Physician Assistant (SB 896); Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner – (SB 25, HB 100); Outpatient Oversight Practice (HB 478); House Speaker Mike Turzai Announced Candidacy
Written by Legislative Consultant, Bruce Hironimus

November 16, 2017

The Senate was in session this week but will not return until December 11. The House returns for two days of session next week before a holiday recess continues until December 4.

  • Scope of Practice Issues - Physician Assistant (SB 896) – POMA President Dr. George Vermeire recently sent a letter of opposition to the members of the State Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. While no formal action is planned for the legislation, POMA wanted to formally be on the record opposing the bill in its current form. 
  • Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner – (SB 25, HB 100) – The House Professional Licensure Committee is not planning to consider either of these two bills in the remaining weeks of session in this calendar year.
  • Insurance Issues - Outpatient Oversight Practice (HB 478) - The Outpatient Psychiatric Oversight Act requires an outpatient psychiatric clinic to have a psychiatrist on site for two hours of psychiatric time per week for each fulltime equivalent treatment staff member employed by the clinic. Further provides telepsychiatry provided by a psychiatrist that is not on site with prescriptive authority in Pennsylvania may be utilized with a service description approved by the Department of Human Services but shall not be included in the required psychiatric time. Also provides that 50 percent of the required on-site time may be provided by other advanced practice professionals specializing in behavioral health with prescriptive authority in Pennsylvania. Requires the Department of Human Services to promulgate regulations as necessary to carry out the provisions of the act. One of the two hours of supervision may be satisfied through telemedicine applications. The bill was recently passed as amended by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and is on the full Senate calendar.
  • Political News - House Speaker Mike Turzai announced his candidacy for the Republican primary for Governor bringing the total number of Republican candidates to four vying to unseat incumbent Governor Tom Wolf.