Legislative Updates

Written by Legislative Consultant, Bruce Hironimus, Legislative Updates keeps POMA members up-to-date on the latest news in Pennsylvania government and the issues affecting the healthcare profession.

On the Horizon

Two months remain before General Election Day. Vigorous campaigning continues in the Governor’s race, and state Senate and House of Representative seats. The state House has eight scheduled voting session days, the state Senate has nine voting days on the calendar. The POMA government affairs consultant will continue to closely monitor any consideration on priority legislation including the certified nurse practitioner scope of practice; SB 25 and HB 100.


Closing Year Recap

The closing weeks of June brought both productivity and activity, the most significant being the enactment of the state budget before deadline.

As part of the overall scope of budget related matters, the General Assembly ultimately inserted provisions in House Bill 1851 (Act 41 of 2018 as signed by Governor Wolf) that will essentially serve as an alternative attempt at taking $200 million from the PA Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association.  The bill moves the independent JUA under the jurisdiction of the State Insurance Department. The bill passed through both chambers despite reservations during the five party negotiations. 


Scope of Practice Issues

POMA Past President and current POMPAC Chairman Dr. George Vermeire, in concert with Legislative Counsel Bruce Hironimus, participated in ongoing lobbying efforts against the expansion of licensure privileges for certified registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Direct communication with more than a dozen key House members were conducted at a recent event supported by POMPAC.

Our direct lobbying efforts will continue during the coming months and be enhanced with a companion public affairs initiative focusing on media outreach efforts. Please continue to express your opposition on these initiatives to elected officials.

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners - 5/24/18

The House Professional Licensure Committee Chairs remain in waiting for a response to their recent informatiom request from the Osteopathic, Medical and Nursing Licensing Boards. 

School safety and redistricting proposals capture the legislative headlines, while behind the scenes, the Pennsylvania General Assembly continues to assemble the details of the upcoming budget for the next fiscal year. Having established a spend number with restoration of several specific line items due to increased revenues and new revenue sources, i.e. sports betting. Optimism abounds in the state capital for a timely budget adoption this year. In fact, it is conceivable that Governor Wolf might actually sign the budget this year having failed to do so in any previous year. 

JUA Fund Transfer Ruled Unconstitutional - 5/18/18

Yesterday’s decision by a federal judge prohibits a $200 million transfer to the Pennsylvania General Fund from a state-created insurance fund. The nonprofit Pennsylvania Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association (JUA) was created by the General Assembly to provide medical malpractice insurance to Pennsylvania healthcare providers (but receives no money from the state).

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