The Pennsylvania Senate today passed HB 1563 and HB 1561, sending the substance use disorder and mental health confidentiality-related bills to Gov. Wolf to sign into law. He is expected to sign both.
Both bills align Pennsylvania’s confidentiality laws with federal confidentiality laws, including 42 CFR and HIPAA. Barring a Gov. Wolf veto of HB 1563, Pennsylvania’s 4 Pa Code 255.5 will be eliminated.
Advocates of improved care coordination and integration have long pointed to 4 Pa Code 255.5 as a barrier, citing the limited amount of information allowed to be shared and the few entities with whom it could be shared, even with patient consent.
COVID-19 testing is an essential activity that increases safety for congregate care settings as part of a comprehensive mitigation strategy. Two resources are now available for providers and facilities.
Operation Expanded Testing (OpET) is a federal testing resource that may be useful to your organization. Please see the presentation slides for more detailed information. Providers wishing to use OpET as a resource should coordinate directly with Eurofins.
OpET At A Glance
If you wish to enroll or have questions related to Operation Expanded Testing, please contact Eurofins via email or call 833-742-0862. Questions related to this communication should be directed virtually here.
In addition, due to the recent surge in COVID-19, the Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) has been receiving a large number of requests for testing support. If your facility needs testing due to an active outbreak or to prepare for an outbreak, please contact the Dept. of Health via email for questions about LTC testing assistance and/or to get access to testing support and resources. You can also complete and submit the “Universal Testing Needs Assessment Form.” If eligible, someone will contact you for scheduling.
If you are a facility requesting additional Abbott BinaxNOW cards, please email with the amount of tests requested and your shipping information. Note that your facility must have a CLIA certification to perform rapid COVID antigen testing to be eligible for the BinaxNOW cards.
Please contact the Dept. of Health for any additional information on testing.