A Busy June for POMA at the Capitol

Written by Executive Vice President, Public Policy and Association Affairs, Andy Sandusky

June 21, 2019 

We are in the final days of legislative session before the Pennsylvania General Assembly breaks for the Summer and the legislative process is running on all cylinders.

POMA has managed to limit most of the more damaging legislation to this point.  Earlier in June, the Senate voted (44-6) on final passage of Senate Bill 25, which would permit CRNPs to practice medicine without oversight or collaboration with a physician. The fight now moves to the PA House of Representatives. No further action is expected before the break. POMA will continue its work to help our legislative supporters who do not want CRNPs to practice medicine independent of physician collaboration or oversight.

Additionally, POMA has expressed concern for a bill that was put on the fast track for consideration. Senate Bill 675 would limit office-based prescribing of buprenorphine by requiring physicians to pay a fee to be certified and also requiring a patient being enrolled in a licensed addiction treatment program. In a letter to the House Human Services Committee, POMA expressed understanding of the policy intent of SB 675 which is to address unscrupulous cash-based clinics that are apparently not doing what is best for patients. POMA pointed out however, there are many more office-based physicians who are providing the highest level of care for their patients trying to help them with their disease of addiction, and buprenorphine is an important part of this care.  POMA is working to keep SB 675 in Committee so that additional dialogue can be had on SB 675 over the Summer and into the fall.  Stay tuned.