of regulations under development or consideration. 

A few of the items on the Governor's agenda, which are particularly relevant to Pennsylvania physicians, are discussed below.

Temporary Medical Marijuana Academic Clinical Research Center Regulations (Department of Health): Act 43 of 2018, enacted on June 22, 2018, directs the Department of Health (DOH) to publish temporary regulations pertaining to the certification of Medical Marijuana Academic Clinical Research Centers within 90 days. DOH is expected to publish these temporary regulations in August 2018.

Health Facilities and Hospitals/Long Term Care Facilities Updates (Department of Health): DOH plans to update regulations regarding hospitals and long-term care facilities. The hospital regulations have not been extensively updated since their promulgation in 1982, and the long-term care facilities regulations were last updated in 1999. These updates will reflect the recommendations of two Secretary of Health commissioned task forces to review regulations governing the aforementioned facilities. Updates to the health facilities and hospital as well as the long-term care facility regulations are currently slated to be published by February 2019.

Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases Revisions (Department of Health): DOH will update its reportable disease regulations (28 Pa. Code, Chapter 27) to include: additional and emerging diseases, new laboratory tests, and changes to exclusion policies for individuals with evidence of disease. Changes will allow for alignment with national standards and improve disease surveillance, investigation and response efforts. Specifically, these updated regulations will include the reporting of all HIV CD4 counts and viral load results by providers and laboratories to provide improved surveillance, detection and treatment of HIV disease in line with national standards. These updated regulations will also include provisions on the reporting of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and overdoses.

Prescribing Rules (State Board of Osteopathic Medicine): The State Board of Osteopathic Medicine plans to propose rules setting forth the minimum acceptable standards of practice that an osteopathic physician or physician assistant licensed by the Board must follow when prescribing, administering, or dispensing drugs.

Practitioners of Oriental Medicine Regulations (State Board of Medicine): In accordance with Governor Wolf’s recommendation for occupational licensure reform, the State Board of Medicine will revise regulations relating to Practitioners of Oriental Medicine to reflect the application of herbal therapy for acupuncturists.

Compounding Practices Regulations (State Board of Pharmacy): In March of 2017, the State Board of Pharmacy published proposed regulations on pharmacy compounding. PAMED submitted comments on these regulations focused on whether these regulations will apply to physicians who compound drugs in an office setting. The State Board of Pharmacy has reviewed comments and input from interested stakeholders and are expected to publish revised regulations sometime this year.

Naloxone Exceptions (State Board of Pharmacy): The State Board of Pharmacy will eliminate two regulatory impediments to allow pharmacists to partner with prisons and treatment programs to make Naloxone available to at-risk individuals upon discharge from these facilities. A final-omitted regulation is expected in the fall of 2018.

Anesthesia Regulations (State Board of Dentistry): The State Board of Dentistry will publish proposed regulations updating the standards for administration of general anesthesia, deep sedation, moderate sedation, minimal sedation and nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia in dental offices to conform to and adopt the current standards used by the dental profession.

Expungement Regulations (Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs): Act 6 of 2018, enacted on February 15, 2018, authorizes the Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs to expunge certain disciplinary actions upon application and to require the applicant to pay a fee to cover all costs associated with the expungement as established by the Commissioner by regulation. Regulations, published by the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, implementing these provisions of Act 6 are expected in the fall of 2018.

A full listing of the Governor's regulatory agenda, including agency contacts, can be found here. Agency contacts can be contacted for more information regarding regulations and the procedure for submitting comments.

For a comprehensive list of regulatory items that PAMED is tracking, please visit PAMED's Regulatory Update.

PAMED will continue to monitor the promulgation of new regulations, comment on proposed rules and regulations on behalf of PAMED members and share all updates with PAMED members.

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