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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 4, 2018 01:34 PM
From: Senator Judy Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Women's Health Funding
After the passage of the Affordable Care Act, many of the services which were previously funded by Federal funds earmarked for family planning services are now available with no co-payment requirement. This does not change the need for additional funding for women’s health services, but does require that the Commonwealth reprioritize where the funds are used.

As a result, I am reintroducing Senate Bill 300 of last session, legislation that will provide direction to the Pennsylvania Department of Health as to how it must prioritize the allocation of public funds for family planning purposes. Effectively, this legislation will favor more conventional health care providers over unconventional providers when allocating public funds for women’s health.

Currently, limited federal and state public funding exists for family planning and preventive health services for women. To ensure maximized use of funding, this legislation will prioritize the distribution to the most efficient point-of-service health care providers and encourage complete medical records for all services provided to women.

Under the proposal, public entities will receive the highest priority for receiving such funds, followed by non-public hospitals and federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics and non-public health providers that have their primary purpose as the provision of primary health care. Women’s health services are considered “primary health care” and such services should be encouraged to be provided by those health care professionals who participate in electronic health records and integrated health systems.

This legislation is focused on improving the quality of health care for women and will not reduce the level of public funding allocated for women’s health services.

Senate Bill 300 is modeled after House Bill 1542 which I sponsored in the House of Representatives with Representative Paul Schemel this past session. During the 2017-18 legislative session, SB 300 was approved by the Senate Finance Committee.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB271