Senate Bill Updates
SB25 | Provides for Full-Practice Authority to Nurse Practitioners
SB428 | Patient-Centered Focus in Treatment of Opioid Addiction
SB623 | Orders of Life Sustaining Treatment
SB655 | Advisory Council proposed to be added to the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act
SB780 | Authorizing the Practice of Telemedicine - Consistent Licensure\Certification and Standards of Care between In-Person and Telemedicine-Provided Practice for Health Care Professionals; Insurance Coverage of Telemedicine
SB859 | Creates a Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee and Grant Program | Former SB569
SB1054 | Certification of Buprenorphine Office-Based Prescribers
SB1169 | Genetic Counselor Counseling | Scope of Practice to Include Ordering Genetic Laboratory Tests and Other Diagnostic Studies
SB 25 | 2017-2018 Session | Bartolotta, Camera (R) | Provides for Full-Practice Authority to Nurse Practitioners | Former SB 717, 2015-2016 Session
Summary: SB 25 would amend The Professional Nursing Law. SB 25 would permit full-practice authority for a certified nurse practitioner or advanced practice registered nurse-certified nurse practitioner to practice as a licensed independent practitioner within scope of practice of specific clinical specialty area or population focus where nurse is certified and licensed by Board. SB 25 provides for a nurse practitioner to have an exception to the collaboration requirement when a nurse practitioner can demonstrate a collaboration agreement or written agreement for a period of not less than three (3) years and not less than 3600 hours with a physician. Currently, 22 states and the District of Columbia allow nurse practitioners to have full practice authority. Final passage of SB 25 occurred on April 26, 2017, with a 39-10 vote. On April 27, 2017, SB 25 was referred to the House Professional Licensure Committee. Press conference held on April 17-18, 2018. Link to Senator Bartolotta’s Modernization of the Professional Nursing Law Memorandum.
SB 428 | 2017-2018 Session | Bartolotta, Camera (R) | Patient-Centered Focus in Treatment of Opioid Addiction
Summary: The purposes of SB 428 is to amend Title 35 (Health and Safety) to provide for more patient-centered focus in the treatment of opioid addiction. Specifically, SB 428 provides for a new chapter to be created (52B) for the establishment of patient-centered opioid treatment certification. Under SB 428, the Department of Human Services is directed to establish a program for the certification of office-based opioid treatment providers, opioid treatment providers and abstinence-based treatment providers. Each provider shall be required to establish treatment protocols and standard medical practices in opioid treatment. Referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on March 2, 2017 and passed over on May 22, 2018, during that committee meeting. Link to Senator Bartolotta’s Patient-Centered Opioid Addiction Treatment Memorandum.
SB 623 | 2017-2018 Session | Yaw, Gene (R) | Orders of Life Sustaining Treatment
Summary: SB 623 would provide for codification of PA Orders of Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST), which could be used by medical professionals across all health care settings for patients who voluntarily wish to execute a POLST order. Senate Yaw noted that POLST orders are different from advance directives in that POLST orders convert an individual’s wishes regarding health care into a medical order that is immediately actionable and applicable across all health care settings. In contrast, advance directives often only name a surrogate decision-maker to make health care decisions for the individual or often lack specificity as to the individual’s goals and preferences for a medical condition that subsequently develops because it was not foreseen by the individual. This bill provides for other matters as well. Referred to HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Oct. 5, 2017. Reported as committed and first consideration on December 12, 2017. Second consideration on January 29, 2018. Re-referred to Senate Appropriates on January 29, 2018. Re-reported as committed on September 24, 2018. Amended on third consideration on September 25, 2018. Third consideration and final passage on October 1, 2018 (47-1). Remarks will be in Senate Journal, page ___, for October 1, 2018. Referred to House Health Committee on October 3, 2018.
SB 655 | 2017-2018 Session | Yaw, Gene | Advisory Council proposed to be added to The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act
Summary: An Act amending the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, further providing for a definition of “Advisory Council,” to mean the Pennsylvania Safe Effective Opioid Prescribing Advisory Council. The proposed advisory council would consist of 25 members for two-year terms (initially, some members will be one-year terms). SB 655 would provide for two members of the advisory council to be from the nursing profession, which states: “TWO REPRESENTATIVES OF A STATEWIDE ORGANIZATION REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF NURSING PROFESSIONALS.” However, there is nothing specific in the bill for nurse practitioners to be on the advisory council. The same applies for physicians. SB 655 also providers for the promulgation of regulations by Department of Health related to the prescribing of opioids consistent with the prescribing guidelines issued by the advisory council, which would include regulations related to the prescribing of opioids in the following areas of practice: (1) Treatment of chronic noncancer pain; (2) Emergency department pain treatment (3) Dental practice; (4) Dispensing; (5) Obstetrics and gynecology pain treatment; (6) Geriatric pain; (7) Use of addiction treatment medications in the treatment of pregnant patients with opioid use disorders; (8) Safe prescribing of benzodiazepines for acute treatment of anxiety and insomnia; (9) Orthopedics and sports medicine. On May 2, 2017, SB 655 was referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. First consideration was on June 21, 2017. Second consideration was on September 20, 2017, and was re-referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee on the same day. On May 21, 2018, SB 655 was re-reported as committed. Re-reported as committed on May 21, 2018. Amended on third consideration on June 11, 2018. Remarks, see Senate Journal Page of June 11, 2018. Third consideration and final passage on June 12, 2018 (49-0). Referred to House Health Committee on June 14, 2018. Link to Senator Yaw’s Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Memorandum.
