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HAP Notes Important Role of Surgical Technologists, Raises Concerns about Certification Bill

April 11, 2018

Earlier today, HAP participated in a public hearing about House Bill 1805 (Ward, R-Hollidaysburg), legislation that would require surgical technologists to be certified and undergo annual continuing education.

Appearing before the state House Professional Licensure Committee, Scott Bishop, HAP’s senior vice president, legislative advocacy, and Robert Shipp, HAP’s vice president, population health strategies, delivered testimony that acknowledged the important role surgical technologists play in the delivery of health care, but shared several concerns about the provisions of HB 1805.

Bishop and Shipp told the legislative panel that the bill would treat this category of practitioners differently from other health care disciplines, imposing far more extensive oversight and more narrow options for certification. More specifically, the two said the bill:

  • Has a continuing education requirement that is not aligned with other health care disciplines
  • Requires hospitals to monitor continuing education compliances, which is inconsistent with other health care disciplines
  • Conflicts with the Department of Health’s role of regulating facilities, as opposed to individuals
  • Contains scope of practice and licensing discrepancies
  • Will impact access to services and cost
  • Promotes a single vendor for key parts of the certification process

HAP also emphasized that certification is not a panacea for improved quality. In fact, they shared data from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that demonstrated that Pennsylvania hospitals are doing better than the national average in preventing surgical site infections.

For more information, contact Scott Bishop, HAP’s senior vice president, legislative advocacy, or Robert Shipp, vice president, population health strategies.

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