Govt. Affairs

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The following bills were voted out of the House and will now move to the Senate for their consideration.


HB 126


Baker, Matt

(PN 92) The Epinephrine Auto-Injector Entity Act provides for the use and stock of epinephrine auto-injectors by recreation camps, colleges and universities, day-care facilities, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, restaurants, places of employment, and sports arenas. Requires completed training by employees of eligible institutions before administration and provides Good Samaritan protections. Effective in 60 days.

HB 126 passed unanimously on Wednesday, March 22 by a vote of 191 YEAS, 0 NAYS.

HB 478 Pickett, Tina (PN 502) The Outpatient Psychiatric Oversight Act requires an outpatient psychiatric clinic to have a psychiatrist on site for two hours of psychiatric time per week for each fulltime equivalent treatment staff member employed by the clinic. Further provides telepsychiatry provided by a psychiatrist that is not on site with prescriptive authority in Pennsylvania may be utilized with a service description approved by the Department of Human Services but shall not be included in the required psychiatric time. Also provides that 50 percent of the required on-site time may be provided by other advanced practice professionals specializing in behavioral health with prescriptive authority in Pennsylvania. Requires the Department of Human Services to promulgate regulations as necessary to carry out the provisions of the act. Effective in 60 days.

HB 478 passed unanimously on Wednesday, March 22 by a vote of 190 YEAS, 0 NAYS.  RCPA already has a meeting with Senate Health and Human Services Committee staff on Friday, March 31 to discuss moving this bill out of committee.

HB 644 Baker, Matt (PN 681) Amends the Community-Based Health Care Act, in health care assistance, further providing for Community-Based Health Care Program by removing the 25 percent limitation on grants awarded going to federally qualified health centers. Effective in 60 days.

HB 644 passed unanimously on Wednesday, March 22 by a vote of 190 YEAS, 0 NAYS.

HR 63 Costa, Dom (PN 297) Resolution recognizing April 2, 2017, as “World Autism Awareness Day” in Pennsylvania.

HR 63 passed unanimously on Wednesday, March 22 by a vote of 195 YEAS, 0 NAYS.

HR 132 Toohil, Tarah (PN 825) Resolution recognizing the month of March 2017 as “Intellectual Disability Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

HR 132 passed unanimously on Wednesday, March 22 by a vote of 195 YEAS, 0 NAYS. The State Senate did not vote on any bills that RCPA has on its legislative tracking report. Questions, contact Jack Phillips, RCPA Director, Government Affairs.

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The National Council for Behavioral Health has drafted a document outlining Medicaid funding in Pennsylvania for mental health and drug and alcohol services. The document provides pertinent information regarding how much money Pennsylvania receives in Medicaid funding and how Medicaid expansion has helped the state’s economy and allowed more individuals to receive health care benefits. Please contact Jack Phillips, RCPA Director of Government Affairs, with questions.

On Monday, March 13, the House Health Committee will hold a meeting at 9:30 am in Room 205, Ryan Office Building to vote on HB478, which is sponsored by Rep. Tina Pickett (R – Bradford). The bill aims to assist outpatient psychiatric clinics to meet the growing demand and address the shortage of psychiatric time we are facing in Pennsylvania by changing the number of hours of psychiatric supervision required for each staff member per week. Additionally, the bill will allow licensed prescribing professionals to work within their scope of practice as is the case in the physical health care arena.  RCPA requests members to contact legislators that serve on the House Health Committee, and ask them to vote YES to move the bill out of committee.

The following legislators serve on the House Health Committee:

Matt Baker, Chair
Kristen Hill
Aaron Bernstein
Alexander Charlton
Becky Corbin
Eli Evankovich
Frank Farry
Aaron Kaufer
Dawn Keefer
Harry Lewis
Paul Schemul
Todd Stephens
Jesse Topper
Judy Ward
Martina White
David Zimmerman

Flo Fabrizio, Chair
Mary Jo Daley
Vanessa Brown
Mike Schlossberg
Kevin Boyle
Jason Dawkins
Pam DeLissio
Ed Gainey
Stephen Kinsey
Gerald Mullery

For your convenience, you can find the above legislators’ contact information here. Questions, contact Jack Phillips, RCPA Director of Government Affairs.

Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Ted Dallas spoke at the RCPA Board of Directors meeting on February 22 regarding Governor Wolf’s proposal to consolidate four state health and human service agencies. If approved by the legislature, the plan would be launched on July 1, 2017.

Although the Secretary referenced approximately $90 million in savings from this process, he also affirmed that this “cannot be just about saving money.” Dallas remarked that time spent dealing with the bureaucracies as currently constructed takes time away from providing services, and so the goal is to eliminate redundancies.

RCPA members brought up key topics such as population health, licensing, and services for persons with co-existing conditions. When asked how this consolidation will affect addressing the opioid crisis, Secretary Dallas responded that the focus would be shifted to treating the whole person, rather than each individual condition.

The meeting concluded with the Secretary requesting ideas for continued efficiencies and how to ultimately better serve members. On the day of the Governor’s announcement, RCPA issued a statement expressing support for the proposal and committing to working with the administration to implement the plan in a smart and cost-effective manner.