Pennsylvania Legislation

Pennsylvania’s Patient Test Result Information Act, which is set to take effect December 23, 2018, requires diagnostic imaging services providers that identify a “significant abnormality” in their test results to directly notify the patient or his/her designee within 20 days of the completed test, its review and its delivery to the ordering health care practitioner. 

USA Today, New York Times, BNA, and several other news outlets have been reporting over the last few weeks about non-competition agreements and non-compete laws especially related to low-wage workers.  There have been interesting changes and proposed changes to state laws that may affect several industries including healthcare.

In a recent article on Law360, titled

As of February 4, 2016, out-of-state athletic team physicians are permitted to provide care to their own team’s players while in Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania Senate Bill 685 and 686 amend the Medical Practice Act of 1985 and Osteopathic Medical Practice Act of 1978, to provide a limited exemption to physicians to practice without licensure in Pennsylvania. 

As of December 1, 2015, the PA Medical Society has retracted its opinion that physicians, health care practitioners and practice staff must obtain child abuse clearances under the PA Child Protective Services Law.  The PA Department of Human Services has also informally agreed that such practitioners and staff are not required to obtain clearances.  Please

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has announced that the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act annual assessment for calendar year 2013 will be 25% applied to the prevailing primary premium for each participating health care provider.  The announcement is in  the Pennsylvania Bulletin.  This represents an increase of two percentage points from the 2012

On October 9, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) announced that it has changed the Pennsylvania rules regarding the J-1 Physician Waiver Program. DOH has established three filing periods, which could result in the Conrad 30 numbers being assigned earlier in the fiscal year. Read the entire text: http://immigrationview.foxrothschild.com/j-1-waiver/j-1-physician-waivers-in-pennsylvania-change-in-processing-times/

 I mentioned recently to one of my physician practice clients that all indications suggest to me that in-office dispensing of drugs by physicians is likely to become a target for increased regulation and enforcement.  It seems like at least once a week we hear in the news about another tragedy involving prescription drug addiction.  In fact, only this week I saw a documentary spotlighting the newest illegal drug epidemic sweeping the northeast: prescription pain pills purchased from doctors in Florida and trafficked up the route 95 corridor for sale on the street.  With a street value of up to $80 per pill, prescription meds may be more profitable and easier to obtain than cocaine.

As an indication that a regulatory correction is just around the corner, a recent New York Times article casts a spotlight on the huge mark-up on prescription drugs that physicians are able get under state workers compensation programs and efforts by state legislators to control the associated costs. (See Insurers Pay Big Markups at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/12/business/some-physicians-making-millions-selling-drugs.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all).


Continue Reading

Last week, the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine published proposed regulations amending the physician controlled substances prescribing regulations to, among other things, expand the regs to include butalbital, carisoprodol and tramadol hydrochloride

Under the proposed regulations, these drugs would now be subject to the same requirements applicable in Pennsylvania to physician office prescribing of controlled

Most medical practices in Pennsylvania are aware that Pennsylvania imposes a sales and use tax on various items and services purchased by medical practices.  However, physicians are not always clear on exactly the items and services to which the tax applies.  For example, the tax applies to secretarial/administrative services purchased from a third party vendor.