State Advocacy

The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) advocates on behalf of its members, educating state and federal lawmakers and policymakers about the health care delivery system and the numerous health care issues that impact hospitals, patients, and communities. Working with our members, HAP works to ensure that elected officials and policy leaders have the resources needed to make informed and balanced decisions.

Take Action: Ask your lawmaker to support The Health Care Heroes and Public Health Preparedness Act

HAP is asking members to contact their lawmakers and ask them to support House Bill 1359 and Senate Bill 642, Health Care Heroes and Public Health Preparedness Act (PA Heroes Act) which would set aside $650 million in grant funds for hospitals to restore the health care workforce, strengthen public health infrastructure, and address the behavioral health crisis. More information about the for HAP members is available in HAP Memo 21-05.

Not a member of HAP? Support your local hospital by supporting the PA Heroes Act at HealthyMePA’s Take Action web page.

Learn more about the PA Heroes Act at HAP's PA Heroes Act page.

State Legislative Priorities: 20212022 Session


Workforce

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

Behavioral Health

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.


Payor Reforms

Patients and providers oftentimes experience frustrating and unnecessary bureaucratic barriers to accessing and providing care when interacting with health insurance carriers. These barriers delay time-sensitive care, deny payment for necessary medical care, and postpone patient access to providers throughout Pennsylvania.

HAP supports: 

  • Prior Authorization Reform: Patients and providers are experiencing an increasing number of situations in which some insurers use the prior authorization process to deny payment or delay approval for necessary medical care. Recognizing there is a role that the prior authorization process plays, HAP supports reforming administrative barriers that delay patient access to care and services and burden providers.
  • Credentialing Reform: Before new health care practitioners or practitioners who are relocating can start seeing patients, they must be credentialed or re-credentialed separately for every insurer accepted by their practice. This lengthy and repetitive process means unnecessary delayed access to care for patients. For practitioners, it means lost income. HAP supports legislation to simplify and streamline the state’s physician credentialing process, and create a common credentialing form that all insures could use.

Medical Liability

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, national estimates of medical liability system costs—including settlements, legal and administrative costs, and defensive medicine—range from $55.6 billion annually to $200 billion.

In response to longstanding concerns about Pennsylvania’s legal climate, HAP has joined with the state’s leading business and medical voices to form the Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform (PCCJR). PCCJR’s mission is to improve the state’s overall legal liability system to help attract and retain health care providers and ensure access to health services. For more information, visit HAP’s medical liability section.


Telemedicine

Telemedicine can be used to connect providers to patients at a distance and address shortages of specialty providers, such as behavioral health or dermatology. It can be used to deliver life-saving care, such as stroke care, and routine care in a timely, cost-effective manner.

COVID-19 has propelled the use of telemedicine forward years in the span of months. HAP is dedicated to ensuring the innovations in technology and payment for services provided through telemedicine are maintained so that Pennsylvania doesn’t slip backwards, but keeps its eyes on the future of health care.

False Claims Act

HAP opposes a state-based false claims act. The hospital industry is already heavily regulated and implementing a state false claims act would jeopardize the financial viability of struggling rural hospitals and likely result in financial drain across the state. A state false claims act would:

  • Be duplicative of the federal false claims act
  • Incentivize attorneys and whistleblowers to file meritless lawsuits
  • Further stress the financial stability of hospitals, especially in rural areas

Read HAP's fact sheet for more details about how a state false claims act could jeopardize access to care in Pennsylvania.


HAP Contacts

For more information, contact Heather Tylervice president, state legislative advocacy, or; Sue Stewart, manager, political development. Media inquiries should be directed to Liam Migdail, HAP's director, media relations.

HAP News

November 24, 2021

HAP through the Years: 2000–2010

During 2021, The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) proudly marks its centennial with a look back at 100 years of milestones, advocacy, and support for Pennsylvania’s hospitals.

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