HAP's Latest News

4 Ways Pennsylvanians Benefit from COVID-19 Waivers and Flexibilities

HAP urges General Assembly to preserve essential emergency health care provisions

September 16, 2021

With the General Assembly’s return next week, HAP is urging lawmakers to protect pandemic-era reforms that have supported all Pennsylvanians.

In response to COVID-19, Pennsylvania authorized emergency waivers and flexibilities to ensure the commonwealth’s hospitals could properly respond to the pandemic. These essential waivers are set to expire September 30.

HAP is advocating for lawmakers to extend these critical health care measures that have allowed hospitals to continue operations during the pandemic while improving access to care.

Pennsylvanians and hospitals across the commonwealth have benefited from these essential provisions through:

  1. Expanded telehealth services to cover a wider range of care, especially for those who cannot easily access transportation, those living with disabilities, and those living in rural areas
  2. Easier access to vaccines at pharmacies
  3. Removal of licensing barriers that aggravate staffing shortages
  4. Assurance that hospitals can quickly adapt to emergencies by altering their space as necessary to care for influxes of patients

These crucial flexibilities protect the health of Pennsylvanians and the resiliency of our front line health care providers. They enable hospitals to tackle new challenges, such as the highly contagious Delta variant, staffing shortages, increased emergency room visits, and the upcoming flu season.

Failure to preserve emergency health care flexibilities will result in:

  • Fewer medical providers in a workforce already strained by staff shortages and pandemic conditions
  • Less flexibility in places to receive health care
  • Loss of access to proper care for Pennsylvanians

HAP urges everyone to learn more about the ways hospitals, patients, and our communities benefit from these COVID-19 waivers and flexibilities. This week, HAP launched an online guide to waivers and flexibilities with additional resources, including a list of pending legislation to support as lawmakers return next week.

For more information, contact Heather Tyler, vice president, state legislative advocacy, or; Sarah Lawver, director, advocacy activation.

Media inquiries should be directed to Liam Migdail, director, media relations.