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PA House Approves Two Health Care-Related Bills

June 20, 2017

Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives considered two pieces of legislation addressing the safety of health care practitioners and a measure to help curb the opioid crisis.

First, the chamber voted to approve a measure to protect health care workers in their line of duty. House Bill 646, sponsored by Rep. Judy Ward (R-Blair), increases the penalty for an assault on a health care worker from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a felony of the second degree.

As defined in the legislation, a health care practitioner includes any health care professional who has a license, permit, or certificate from the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs of the Department of State.

HAP supports this legislation and applauds Rep. Ward for her continued effort to see this legislation to the Governor’s desk and her colleauges for their supportive vote.

Second, the chamber considered House Bill 353, sponsored by Rep. Ted Nesbit (R-Mercer). This legislation requires electronic prescribing for an opioid and is aimed at reducing the potential for fraudulent prescriptions and stolen prescription pads. The HAP-supported bill was also amended to allow facilities up to a year to implement a system and provides for exemptions in situations where electronic prescribing is not feasible.

Both pieces of legislation now head to the Senate for consideration.

For more information about these pieces of legislation, contact HAP’s Stephanie Watkins, vice president, state legislative advocacy.

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