Health & Human Services 2017-2018

The Senate Health & Human Services Committee met on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, and took the following action:

Reported as Committed:

HB 1742 (Rep. Mehaffie): This bill would require public and private child care providers that participate in the Keystone STARS program to provide their Keystone STAR-level ratings publicly.  Approved unanimously.


The Senate Health & Human Services Committee met on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 and took the following action:

Reported as Committed:

SB 1270 (Yudichak) – Creates the Childhood Blood Lead Test Act.  This act provides for blood testing for children under two years old and pregnant women.  Testing under this Act shall be covered by insurance.  It also raises awareness about lead poisoning, available treatments, and establishes an electronic registry of blood lead information.  Approved unanimously.


The Senate Health & Human Services Committee met on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, to consider the following bills:

Reported as Amended:

HB 122 (Kaufer) – Establishes the Project Lazarus Commission by amending the Alcohol Abuse Control Act.   Approved unanimously.

HB 1884 (Quinn) – Creates the Patient Test Result Information Act, which requires summaries or copies of specific radiological test results be sent directly to the patient or patient’s designee when there is a finding of a significant abnormality; and provides duties for the Department of Health (DOH).  Approved unanimously.

HB 1532 (Phillips-Hill) – Amends the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions Program (ABC-MAP) Act, by authorizing Medicaid managed care organizations (MCO) to query the system.   Approved unanimously.

SB912 (Brooks and Street) – Amends the Human Services Code by establishing a Medical Assistance presumptive eligibility program for Home Care and Home Health Services.  Approved unanimously.

HB 1829 (Bernstine) – Would establish a program for medical assistance applicants to be deemed eligible to receive services in their homes and through adult daily living centers.  Approved unanimously.

SB 1220 (Schwank)– Establishes the Advisory Council on PANDAS and PANS within the Department of Department of Health and provides for the duties of the Advisory Council on PANDAS and PANS.  The act shall be known as the Advisory Council on PANDAS and PANS Act.  Approved unanimously. 

 SB 1237 (Baker) – Establishes the Rural Health Redesign Center (Authority) and the Rural Health Redesign Center Fund through the enactment of the Rural Health Redesign Center Authority Act.  Approved unanimously.


The Senate Health & Human Services Committee met on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, and took the following action:

Reported as Amended:

HB 353 (Nesbit) – Amends the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act by requiring electronic prescriptions for Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances. The amendment provides for procedures for noncompliance in the event of a temporary technological or electronic failure; outlines the duties of the Department regarding the establishment of exemptions from using electronic prescriptions; states that chorionic gonadotropin used for injection or implantation in cattle or nonhuman species is not a schedule III. Furthermore, the amendment expands the list of electronic prescription exemptions to include patients in specific medical settings. The amendment is also technical in nature for clarifying purposes. The amendment and bill were approved unanimously.


The Senate Health & Human Services Committee met on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, and took the following action:

Reported as Committed:

HB 1659 (Tobash) – Amends the Human Services Code by mandating that adult recipients of food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) shall comply with certain work or work-related requirements. The bill moved out of committee with a vote of 8-4

HB 2138 (Dowling) – Amends the Human Services Code by mandating that certain enrollees in the medical assistance program shall meet specific work or work-related requirements as a condition of eligibility for health care through the medical assistance program. The bill moved out of committee with a vote of 8-4

Reported as Amended:

HB 1677 (Ortitay) – Amends the Human Services Code by changing references to child day care or day care to child care. The amendment is technical in nature for clarifying purposes. Approved unanimously.


The Senate Health & Human Services Committee met on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, and took the following action:

Reported as Amended:

SB 1054 (Brooks) – Enacts the Buprenorphine Medically Assisted Treatment Act, requiring for a $10,000 certification fee and licensure of Buprenorphine prescribers by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. The bill moved out of committee with a vote of 8-4 along party lines.

