Click here for updates on all of the bills the PaACC is following.
NOVEMBER NOTABLE UPDATE
The state Senate approved legislation that promotes telemedicine as a way to overcome barriers to quality patient care created by distance and reduce the costs of those services. Senate Bill 705 specifically defines “telemedicine” as “the delivery of health care services to a patient by a health care provider who is at a different location,” and allows anyone licensed, certified, or otherwise regulated to provide health care services by Pennsylvania law to provide telemedicine services. Each of Pennsylvania’s licensure boards will develop regulations within the scope of practice and standard of care, with the rules taking into consideration model policies and clinical guidelines for appropriate use of telemedicine, as well as providing for patient privacy and data security standards compliant with federal and state law. The bill is now in the state House for its consideration.
Great news!….Governor Tom Wolf just signed much needed informed consent reform legislation (SB 425) into law. Our chapter has strongly supported this bill and communicated the importance of reform. Now known as "Act 61 of 2021” this important legislation corrects the misguided Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision from 2017.
The new law basically says that a physician may delegate another person, generally another physician or qualified practitioner (typically CRNP, PA, CRNA, resident/fellow doctor) to obtain consent but that person must have knowledge of the procedure and of the case, and be acting in concert with the doctor doing the procedure.
This will return our cardiology teams to our previous efficiency and will improve patient care when seconds count. The perfect example of why we supported this: the CCU cardiologist should absolutely be able to rapidly obtain witnessed informed consent from a patient with STEMI/ACS/CHB/shock, etc. on the way to Cath Lab.
Also, we are planning a PaACC Cardiology Advocacy Day in Harrisburg on Monday, September 27th to meet with key legislators and staff. We are working on the details but plan on coming in the evening before, discussing issues/strategies as a team over dinner (including our lobbyists) and then starting early the following morning. For those of you want to participate but would rather sleep in your own bed and come in early Monday morning, that is fine. Please let us know if you are considering or definitely want to join us by completing this form. You are not making a firm commitment, this just provides an idea of who is interested so we can target our communications.
Finally, there has been some other movement in bills that we support, including passage out of committee of these:
HB 1220 (to reform the terrible ACT 112 - notification of patients' tests)
These positive steps are victories of all of us (physicians, CVTeam, staff, and patients) and we need YOUR continued help to get these across the finish line. We will keep you updated as the process continues to unfold.
Andrew R. Waxler, MD, FACC
Immediate Past President, PaACC
ACC Governor, representing Eastern Pennsylvania
(Pictured: PA delegation at the U.S. Capitol during Legislative Conference)
Pennsylvania Chapter, American College of Cardiology