State Advocacy

The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) advocates on behalf of its members, educating state and federal lawmakers and policymakers about the health care delivery system and the numerous health care issues that impact hospitals, patients, and communities. HAP works to ensure that elected officials and policy leaders have the resources needed to make informed and balanced decisions. With our members, we develop strong relationships and channels of communication to define and advance our member priorities.

State Legislative Priorities: Spring 2020

False Claims Act

HAP opposes a state-based false claims act. The hospital industry is already heavily regulated and implementing a state false claims act would jeopardize the financial viability of struggling rural hospitals and likely result in financial drain across the state. A state false claims act would:

  • Be duplicative of the federal false claims act
  • Incentivize attorneys and whisleblowers to file meritless lawsuits
  • Further stress the financial stability of hospitals, especially in rural areas

Read HAP's fact sheet for more details about how a state false claims act could jeopardize access to care in Pennsylvania.

Workforce Safety

Sixty percent of workplace assaults occur in health care settings, while health care workers comprise 13 percent of the United States workforce. 

HAP supports:

  • House Bill 39, Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Greene); House Bill 1880, Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York); and Senate Bill 842, Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York); would allow health care workers to remove their last names from their facility identification badges
  • Senate Bill 351, Sen. Judy Ward (R-Blair), and House Bill 1879, Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York), would add all health care practitioners to a protected class in the event of an on-duty assault, and increase the penaltyWorkplaceSafety

Payor Reforms

Prior Authorization

Patients and providers are experiencing an increasing number of situations in which some insurers use the prior authorization process to deny payment or delay approval for necessary medical care.

HAP supports House Bill 1194, Rep. Steven Mentzer (R-Lancaster), which would remove administrative barriers that delay patient access to care and services and burden providers.

Credentialing

Before new health care practitioners or practitioners who are relocating can start seeing patients, they must be credentialed or re-credentialed separately for every insurer accepted by their practice. This lengthy and repetitive process means unnecessary delayed access to care for patients. For practitioners it means lost income.

HAP supports House Bill 533, Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga), which would simplify and streamline the state’s physician credentialing process, and create a common credentialing form that all insures could use.

Team-based Care

Informed Consent

During 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a decision that severely hampers the concept of team-based health care, and takes away a physician’s judgment in determining how best to serve his or her patients. 

HAP supports House Bill 1580, Rep. Paul Schemel (R-Franklin), and Senate Bill 761, Sen. John Gordner (R-Columbia), which would align provisions of the MCare Act with modern health care practices.

Rural Health Redesign Center

HAP supports Senate Bill 314, Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne), which would improve the financial stability of rural hospitals. The bill establishes the Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center, which would serve as the governing body of the new Rural Health Model that began January 1, 2019. 

Telemedicine

Telemedicine can be used to connect providers to patients at a distance and address shortages of specialty providers, such as behavioral health or dermatology. It can be used to deliver life-saving care, such as stroke care, and routine care in a timely, cost-effective manner. 

HAP supports Senate Bill 857, Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver), which would prevent insurers from prohibiting reimbursement for a service solely because it was provided via telemedicine.

Medical Liability and Venue Shopping Reform

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Civil Procedural Rules Committee proposed rescinding a valuable reform ending venue shopping for medical liability cases, that helped end Pennsylvania's medical liability crisis. HAP supported Sen. Lisa Baker's (R-Luzerne) S.R. 20 that required the State Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study the issue and make recommendations by January 1, 2020. As a member of the Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform, HAP continues to advocate that no changes be made to the 2002 venue reforms.

State Surprise Billing

HAP is engaged with state policymakers regarding surprise balance billing practices. HAP continues to message that any state balance billing proposal be grounded around any federal action on the issue. 

HAP Contacts

For more information, contact Warren Kampf, senior vice president, advocacy and external affairs; Stephanie Watkins, vice president, state legislative advocacy, or; Sue Stewart, manager, political development. For media inquiries, contact Rachel Moore, director, media relations.


HAP News

July 02, 2020

Supreme Court Rules to Keep COVID-19 Disaster Declaration in Place

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled in favor of Governor Wolf in his case to determine whether the state General Assembly could overturn the COVID-19 Disaster Declaration. In a 5-to-2 ruling, the court held that a concurrent resolution passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate to terminate the declaration must be presented to the governor for his veto or signature per the state’s Constitution.

July 01, 2020

DHS Distributes CARES Act Funds to Non-hospital Health Care Providers: What Hospitals Can Do

Starting today, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services will begin distributing CARES Act funding to long-term care providers, LIFE programs, and the Community HealthChoices managed care organizations. HAP continues to press lawmakers to designate the remaining $1.3 billion to establish a Coronavirus Relief Fund to support Pennsylvania’s frontline health care providers in addressing this extraordinary public health emergency and its financial impacts.

+