SB 1089 (Stefano) – Amends specific provisions of the Administrative Code by requiring behavioral health managed care organizations administering a provider network on behalf of a county for treatment of substance abuse to maintain a provider network that is geographically accessible to members as defined in the legislation. SB1089 also makes technical and clarifying changes to section XXIII of the Administrative Code. The amendment provided a definition for urban and rural for purposes of clarifying the geographical location.

SB 1001 (Costa) – Enacts the Public Health Emergency Act and authorizing the Secretary of the Department of Health to declare a public health emergency in accordance with provisions of SB1001. The amendment states that the upon a public health emergency declaration by the Secretary of the Department of Health the emergency council shall be convened in accordance with Title 35 Pa. C.S. Chapter 73. The amendment reduces the of licensure fee from $10,000 in the first year not to a fee not to exceed $500. In subsequent years, the licensure fee shall not exceed to an amount sufficient to reimburse the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs for the administrative cost to administer the act.


The Senate Health & Human Services Committee met on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, and took the following action:

Reported as Committed:

SB 1087 (Baker) – This legislation creates the Interbranch Commission on the Child-Welfare System Act.

HB 1869 (Mackenzie) – This legislation establishes the Maternal Mortality Review Committee within the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Reported as Amended:

SB 576 (Dinniman) – An Act providing for reimbursement of patient expenses associated with participation in cancer clinical trials and for duties of the Department of Health; and imposing a penalty. The amendment applies regulations for third-party reimbursement entities.

HB 1233 (Murt) – This legislation amends the Mental Health Procedures Act, establishing a new standard for court ordered assisted outpatient treatment in the community, while leaving in place the clear and present danger standard for involuntary hospitalization. The new standard would be based on a medical determination of whether a seriously mentally ill individual needs and can benefit from assisted outpatient treatment to survive safely in the community.


The Senate Health & Human Services Committee met on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, and took the following action:

Reported as Committed:

SB 623 (Yaw) – This legislation amends Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to update and revise Pennsylvania law to include the codification of Pennsylvania Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) to be used by medical professionals across all health care settings for patients who voluntarily wish to execute a POLST order.

SB 978 (Baker) – This legislation creates the Hospice and Home Health Prescription Medication Disposal Act. This act permits a home hospice provider to dispose of a patient’s pharmaceutical controlled substances.

Reported as Amended:

SB 938 (Sabatina) – This legislation amends Title 23, Chapter 63, Section 6337, of the Child Protective Services Law, reforming expungement guidelines for the Statewide Database of Protective Services within the Department of Human Services and County Child Protective Services Databases.


The Senate Health & Human Services Committee met on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, and took the following action:

Reported as Committed:

HB 644 (Baker) – This legislation amends the Community-Based Health Care Act (Act 10 of 2013) to remove the cap on funds which can be obtained by federally qualified health centers (FQHCs)

HB 1234 (Fabrizio) – This legislation amends the Health Care Facilities Act to change the length of stay in a licensed Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) to comport with that of other states and federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines.

Reported as Amended:

HB 478 (Pickett) – This legislation creates the Outpatient Psychiatric Oversight Act. The amendment adopted in committee was technical in nature. The bill was unanimously approved from committee.


The Senate Health & Human Services Committee met on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, and took the following action:

Reported As Committed:

SB 674 (Rafferty) – This legislation amends The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act by creating a process for automatic changes to schedules of controlled substance.

Reported As Amended:

SB 179 (Bartolotta) – This legislation amends the Health Care Facilities Act by developing an acute care mental health bed registry and referral system. The amendment adopted in committee adds clarifying language to the bill.

SB 439 (Fontana) – This legislation establishes the Carbon Monoxide Alarm Standards in Child Care Facilities Act. Additionally, the legislation provides standards for carbon monoxide alarms in child care facilities and imposes penalties for failing to comply with prescribed standards. An amendment was adopted in committee to expand the legislation to apply to for-profit, non-profit, and at home child care providers. Moreover, the amendment eliminates the $50.00 fine and substitutes a loss of license penalty for noncompliance.

Senator Judy Schwank

Senator Judy Schwank

Committee Chair