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Warm Hand-off Study Resolution Clears First Hurdle

April 16, 2019

Today, the House Human Services Committee considered House Resolution 216. Sponsored by freshman lawmaker Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks), the resolution establishes a task force within the House of Representatives on “overdose recovery” and directs the Joint State Government Committee to establish an advisory committee aimed at studying the warm hand-off treatment for individuals with substance abuse disorder.

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House Committee Passes Legislation Creating Opioid Task Force Focused on Children

April 09, 2019

Recognizing that the opioid crisis remains a major concern in the commonwealth, state Representative Clint Owlett (R–Tioga) has introduced legislation to establish the Opioid Abuse Child Impact Task Force.

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Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative Set for April Launch; Hospitals Join Forces to Improve Mom and Baby Outcomes

April 08, 2019

The Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative will launch during April, with a focus on reducing maternal mortality and improving care for pregnant and postpartum women and newborns affected by opioids. Hospitals are encouraged to join the PA PQC by April 17 and to register for the first Learning Collaborative session.

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AHRQ, GAO Report on Use—and Underuse—of Behavioral Health Services

April 05, 2019

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) last week released a Statistical Brief analyzing inpatient stays involving mental and substance use disorders (MSUD) in community hospitals. AHRQ examined MSUD-related inpatient stay characteristics, including costs, length of stay, discharge status, patient demographics, primary expected payor, and hospital location. 

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New Medicare Prescription Drug Policies Address Opioid Epidemic

April 02, 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced new safety policies for the use of opioid medications covered by the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. The goal is to reduce opioid misuse while preserving medically necessary access to these medications. 

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Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Funding Extension Reintroduced

March 14, 2019

A bipartisan, bicameral group of federal lawmakers today held a press conference to announce the introduction of the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act—legislation that would extend and expand the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic initiative.

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News Release: Innovative Pilot Aims to Boost Rural Community Health

March 05, 2019

Members of the hospital community joined Wolf Administration leaders today to announce a new pilot program designed to improve rural community health and provide financial stability for rural hospitals.

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AHA Releases Report, Resources on Telehealth

March 01, 2019

The American Hospital Association (AHA) Center for Health Innovation released the second in a series of new market intelligence tools for hospital and health system leaders. Telehealth: A Path to Virtual Integrated Care is based on information and insights from interviews with hospital and health system leaders and other health care experts, surveys of hospital and health systems, and a number of health care reports and research articles.

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PA House Committee Dives into DOH and DDAP Budget Requests

February 26, 2019

Appearing before the House Appropriations Committee, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) faced questioning from members of the committee about the department’s budgetary requests for the 2019–2020 fiscal year.

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PA Health System Honored with Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Health Improvement

February 12, 2019

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health has been named the 2018 Foster G. McGaw Prize Winner, recognizing the system’s work to address Lancaster County’s social determinants of health and wellness needs.

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PA Hospitals Encouraged to Submit Innovative Programs to 2019 HAP Achievement Awards

January 23, 2019

It’s no secret that Pennsylvania’s health care landscape is changing at an increasingly rapid pace and its hospitals and health systems are rising to that challenge through innovative programs to improve the quality of care, patient experience, and technology to meet the needs of the communities they serve. HAP members are encouraged to review the 2019 Achievement Awards Call for Entries and submit their innovative patient-centered initiatives that improve health care quality and efficiency and the health of their communities by March 1.

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Pennsylvania Department of Health Announces New Substance Use Disorder Loan Repayment Program

January 22, 2019

Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Substance Use Disorder Loan Repayment Program offers educational loan repayment to practitioners who provide behavioral health care and treatment for substance use disorder and opioid addiction in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas and designated high substance use counties. The program aims to increase access to behavioral health care services associated with opioid use in underserved and high-use communities and improve recruitment and retention of health practitioners in underserved and opioid high-use communities.

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New CDC Study Finds Guidelines Help to Decrease Opioid Prescriptions, but Geographic Disparities Remain

January 17, 2019

This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new study about opioid prescribing trends. The study found that physicians have reduced the overall frequency with which they are prescribing opioids following the CDC’s release of its Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. The rates of reductions, however, vary between urban and rural areas

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Governor Wolf Sworn in to Second Term with New Lieutenant Governor Fetterman

January 15, 2019

Today, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) was sworn in for his second term as the commonwealth’s top executive and John Fetterman (D) was installed as the state’s new Lieutenant Governor.

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Wolf Administration Officials Provide Updates on Efforts to Address the Opioid Crisis

January 07, 2019

Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Health, and representatives from state agencies outlined key accomplishments of Governor Wolf’s first term and outlined their priorities for his second term. These accomplishments include increasing the availability of naloxone through a standing order for the drug, increasing access to medication-assisted treatment through Medicaid expansion, implementing a warm hand-off protocol, just to name a few.

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