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U.S. Senate Committee Considers Impact of 340B Program in Helping Hospitals Serve Their Communities in the Face of High Drug Prices

May 15, 2018

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a second hearing on the 340B Drug Pricing Program to examine its federal oversight and consider avenues to strengthen program integrity and promote transparency.

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Financial Obstacles Preventing Some Americans from Getting Needed Health Care

April 23, 2018

A new consumer study indicates that many Americans fear the high costs associated with a serious illness more than the illness itself; only 33 percent feared the illness more. Survey findings also identified serious disparities; Hispanic and black Americans and families with lower incomes had greater concerns about medical bills than other Americans did.

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HAP Notes Important Role of Surgical Technologists, Raises Concerns about Certification Bill

April 11, 2018

Today, HAP participated in a public hearing about House Bill 1805 (Ward, R-Hollidaysburg), legislation that would require surgical technologists to be certified and undergo annual continuing education.

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PA Enrollees to Begin Receiving New Medicare Cards

April 02, 2018

Starting this May, Medicare enrollees in Pennsylvania will be among the first to receive their new Medicare cards using unique, 11-character Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBI) to replace the previous Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICN) based on Social Security Numbers.

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New Report Shows U.S. Health Care Infrastructure Underprepared for Emergencies and Disaster Events

March 21, 2018

A recent report by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security found that the United States’ current health care infrastructure is insufficient to handle a mass disaster. The report outlines four key types of disasters for which health care systems stand to become better prepared.

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Senate Banking and Insurance Committee Recommends Acting Insurance Commissioner, Full Senate Follows with Confirmation Vote; Also Confirms Miller, Levine, and Smith

March 20, 2018

Acting Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman received a favorable recommendation from the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee today, paving the way for her final confirmation vote late this afternoon.

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Senate Health and Human Services Committee Advances Four Bills Impacting Health

March 20, 2018

Earlier today, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee reported four bills intended to improve access to care, improve data collection on a key public health concern, and evaluate how the commonwealth protects the health and welfare of children.

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Pennsylvania’s Acting Health Care Secretaries Face Committee for Confirmation

March 19, 2018

Today, Pennsylvania’s Health and Human Services Committee held the next step in the confirmation process to formally place the acting secretaries for Pennsylvania’s three health agencies.

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U.S. Senate Committee Hears Perspectives on 340B Drug Pricing Program

March 15, 2018

A hearing focused on the 340B Drug Pricing Program reviewed the intent of the program and considered if changes are necessary to the law in order to fulfill the purpose of the program. The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s hearing—Perspectives on the 340B Drug Pricing Program—featured testimony from advocates representing safety net hospitals, community health centers, health system pharmacists, and the pharmaceutical industry.

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Changes to MIPS in New Budget Deal

February 13, 2018

Late last week, the U.S. Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that ended a brief federal government shutdown. Included in the legislation are modifications to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) that will affect physician payments.

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Federal Lawmakers Urge Action on Intravenous Saline Shortages

February 07, 2018

Federal lawmakers sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expressing concern about nationwide drug shortages, and calling for actions to address current IV saline shortages.

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PA Lawmakers Propose State Regulatory Relief Package

January 17, 2018

Earlier this week, a group of state House Republican lawmakers announced a five-bill package aimed at reducing regulatory restrictions placed on all industries operating in Pennsylvania. Lawmakers said they hope to spur economic growth and job creation through reforming and streamlining the regulatory process and reviewing outdated regulations.

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Updated Long-Term Care Hospital, Inpatient Rehab Facility, and Hospice Data Available for Consumers

December 26, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has updated the long-term care hospital, inpatient rehabilitation facility, and hospice quality data available to consumers at its LTCH Compare, IRF Compare, and Hospice Compare websites.

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Bill Expands Newborn Protection Act to Include Emergency Service Providers as Safe Havens for Newborns

December 15, 2017

Pennsylvania’s Legislature approved a bill that would expand the state’s Newborn Protection Act of 2002 to include emergency services providers as “safe havens” for women to relinquish their unwanted or impossible-to-care-for newborns to caregivers. The bill now heads to the Governor.

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Hospital-Related State Legislation Advances Prior to Holiday Break

December 13, 2017

As the Pennsylvania legislature wraps up its last session week of 2017, both chambers considered two pieces of hospital-related legislation: House Bill 1234 and House Bill 1821.

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