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Friday, October 19, 2018

Capitol Update by Rep. Martin Causer


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Capitol Update
Friday, October 19, 2018 The latest news from the State Capitol

 
Bill to Aid Ambulance Companies on Governor’s Desk

More good news for Pennsylvania ambulance companies! Legislation that would require reimbursement for treatment provided, even if no transport takes place, is on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature.

This is another major step forward in our work to better support the ambulance services we rely upon to help save lives. As soon as an ambulance leaves the station, there is a cost. When emergency responders arrive on scene and use medications or other equipment to treat a patient, there is a cost. But under current law, if the patient declines transport to a hospital, the ambulance company receives zero reimbursement for those costs.

House Bill 1013 would require both private insurers and Medicaid to reimburse for treatment without transport as long as the following conditions are met: The Basic Life Support (BLS) or Advanced Life Support (ALS) unit must be dispatched by a county 911 center, and the EMS provider must have rendered emergency services even though the transport was declined.

This is the second major initiative to help ambulance companies approved by the House this year. In June, my proposal to increase Medicaid reimbursement for ambulance calls was incorporated into the 2018-19 state budget. The increases take effect Jan. 1.
 

Thanks for Coming! 


Thank you to everyone – senior citizens, caregivers and exhibitors – who came out to the Senior Citizens Expo in Roulette last week. It was a great crowd!
 

Rural Health Care Partnership Focus of House Hearing


This week, the House Insurance Committee held an informational meeting to learn more about legislation to help ensure the viability of rural hospitals across the state. House Bill 2532 would establish the Rural Health Redesign Center, a public-private partnership, which would administer the PA Rural Health Program. This would help strengthen rural hospitals, keep jobs local and increase access to health care.

Currently, rural hospitals are paid in an unpredictable, fee-for-service manner that leaves many facilities suffering financially. Through the program, rural hospitals would transition to a payment model that would provide a stable and steady stream of revenue, allowing these vital health care facilities to better plan the types of health services their communities need. About 67 hospitals in Pennsylvania are considered rural, and 32 of them are at risk of closure with operating margins below 0 percent.

This public-private partnership is an opportunity for these hospitals to get on some stable financial ground. These hospitals – which provide critical access to care for thousands of rural residents -- and their employees are the economic engines of most communities, and it’s imperative to keep them operational.
 

Giving the Gift of Life

Legislation that would help encourage organ and tissue donation in Pennsylvania is now on the governor’s desk.

Senate Bill 180, which unanimously passed the House last week, would expand the list of those persons authorized to decide on behalf of a decedent whether his or her organs are donated.

Among other provisions, it would also permit a minimally invasive blood or tissue test to be conducted to determine the suitability of a donor; call for education regarding organ and tissue donation and transplantation for high school students, as well as nursing and medical students; and increase the voluntary contribution made by citizens from $1 to $3 for driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals.

Currently, more than 800 Pennsylvanians are waiting for an organ transplant. More information about organ donation in Pennsylvania is available here.
 

Prescription Drug Coverage Expansion to Cover 17,000 More Seniors

Legislation to expand eligibility for the state’s PACENET prescription drug coverage program is now on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature. Up to 17,000 Pennsylvania seniors are expected to benefit from this expansion.

House Bill 270 would increase the annual maximum income limits in the PACENET program to $27,500 for a single person and to $35,500 for a married couple. Current maximum income requirements for the PACENET program, which covers those individuals with incomes exceeding PACE maximums, are $23,500 for a single individual and $31,500 for a married couple annually.

Additionally, the bill would allow two new pharmacy-based programs to be developed under the PACE program to assist seniors in monitoring their prescription drug usage. This eligibility expansion would be the first since 2004, and it is funded by proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery.
 

Designation to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence

To raise awareness of domestic violence and encourage victims to seek help, the House adopted House Resolution 1046 to designate October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.

Domestic violence – a pattern of abusive behavior used to establish power and control over an intimate partner – affects men and women in all racial, ethnic, religious, educational, social and economic backgrounds. It takes many forms, whereby victims are often subjected to abuse, harassment, threats, vandalism, trespassing, burglary, theft and stalking.

Last year, 117 people were killed in Pennsylvania by someone who was supposed to love them. More information about domestic violence is available here

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Medicare for all.

Anonymous said...

Medicare for all? - How about Medicare for NONE!

Read this: “Every Republican Senate candidate is on the hook for Mitch McConnell’s plan to cut Medicare and Social Security. First it was jeopardizing pre-existing conditions coverage, then it was pursuing an age tax that would charge older Americans more for care, and now it’s targeting the benefits Americans have paid into. This platform is disqualifying, and just like taking away coverage for pre-existing conditions, it's exactly what GOP candidates don't want to be talking about weeks before the election.”

Keep on dreaming 11:50 AM EDT - you'll wake up someday... when it's too late!