PA-ACP 2019 Advocacy Recap

Federal Advocacy

  • Largest state delegation to ACP Leadership Day – 25 members participated in Washington, DC
  • Met with all 20 members of the PA Congressional delegation
  • Supported priority issues as requested by ACP Washington staff, including firearms control, drug price transparency, reducing administrative burdens and costs, tobacco and ENDs age limits, and health research funding
  • 1,175 members now participating in Advocates for Internal Medicine network (AIMn)

State Advocacy

  • Testified on nine different state level bills impacting PA internists and their patients
  • Worked and monitored more than 350 bills in the General Assembly affecting health care, access, quality, licensing, and health insurance
  • Sent more than 500 letters to state officials on key legislation via VoterVoice
  • Held meetings with all ten legislative leaders, 18 chairs of key health related committees, and more than 300 separate meetings with legislators and committee staff
  • Led efforts for passage of five key bills plus graduate medical education and health care funding in 2019-2020 state budget

Chapter Advocacy

  • Recognized by the ACP for Chapter Excellence at Gold Level for Advocacy Efforts
  • Started educational podcast/webinar series on advocacy to educate members
  • Reorganized Health and Public Policy Committee, Advocacy Programs
  • Held three member-networking meetings and events with state legislators, cabinet secretaries
  • Keystone Contact program initiated for direct relationships with legislators

State Advocacy - Issues

  • Med Mal, Venue rules – supported legislation (SB 20) to mandate study of venue change impacts in med mal cases.  Testified to the Senate, House and Legislative Budget and Finance Committees on the impacts of venue over the last 18 years, forestalling a decision by the Courts to change the law which requires filing in county where alleged malpractice occurs.
  • CRNP Independent Practice - continued to work and meet with legislative leadership and Professional Licensure Committee to oppose legislation allowing advance practice nurses to provide patient care and prescribe medications without collaborative agreements.  This s has been an effort of more than a decade.
  • Prior Authorization –assisted in drafting, negotiating and getting cosponsors for the bills in the House/Senate, helped develop a coalition of more than 50 patient advocacy organizations supporting the bills.
  • Contracting issues – supported legislation to mandate prompt credentialing, eliminate non-compete clauses, and remove reports of frivolous claims against providers in credentialing decisions.
  • Telemedicine - testified and helped negotiate language in bill that passed Senate, now on House calendar to permit and regulate telemedicine services in the Commonwealth.
  • Legislative initiatives re opioids – testified on three bills, and successfully asserted the physician/patient relationships, unique patient needs to amend four bills that would have mandated courses of action, medication and prescription length.  
  • Buprenorphine and MAT - amended legislation that would have mandated additional certifications and fees for physicians prescribing buprenorphine, avoiding a mandate that patients be in in-patient treatment programs to receive medically assisted treatments.
  • Medical prescription synchronization – supported, lobbied and successfully passed first bill in 2019-2020 session, to improve access, patient savings, and adherence to medication regimens.
  • Tobacco 21 – successfully lobbied to increase the minimum age for purchase of tobacco products, Electronic nicotine delivery systems to 21, ban tobacco products from all school property and ensure cigarette machines are not available to minors.
  • State Insurance Exchange Legislation – assisted in securing passage of new state level exchange to generate $198-248 million, reduce costs for exchange health insurance programs, putting insurers’ funds into expanding services to those who need them most.
  • Rural Health Redesign Center Authority and Fund legislation – worked for passage of legislation to create an authority and funding to help finance rural hospitals allowing maintenance of access, community and behavioral health services and substance abuse programs in rural areas.
  • Immunizations – exemptions, informed consent – testified and opposed legislation to make it easier to avoid immunizations on religious, philosophical grounds.
  • Supported legislation to require transparency in drug pricing by manufacturers, PBMs.
  • Surprise balance billing– testified on the legislation, worked with coalition of provider groups to ensure network adequacy is a component of any such legislation.
  • Mental Health Parity legislation – supporting legislation to mandate insurers comply with state/federal mental health parity regulations and reporting requirements.
  • Med Mal - Joined in an amicus curiae brief seeking to overturn a state court decision that would expand the discovery period for medical malpractice lawsuits beyond the seven year limit set in 2002,  Yanakos v. UPMC