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Letter to PA House Professional Licensure Committee on House Bill 765

October 22, 2015

The Honorable Julie Harhart, Majority Chair
House Professional Licensure Committee
Room 313
Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120

The Honorable Harry Readshaw, Minority Chair
House Professional Licensure Committee
Room 221
Irvis Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Dear Representatives Harhart and Readshaw:

In anticipation of the House Professional Licensure Committee’s public hearing about House Bill 765 Printers No. 961 (Topper, R-Bedford), I am writing to share that The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s (HAP) position on this legislation is neutral.

HAP represents and advocates for approximately 240 acute and specialty care hospitals and health systems across the state and the patients they serve. A principle reason for our position on the bill (as drafted) is that the specific impact that collaborative agreements––a main component of House Bill 765––have on hospitals or health systems varies greatly.

While we are neutral on the current version of the bill, we are encouraged that key stakeholders are beginning to suggest changes that could lead to an appropriate middle ground and allow legislation that would modernize the Professional Nursing Law to move forward. As these ideas generate deeper discussion, HAP will evaluate the impact they could have on how physicians and certified registered nurse practitioners care for patients across the continuum of care.

Regardless of the immediate future of House Bill 765, the hospital community remains strongly opposed to statutory and regulatory barriers that unduly prevent any health care practitioner from caring for patients fully within their statutorily defined scope of practice. Given the rapid, unrelenting changes in health care, it is imperative that we work collectively to ensure that Pennsylvania’s Professional Nurse Law isn’t such a barrier.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our position on HB 765.

Michael Consuelos, M.D.
Senior Vice President, Clinical Integration
cc: Members of the House Professional Licensure Committee

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