Take Action: State Advocacy

HAP continues to advocate with state officials and lawmakers to support Pennsylvania's hospitals during this challenging time. The Pennsylvania health care community cannot fight this pandemic, nor recover from it, alone. Learn more below about how organizations and individuals can advocate to support the health care community.


HAP's 2021 COVID-19 Advocacy Priorities

  • Dedicating state and federal funding to provide financial support to hospitals 
  • Retaining administrative flexibilities and waivers 
  • Securing COVID-19 related liability protections Providing appropriate payment for COVID-19-related care
  • Ensuring hospitals have the resources they need, including PPE and testing supplies, and that equitable distribution of the vaccines occurs for Pennsylvania and for hospitals within Pennsylvania


Take Action Items

Establish Liability Protections During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Background: Frontline health care workers are risking their lives to care for and protect Pennsylvanians during this pandemic. During these unprecedented conditions, Pennsylvania should allow these workers to continue to treat COVID-19 patients without fear of being sued.

HAP is asking lawmakers to provide legal protections to health care workers, hospitals, and other health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 6, 2020, Governor Wolf signed an Executive Order to provide medical liability protections for health care providers during the COVID-19 crisis. This order protects individual, licensed medical providers—including physicians, nurses, and other health care workers—from lawsuits that arrive from providing emergency services related to COVID-19. Unfortunately, this order does not extend to Pennsylvania’s hospitals.

HAP is asking lawmakers to include hospitals in these protections, to prevent frivolous lawsuits being brought against the facilities where medical personnel providing front line medical care are employed.

    • Call or email your lawmakers through Healthy Me PA to demand that they recognize the risks that hospitals are taking in the midst of the pandemic. A letter has been created for your use
    • Utilize and share the TAKE ACTION link with your health care community to contact your legislators in the General Assembly and the Governor’s Office and ask them for medical liability protections for health care workers
    • Share the graphic HAP has developed for your use on social media outlets or via email

Advocacy Tools:

      • Customizable Liability Protections Letter to Lawmakers
      • Protect Health Care Workers Graphic for Social Media
      • Draft letter to Governor Wolf
      • Joint letter to Governor Wolf and Members of the General Assembly
      • Joint letter to Members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation

Establish Insurer Payment Solutions

Background:  Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services made important legislative and regulatory changes to expand the Medicare accelerated/advanced payment programs, which allows hospitals and other eligible providers to request accelerated Medicare payments. This is intended to serve as a tool to help hospitals access stable cash flow.

HAP is advocating to establish periodic payments to health care providers from commercial insurers and within the Medicaid program, similar to recent changes that were made in the Medicare program.


HAP Contacts

If you have questions or would like more information about HAP's state advocacy efforts, contact  Heather Tyler, vice president, state legislative advocacy, or Sarah Lawver, director, advocacy activation. Media inquiries should be directed to Liam Migdail, director, media relations.

4 Ways Pennsylvanians Benefit from COVID-19 Waivers and Flexibilities

HAP urges General Assembly to preserve essential emergency health care provisions

With the General Assembly’s return next week, HAP is urging lawmakers to protect pandemic-era reforms that have supported all Pennsylvanians.

In response to COVID-19, Pennsylvania authorized emergency waivers and flexibilities to ensure the commonwealth’s hospitals could properly respond to the pandemic. These essential waivers are set to expire September 30.

HAP is advocating for lawmakers to extend these critical health care measures that have allowed hospitals to continue operations during the pandemic while improving access to care.

Pennsylvanians and hospitals across the commonwealth have benefited from these essential provisions through:

  1. Expanded telehealth services to cover a wider range of care, especially for those who cannot easily access transportation, those living with disabilities, and those living in rural areas
  2. Easier access to vaccines at pharmacies
  3. Removal of licensing barriers that aggravate staffing shortages
  4. Assurance that hospitals can quickly adapt to emergencies by altering their space as necessary to care for influxes of patients

These crucial flexibilities protect the health of Pennsylvanians and the resiliency of our front line health care providers. They enable hospitals to tackle new challenges, such as the highly contagious Delta variant, staffing shortages, increased emergency room visits, and the upcoming flu season.

Failure to preserve emergency health care flexibilities will result in:

  • Fewer medical providers in a workforce already strained by staff shortages and pandemic conditions
  • Less flexibility in places to receive health care
  • Loss of access to proper care for Pennsylvanians

HAP urges everyone to learn more about the ways hospitals, patients, and our communities benefit from these COVID-19 waivers and flexibilities. This week, HAP launched an online guide to waivers and flexibilities with additional resources, including a list of pending legislation to support as lawmakers return next week.

For more information, contact Warren Kampf, senior vice president, advocacy and external affairs; Heather Tyler, vice president, state legislative advocacy, or; Sarah Lawver, director, advocacy activation.

Media inquiries should be directed to Liam Migdail, director, media relations.

 


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