SB 780 | 2017-2018 | Vogel, Jr., Elder (R) | Authorizing the Practice of Telemedicine – Consistent Licensure/Certification and Standards of Care between In-Person and Telemedicine-Provided Practices for Health Care Professionals; Insurance Coverage of Telemedicine
Summary: Telemedicine is the remote delivery of health care services and medical information using telecommunications technology. Telemedicine is a significant and rapidly growing component of health care. Through the use of telemedicine, specialists and other health care providers are able to expand their reach, helping rural patients stay in their communities and avoid traveling long distances for specialized care. SB 780 was referred to the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on June 22, 2017. SB 780 was amended on second consideration on April 24, 2018. Laid on table and removed from table on June 6, 2018. Second consideration with amendments on June 11, 2018, at Printer Number 1852 (49-0). Referred to Senate Appropriations Committee on June 11, 2018. Third consideration and final passage on June 13, 2018 (49-0). Remarks in Senate Journal for June 13, 2018. Referred to House Professional Licensure Committee on June 19, 2018. Link to Senator Vogel’s Telemedicine Memorandum. Reported as amended, first consideration and laid on table on September 24, 2018. Removed from table on September 25, 2018. For Remarks see House Journal Page ___, October 11, 2018
SB 859 | 2017-2018 Session | Greenleaf, Stewart (R) | Creates a Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee and Grant Program | Former SB 569
Summary: SB 859 would create a Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee. The committee would be no more than 33 members, and would include public and private agencies and organizations. The committee would provide or advocate for mental health treatment and services, agencies which provide housing for the mentally ill, victim service agencies, drug and alcohol treatment providers, police, district attorneys, public defenders, judges of the courts of common pleas, county adult and juvenile probation officers, county wardens and any other individuals with expertise in the public safety response and management, treatment or provision of services to individuals with mental illness involved in the juvenile justice or criminal justice system. Grants would be provided to assist in planning, implementing or expanding initiatives that increase public safety, avert increased spending on criminal justice and improve the effectiveness of treatment services for individuals with mental illnesses, substance abuse disorders or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders who are involved or at risk of involvement with the criminal justice system. Grants would be provided based on funding availability. Senator Greenleaf’s Memorandum can be found here. Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee on August 29, 2017. First consideration on March 27, 2018. Second consideration and re-referred to Senate Appropriations Committee on April 16, 2018. Re-reported as committed on June 4, 2018. Laid on the table (Pursuant to Senate Rule 9), on June 22, 2018. Link to Senator Greenleaf’s Criminal Justice and Mental Health Reinvestment Act Memorandum.
SB 1054 | 2017-2018 Session | Brooks, Michelle (R) | Certification of Buprenorphine Office-Based Prescribers
Summary: SB 1054 provides for the certification of buprenorphine office-based prescribers; limits the use of buprenorphine; and imposes powers and duties on the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. On February 16, 2018, SB 1054 was referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. SB 1054 was reported as amended on May 22, 2018 with a 7-5 vote. The amendment (A07130) changed the term license to certification and changed the fee for the certification of the buprenorphine office-based prescriber from $10,000 to $500 for the first year of certification. First consideration was May 22, 2018. On May 23, 2018, SB 1054 second consideration occurred and the bill was re-referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senator Brooks indicated that Pennsylvania drug and alcohol service provider associations support the bill and opined a strong treatment program is needed as opposed to simply access. Link to Senator Brook’s Licensure of Prescribers of Suboxone Memorandum.
SB 1169 | 2017-2018 Session| Killion, Thomas (R) | Genetic Counselor Counseling | Scope of Practice to Include Ordering Genetic Laboratory Tests and Other Diagnostic Studies
Summary: SB 1169 would amend the Medical Practice Act of 1985 by expanding the scope of practice of a genetic counselor to include the ability to order genetic laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies. Referred to Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee on May 10, 2018. Reported as committed and first consideration on June 12, 2018. Second consideration on June 18, 2018. Set on the Senate Calendar on June 27, 2018. Laid on the table on September 25, 2018.