State Legislative Priorities
HAP partnered with the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health for the Rural Health Care Transformation Summit in State College during October, 2023. Rural hospital leaders heard important updates on legislative and regulatory policy and discussed challenges facing rural providers such as the workforce emergency and financial strain.
HAP President and CEO Nicole Stallings kicked off the session recognizing the vital role that rural hospitals play in their communities and attendees heard from HAP staff on topics such as policy updates, price transparency, and legislative advocacy.
HAP has a mission to empower Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems to be the leading advocates for improving health in their communities. To be able to do that, hospitals and health systems need to have a strong workforce. With the guidance of HAP’s Health Care Talent Task Force, HAP supports initiatives to:
- Allow health care practitioners to practice at the top of their license
- Remove barriers to harness the workforce of the entire nation
- Study supply/demand data to inform policy decisions
- Improve the legal environment
- Promote diversity and inclusion
Pennsylvania’s hospital community recognizes the important connection between a patient’s behavioral health and physical health. That is why HAP supports policy changes that make sure patients suffering from behavioral health or substance use issues have access to the appropriate care, at the appropriate time.
From reducing the number of behavioral health holds in a hospital’s emergency department to looking at the overall funding and structure of the behavioral health network, HAP is working on policies to improve the overall health of every patient.
Cutting Red Tape and Retaining Innovations
The hospital community has long advocated to reduce the amount of unnecessary regulatory red tape. While health care is rightfully one of the most highly regulated industries, regulation built on top of regulation built on top of regulation has created a burdensome environment that only increases the cost of health care and impacts patient access.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed health care forever, there is a silver lining. Our hospitals have been forced to be more innovative than ever and many regulatory waivers/flexibilities that have been in place for more than a year exemplify the need to reexamine if those regulations or policies should be in place permanently or not.