PRINTER'S NO. 4622
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2973
Session of
2020
INTRODUCED BY ZIMMERMAN, DIAMOND, RYAN, OWLETT, KAUFFMAN, KEEFER
AND JONES, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
AN ACT
Providing for vaccination schedule for pediatric and adult
patients and for coverage, compensation and reimbursement for
vaccinations; and imposing penalties.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Immunization
Freedom Act.
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." The United
States Department of Health and Human Services Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
"Department." The Department of Health of the Commonwealth.
"Health care facility." A facility which is licensed by the
department to operate as a health care facility under the act of
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July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48), known as the Health Care
Facilities Act.
"Health care practitioner." As defined in section 103 of the
Health Care Facilities Act.
"Health care provider." An individual, a trust or estate, a
partnership, a corporation, the Commonwealth or a political
subdivision or instrumentality of the Commonwealth that operates
a health care facility.
"Health insurance policy." A policy, subscriber contract,
certificate or plan issued by an insurer that provides hospital,
medical or surgical health care coverage. The term does not
include any of the following:
(1) An accident only policy.
(2) A credit only policy.
(3) A long-term care or disability income policy.
(4) A specified disease policy.
(5) A Medicare supplement policy.
(6) A fixed indemnity policy.
(7) An adult-only dental only policy.
(8) A vision only policy.
(9) A workers' compensation policy.
(10) An automobile medical payment policy.
(11) A policy under which benefits are provided by the
Federal Government to active or former military personnel and
their dependents.
(12) Any other similar policies providing for limited
benefits.
"Insurer." An entity that offers, issues or renews an
individual or group health, accident or sickness insurance
policy, contract or plan, and that is governed under any of the
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following:
(1) 40 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 (relating to hospital plan
corporations).
(2) 40 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to professional health
services plan corporations).
(3) The act of May 17, 1921 (P.L.682, No.284), known as
The Insurance Company Law of 1921, including section 630 and
Article XXIV.
(4) The act of December 29, 1972 (P.L.1701, No.364),
known as the Health Maintenance Organization Act.
"License." Any of the following:
(1) A license issued by a Commonwealth licensing agency
or board to an individual to practice as a health care
practitioner.
(2) A license issued to a health care provider by the
department to operate as a health care facility.
Section 3. Vaccination schedule for pediatric and adult
patients.
(a) Pediatric patients.--
(1) A health care practitioner may not cease to provide
pediatric care to a patient when the parent or legal guardian
of a patient chooses to utilize a vaccination schedule that
varies from the vaccination schedule recommended by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if the patient
receives no less than one vaccination each calendar year.
(2) A health care practitioner may request a meeting
with the parent or legal guardian of a patient receiving
pediatric care to discuss a proposed vaccination schedule.
The health care practitioner may not bill the patient, the
patient's parent or legal guardian or the patient's insurer
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for a meeting under this paragraph.
(3) A health care practitioner may establish a secure
waiting room in a health care facility for patients who
utilize a vaccination schedule that varies from the
vaccination schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. Nothing in this paragraph shall be
construed to authorize a health care practitioner to limit
the hours when patients receiving a pediatric care can
schedule their appointments with the health care practitioner
in a manner to restrict the ability of the patients to have
their health care needs met.
(4) Upon agreeing on a vaccination schedule with the
parent or legal guardian of a patient receiving pediatric
care, a health care practitioner may issue a standing order
to a designee of the health care practitioner to ensure that
the patient utilizes the vaccination schedule. A standing
order under the paragraph may not prohibit the compensation
or reimbursement of a health care practitioner for other
services rendered by a health care practitioner.
(b) Adult patients.--A health care practitioner may not
cease to provide health care services to a patient who is 18
years of age or older when the patient does not utilize
vaccinations with the intent to booster the immune system.
Section 4. Coverage, compensation or reimbursement for
vaccinations.
(a) Insurers.--An insurer may not refuse to provide coverage
under a health care policy or compensate or reimburse a health
care practitioner operating within the scope of his or her
practice for a vaccination administered on a schedule that
varies from the vaccination schedule recommended by the Centers
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for Disease Control and Prevention.
(b) Financial incentives.--Except for compensating or
reimbursing a health care practitioner for the cost of a
vaccination and the administration of a vaccination, an insurer
may not provide financial incentives to a health care
practitioner to provide vaccinations.
Section 5. Penalties.
A health care practitioner who violates section 3 shall be
subject to administrative penalties imposed before the health
care practitioner's Commonwealth licensing agency or board for
unprofessional conduct.
Section 6. Effective date.
This act shall take effect immediately.
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