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Hospital-Related State Legislation Advances Prior to Holiday Break

December 13, 2017

As the Pennsylvania legislature wraps up its last session week of 2017, both chambers considered two pieces of hospital-related legislation.

House Bill 1234, sponsored by Rep. Florindo Fabrizio (D-Erie), passed the Senate unanimously and now heads to Governor Wolf’s desk for his signature. The HAP-supported legislation updates the Health Care Facilities Act to reflect the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines for ambulatory surgical facilities (ASC). There have been advancements in technology and shifts in how health care is delivered since the Pennsylvania law was developed in the 1990s. This legislation updates the law by amending the definition of “ambulatory surgical facility” to reflect a procedure lasting no more than 24 hours. Currently, regulations limit surgical procedures in an ASC to four hours of operating time and four hours of supervised recovery time.

In addition, House Bill 1821, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Neuman (D-Washington), passed the state House of Representatives unanimously. In an effort to address the back log of untested rape kits reported by the Pennsylvania Auditor General in 2016, the bill updates the Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act of 2006 by clarifying timeframes and setting up a hotline for facilities to call if a rape kit has not been picked up within 72 hours. This legislation now goes to the Senate for their consideration when they return in January.

Specifically, the bill:

  • Requires facilities to notify the Department of Health through a specific hotline if a rape kit has not been picked up within the required 72 hour timeframe. Current law already required that law enforcement pick up the kit within 72 hours.
  • Requires facilities to notify law enforcement within 12 hours of conducting a rape kit

For questions or more information, please contact Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, legislative advocacy.

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