Aug. 18, 2020

HARRISBURG - Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Delaware) recently introduced legislation that would continue the innovations in health care that have helped fight COVID-19 and that many patients have grown accustomed to as part of their routine care.

House Bill 2779 would extend many of the regulatory waivers that have been in place for health care providers for a year beyond the COVID-19 disaster declaration. Additionally, the legislation will instruct the Joint State Government Commission, in conjunction with health care providers and administration officials, to recommend which waivers and administrative flexibilities should remain in place permanently.

“Our health care providers have been on the front lines fighting this pandemic, and as such we have given them much-needed relief from overly burdensome regulations so they can focus on delivering quality care,” Quinn said. “Patients have also enjoyed some of the advances that have come because of lifted regulations, such as better telemedicine. We should examine if these services can properly continue without unnecessary regulations. If the regulations needed to be lifted in a time of crisis, perhaps there is no need for the regulations in the first place.”

Some of the current waivers that exist that would continue under this legislation are:

• Telehealth Advancements – This allows patients to use telehealth technology for visits even when they cannot access video, sets the same rate for a telehealth visit as an in-person visit and allows for use of non-traditional telehealth platforms.
• Facility Licensure – This allows health care providers to streamline the process to provide services at facilities that are not traditionally part of the health care facility. This is what has enabled pop-up testing sites for COVID-19 and other similar practices.
• Prior Authorization – This suspends the need for prior authorization for certain Medicaid procedures as well as other managed healthcare insurance programs.

Quinn said that while this list is not exhaustive, it shows the potential areas for long-term improvement.

“It is my hope that some of this regulatory red tape can be permanently lifted to ensure better flexibility in care for patients and more time for doctors to spend on medicine as opposed to spending time on regulations,” Quinn said.
The bill has already received bipartisan support in the form of co-sponsorships.

Representative Chris Quinn
168th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rene Morrow
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