Legislative

State Legislation

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POMA is the only representative voice for DOs and their patients with the Pennsylvania General Assembly. POMA tracks dozens of bills dealing with issues on public health, scope of practice, physician reimbursement tort reform and many others.

 

Latest News

COVID-19 Immunity Legislation

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

August 21, 2020

POMA joined a chorus of healthcare groups and businesses in support of Senate Bill 1239 which would provide for a targeted level of civil immunity related to COVID-19 for healthcare workers, facilities, and businesses, including those that manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE). The protections are limited in that they do not cover, “gross negligence, recklessness, willful misconduct or intentional infliction of harm.” In other words, a plaintiff would have to prove you went out of your way to put them in harms way. But as a defendant physician, you would be protected by doing your job. More specifically, it is spelled out in the legislation that you, as a physician, would have immunity under scenarios where you may have had lack of equipment, supplies or there were personnel shortages that prevented you from doing your job.

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General Assembly...Still in Session?

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

July 17, 2020

It is mid-July, a stopgap budget has been enacted and the General Assembly is still in legislative session.  There have been years past that legislators have been in session deep into the summer, but that has been almost exclusively because of budget impasses. But this esoteric year has brought unpredictability to everything, including Pennsylvania state government.  There are still volleys of partisan wrangling on the Democratic Governor’s emergency powers in a pandemic on one side and the Republican-led House and Senate to limit those powers on the other.  In many respects, Pennsylvania has mirrored the national debate on how many liberties the American people are willing to forgo to conform to the public health needs brought on by the pandemic.

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State False Claims Act...Fraud Fighter? or Physician Practice Destroyer?

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

June 19, 2020

No one, including POMA, supports fraud, waste or abuse in any form, especially in the Medicaid program, where any fraud, waste or abuse takes money away from our most vulnerable population. Legislative efforts are underway in Pennsylvania to enact a state false claims act with the intent of beefing up the Attorney General’s policing powers to go after Medicaid fraud.  However, POMA has more questions than answers about the 38-pages of legal text of the pending legislation. As drafted, only a seasoned prosecutor, plaintiff’s counsel or defense lawyer would truly understand. what the bill requires of physicians.

House Bill 2352 was moved from the committee last week and is poised for a full vote in the House chamber in the upcoming week.  POMA’s immediate concern is to protect physician practices that make honest mistakes versus those who are gaming the system with the intent to defraud.

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The State of Pennsylvania State Government

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

May 22, 2020

This is anything but a normal year for anyone, and this includes the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Governor Wolf. The impact COVID-19 has had on individuals who have fallen ill to the virus, as well as the mental health, economic security and overall well-being of the population, continues to take its toll. 

Extraordinary steps have been taken by state governments throughout the country to quarantine the population in attempts to thwart the virus. Now, as things progress toward advancing a new normal, there are conflicting opinions on if, when, and where to start lifting restrictions and moving commerce forward. These differing opinions have created a large rift between the Republican controlled General Assembly and the Democratic Governor Wolf.

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POMA Requests Liability Immunity Action from Governor Wolf

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

April 17, 2020

POMA penned a letter to Governor Wolf this week asking him to declare an Executive Order that would provide immunity for Osteopathic physicians when providing care under the COVID-19 emergency declaration. These are some of the worst circumstances for an Osteopathic physician treating patients on the front line of this epidemic. Working in a pandemic environment can create limited patient knowledge and limited resource situations for Osteopathic physicians making medical diagnoses and treating patients as efficiently as possible. POMA recognizes this and asked Governor Wolf to follow similar declarations by other Governors, including the border state of New York.

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