POMA Prepares for PA General Assembly Return

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

September 6, 2019 

Members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate are set to return to Harrisburg for Legislative business in the next two or three weeks respectively. POMA is readying and positioning itself to work on multiple issues important to POMA members.  The first is opposition to Senate Bill 25, which is in the House Professional Licensure Committee. SB 25 would remove the collaborative agreement requirements between physicians and CRNPs, leaving them to make acts of medical diagnoses and prescribe therapeutic responses with no oversight of a physician. POMA has argued this is not the best interests of patients based in part on the vast difference in training and education between physicians and CRNPs.

POMA will also be supporting pending legislative introductions that will address the prior authorization process by updating, streamlining and making it more transparent for increased and quicker access to care by patients. Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lancaster) and Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) have introduced co-sponsorship memos that outline their legislation and ask for supporters of the bill to add their names to the introduction as an official co-sponsor. POMA expects these bills to be introduced shortly and will work towards their successful movement in the legislative process.

Additionally, POMA will be opposing Senate Bill 675, unless it is amended. SB 675 requires that patients with opioid addiction must be treated in a facility licensed by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) before an office-based physician can prescribe buprenorphine. POMA understands the intent which is to address the issue of cash-based clinics and is willing to work with the House Human Services towards a solution. However, SB 675 will not do that and according to many POMA members who prescribe buprenorphine, SB 675 as written, will limit access to treatment for the patients that need it most.