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A07163
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2779
Session of
2020
INTRODUCED BY QUINN, THOMAS, HEFFLEY, STRUZZI, BERNSTINE,
SCHWEYER, SCHLOSSBERG, GROVE, RYAN, SCHLEGEL CULVER, GAYDOS,
BARRAR, MENTZER, MIZGORSKI, SAYLOR, HILL-EVANS, GREEN AND
JONES, AUGUST 18, 2020
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, AUGUST 18, 2020
AN ACT
Providing for retaining health care innovations during the
COVID-19 pandemic and imposing duties on the Joint State
Government Commission.
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 Retaining
Health Care Innovations Act.
Section 2. Purposes.
This act provides legal authority for administrative
flexibilities to continue despite the termination or expiration
of the COVID-19 disaster declaration and requires the
development of recommendations to retain innovations adopted
during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Section 3. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
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context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Administrative flexibilities." As follows:
(1) Executive orders, proclamations or regulations
issued, amended or rescinded under the COVID-19 disaster
declaration as authorized by 35 Pa.C.S. § 7301(b) (relating
to general authority of Governor).
(2) The term includes changes to policies, procedures
and practices adopted by State administrative agencies to
assist health care facilities, Federally qualified health
centers, rural health clinics, health care practitioners and
health care providers in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Commission." The Joint State Government Commission.
"COVID-19." The coronavirus disease 2019, an infectious
disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus
2 that was first identified during December 2019 in Wuhan,
China.
"COVID-19 disaster declaration." The proclamation of
disaster emergency issued by the Governor on March 6, 2020,
published at 50 Pa.B. 1644 (March 21, 2020), and renewed on June
3, August 29, 2020, and any renewal of the state of disaster
emergency, to address COVID-19, in accordance with 35 Pa.C.S. §
7301(c).
"Extension period." The one-year 90-day period from the date
of the termination or expiration of the COVID-l9 disaster
declaration during which administrative flexibilities provided
to health care facilities and health care practitioners remain
in force.
"Federally qualified health center." A health center as
defined in section 1861(aa)(4) of the Social Security Act (49
Stat. 620, 42 U.S.C. § 1395X(AA)(4)).
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"Health care facility." As defined in section 103 or 802.1
of the act of 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." As defined in section 103 of the
Health Care Facilities Act.
"Rural health clinic." A clinic as defined in section
1861(aa)(2) of the Social Security Act.
Section 4. Administrative flexibilities.
(a) Authorization.--Administrative flexibilities provided to
a health care facility, Federally qualified health center, rural
health clinic, health care practitioner or a health care
provider and adopted under the authority of the COVID-19
disaster declaration shall be extended through the extension
period or until the Joint State Government Commission issues a
report in accordance with section 6, whichever is later.
(b) Emergency operations plan.--A health care facility may
take advantage of administrative flexibilities during the
extension period even if the emergency operations plan of the
health care facility is closed.
Section 5. Advisory committee.
In developing the report under section 6, the commission
shall establish an advisory committee comprised of, but not
limited to, the following individuals:
(1) A representative recommended by the Department of
Health.
(2) A representative recommended by the Department of
Human Services.
(3) A representative recommended by the Bureau of
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Professional and Occupational Affairs of the Department of
State.
(4) A representative recommended by the Hospital and
Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.
(5) A representative recommended by the Pennsylvania
Medical Society.
(6) A representative recommended by the Rehabilitation
and Community Providers Association.
(7) A representative recommended by the Pennsylvania
State Nurses Association.
(8) A representative recommended by LeadingAge PA.
(9) A representative recommended by the Pennsylvania
Health Care Association.
(10) A representative recommended by the Pennsylvania
Association of Community Health Centers.
(11) A representative recommended by the Pennsylvania
Psychiatric Society.
(12) Any other representatives from other organizations
that are deemed appropriate by the commission.
Section 6. Report.
(a) Duty of commission.--The commission shall perform an
analysis of the administrative flexibilities described in
section 4 and issue a report to the General Assembly at least
180 days prior to the expiration of the extension period.
(b) Contents of report.--The report under this section
shall, at a minimum:
(1) Describe the administrative flexibilities granted
under the COVID-19 disaster declaration.
(2) Describe the impact of each administrative
flexibility on patient access and quality of care.
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(3) Describe the financial impact of each administrative
flexibility on both the Commonwealth and the health care
facilities, health care practitioners and health care
providers affected by the waivers.
(4) Include recommendations to the General Assembly on
whether the administrative flexibilities should be
maintained.
Section 7. Limitations.
Nothing in this act shall require the Commonwealth to
maintain administrative flexibilities that would violate Federal
law or disqualify the Commonwealth from receiving Federal
matching funds for Medicaid services.
Section 8. Construction.
Nothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit a State
administrative agency from ending any waiver or suspension of
regulations deemed to be no longer necessary during the period
of the COVID-19 disaster declaration.
Section 9. Applicability.
The provisions of this act shall not apply to administrative
flexibilities no longer in effect on the date the COVID-19
disaster declaration expires or is terminated by executive
order, proclamation or operation of law. If a State
administrative agency has submitted a public notice to the
Legislation Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania
Bulletin that provides for the expiration or termination date of
an administrative flexibility before the expiration or
termination of the COVID-19 disaster declaration, the
administrative flexibility shall be deemed expired or terminated
for purposes of this act before the end of the COVID-19 disaster
declaration.
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Section 8 10. Effective date.
This act shall take effect immediately.
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