State Legislative Advocacy for Family Medicine
The PAFP advocates on state government matters of importance on behalf of its members and the patients they serve. For information and updates, please refer back to this section of the PAFP website. We encourage you to advocate online via SpeakOut (below) regarding specific topics of interest to you.
ACTION ALERT ALERT!
There are no action alerts at this time. Check back later to take action on specific policy issues of interest to you.
PAFP monitoring state policy in response to coronavirus
The PAFP understands that family physicians are on the front lines of this growing public health emergency. We are monitoring state policy being enacted in response to COVID-19 and will continue to advocate for policies that are in the best interest of our members and their patients. PAFP President Tracey Conti, MD, along with our primary care physician counterparts, sent a letter calling on the Governor and Cabinet officials to mandate reimbursement for telehealth services by commercial insurers, following suit with updates adopted by the state Medicaid managed care and federal Medicare programs. Additionally, the PAFP has advocated for the allocation of life-saving PPE supplies to family medicine physicians to ensure that our members can continue treating their patients safely and effectively.
The PAFP Family Medicine Recovery Plan
Pennsylvania’s family physicians have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and have faced many unexpected challenges as a result. In order to address some of the difficulties that have arisen from this crisis, and those that have been impacting family physicians for years, the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) has developed a recovery plan for family medicine. Our plan focuses on immediate and long-term actions that can and should be taken to ensure the sustainability of the practice of family medicine as well as the health care of all Pennsylvanians. Click here to view the PAFP Family Medicine Recovery Plan.
Governmental & Practice Advocacy Committee
This committee guides our policy positions on health care legislation and regulations. For PAFP members interested in joining please visit our PAFP Leadership page.
The PAFP uses SpeakOut, an advocacy tool developed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, to distribute Advocacy Alerts to members as needed. Click here for more information on how this advocacy tool works. Watch this page for future SpeakOut campaigns.
One of the ways primary care professionals can effect change is to personally engage those individuals who write and pass legislation on the state level. Physicians and medical students are well-respected members of the community and having their voices heard makes a difference. The PAFP has put together a brief primer to help you get involved.
Passage of H.R. 625
PAFP President Tracey Conti, MD explains PAFP's response to the passage of H.R. 625
COVID-19 Treatment Strategies in Pennsylvania
PAFP President Tracey Conti, MD testifies before the Pa. House Health Committee
PAFP 2020-21 State Legislative Agenda
Prior Authorization Reform
Prior authorizations have become significantly burdensome to family physicians, and more importantly, result in delays and jeopardized quality care to patients. The PAFP supports reforms that would maximize electronic communications for authorizations as well as adverse determinations, and define consistent response times for authorizations, rejections, appeals, and external utilization review.
Nurse Practitioner Independence
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are integral, valuable members of the health care team, held in the highest regard by family physicians. However, patients are best served when a physician-led, highly coordinated health care team provides care. The PAFP opposes legislation that would expand their scope of practice to all areas of the state and eliminate collaborative agreements.
Health in All Policies
Health in All Policies (HiAP) is a collaborative approach that integrates health considerations into policymaking across state government to improve the health of all communities and people. The PAFP supports the adoption of a state HiAP strategy in order to help address social determinants of health and health disparities, and assist the Commonwealth in developing the most effective and achievable means for improving the health and well-being of all Pennsylvanians.
Health Insurer Credentialing Reform
Delays in credentialing of new physicians or existing physicians changing practices create undo hardships most notably on the communities they serve. The PAFP supports legislation that would standardize the credentialing form and set processing standards.
Buprenorphine Medically Assisted Treatment Act
Access to care for patients suffering from substance abuse disorder is critical, and state regulation could significantly jeopardize access to office based opioid treatment (OBOT). The PAFP opposes legislation that would require prescribers of Buprenorphine to be licensed by the state and pay a state licensing fee.
Expanding Pharmacy Vaccinations to Minors
The PAFP opposes legislation that would amend the Pharmacy Practice Act and allow pharmacists to administer all CDC recommended vaccinations to patients 9 years of age and older. As part of a compromise several years ago, pharmacists obtained the ability to provide influenza vaccine to those 9 and older.
International Medical Graduate Requirements
International medical graduates play a vital role in our country’s health care delivery system and are held to the same educational standards as those who matriculate from medical schools in the United States and Canada. The PAFP supports bringing licensing requirements for international medical graduates in line with those for U.S. and Canadian medical graduates in order to help increase the number of licensed physicians available to treat patients in the Commonwealth.
Direct Primary Care Authorizing Legislation
DPC is a model of care outside the bounds of health
insurance and an emerging option for patients and physicians. The PAFP supports legislation that specifies
direct primary care agreements are not insurance and therefore not subject to
insurance laws or regulations.
In this age of health system
consolidations, PAFP supports legislation limiting restrictive covenants in
health care practitioner employment agreements.
The PAFP supports updating and revising Pennsylvania law to include codification of Pennsylvania Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) to be used by medical professionals across all health care settings for patients who voluntarily wish to execute a POLST order.
Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers
The PAFP supports legislation that
requires employers to provide employees time to express breast milk in a
sanitary environment for her nursing child.
Frivolous Complaints to the State Board of Medicine
When complaints against physicians to the Pa. Department of State are found to be frivolous or lack merit by the Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (BEI), physicians must continue to disclose them when asked if their license has ever been subject to an investigation or complaint. Because the details of BEI investigations are confidential, physicians are unable to explain the nature of the complaint. The PAFP supports legislation that would remove the requirement that physicians acknowledge a complaint if the case was closed without any formal action by BEI or the Board of Medicine.
PAFP’s State Legislative Agenda is crafted through the Government and Practice Advocacy Committee with position decisions made by the Board of Directors.
Questions/Comments? Please contact Jennifer Reis, Chief Government Affairs Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.