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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: September 15, 2021 01:20 PM
From: Representative Anthony M. DeLuca
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting Patients & Preventing Health Care Fraud
The Federal government recently accused UPMC and one of its leading surgeons of committing health care fraud.  

The government is alleging that the surgeon booked multiple surgeries at the same time; that false claims were submitted to Medicare and Medicaid; and that patients were put at risk of serious harm. If true, these allegations show serious flaws in our health care system. 

Patients should know whether their surgeon will be in the operating room for the duration of their procedure. But as the allegations make clear – patients are not always aware if their surgeon scheduled two or three surgeries at the same time. Patients should know this prior to giving informed consent, and so I will be proposing a law requiring surgeons to inform the patient or their representative if the surgeon plans on performing two or more surgeries concurrently.  

Taxpayer dollars should not be paid on false claims. Currently, the Federal False Claims Act allows a private citizen to sue a party that submits false claims to the federal government. Pennsylvania does not have a similar law, and we are in the minority of states that do not. To incentivize whistleblowers and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent on legitimate claims, I will be proposing a Pennsylvania-version of the False Claims Act. 

Finally, we should incentivize health care workers to report when sub-par care is rendered during a surgery. To accomplish this, I will be proposing a law that requires health care workers engaged in surgery to anonymously report violations of the standard of care to a reviewer in the facility. The reviewer will then investigate the allegations and refer them to the proper law enforcement agency or professional board, if warranted.  

Ensuring quality, affordable healthcare is one of my highest priorities as a legislator. Please join me in protecting patients by supporting this legislation.   

Document #1

Introduced as HB2054

Description: Amends the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act, in informed consent, to require surgeons to disclose to the patient or the patient's authorized representative whether the physician plans to perform a concurrently scheduled surgery.

Document #2

Introduced as HB2055

Description: Creates a Pennsylvania version of the federal False Claims Act.

Document #3

Introduced as HB2056

Description: Requires health care surgery workers to report when sub-par care is given to a surgery patient.