HAP's Latest News

June 26, 2020

Federal Judge Rules Against Hospitals in Price Transparency Case; Hospitals Will Appeal

A federal judge ruled against the American Hospital Association (AHA) and others on Tuesday in a lawsuit attempting to block a U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) final rule pushing for price transparency. Under the final rule issued during November 2019, hospitals are required to disclose the standard charges, including payor-specific negotiated rates, for all services beginning January 1, 2021. 

June 25, 2020

HHS Announces Partnership to Fight COVID-19 in Vulnerable Communities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) awarded the Morehouse School of Medicine as the recipient of a new $40 million initiative to fight COVID-19 in racial and ethnic minority, rural, and socially vulnerable communities.

June 24, 2020

CMS Presents Changes to Reduce Burden and Improve Patient Outcomes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled the creation of the Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics in an effort to reduce regulatory and administrative burden. The new office is an outgrowth of the agency’s Patients over Paperwork Initiative which was implemented to eliminate unnecessary, duplicative, and costly requirements and regulations.

June 23, 2020

Healthcare Workplace Safety Legislation Heads to Governor’s Desk

HAP supported bills to protect health care workers against violence were approved by the House of Representatives and now head to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Sponsored by Senator Kristen Phillips-Hill (R-York), Senate Bill 842 eliminates a state requirement for photo identification badges in health care facilities to include the employee's last name. Senate Bill 351, sponsored by Senator Judy Ward (R-Blair), increases the penalty for an assault on a health care worker from a misdemeanor to a felony.

June 23, 2020

New Leadership in Harrisburg

Representative Bryan Cutler of Lancaster County was unanimously elected to serve as the 141st Speaker of the House in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Speaker Cutler now holds the highest position within the chamber after Representative Mike Turzai stepped down as Speaker to pursue a career with a natural gas company in Western Pennsylvania.

June 22, 2020

Younger Patients Prefer Telemedicine Pre-Pandemic

While COVID-19 led to the rapid adoption of telemedicine, a new study finds that before the pandemic female patients and younger adults between ages 18 and 44 were more likely to choose telemedicine visits.

June 18, 2020

Supreme Court Agrees to Decide PA Disaster Declaration Dispute; Regulatory Waivers Remain in Place

After Governor Wolf failed to recognize last week’s concurrent resolution by the General Assembly to terminate the COVID-19 Disaster Declaration issued by the governor during March, Senators Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), Jake Corman (R-Centre), and the Senate Republic Caucus filed a petition in Commonwealth Court asking that the governor be directed to terminate the declaration. The governor then filed a petition with the state Supreme Court to intervene in the case and rule in his favor.

June 17, 2020

Research Brief Emphasizes Importance of Primary and Preventive Care, Seeking Care When Needed

A research brief issued this week by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) finds approximately one in nine hospitalizations (11.7%) were considered potentially preventable during fiscal year (FY) 2019. Statewide, there were 153,236 potentially preventable hospital admissions in FY 2019, totaling 711,298 hospital days. Potentially preventable hospitalizations are inpatient stays for select conditions that might have been avoided with effective primary or preventive care.