Nurse Staffing Ratios – Author of legislation that would require hospitals to post the staffing levels for RNs, LPNs, CANs in patient care areas. The bill would also require the state Department of Health to compile and publish quarterly reports of this information for each Pennsylvania hospital.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization – Supported each authorization to extend health insurance for children and has recently called on the federal government to permanently reauthorize and fund so that no disruption in payments and services occur to the states.
CARE Act – Supported the law that would allow family caregivers who are tasked with assisting loved ones at home to be provided with support on the individual’s recovery plan once they are released from the hospital.
Oral Chemotherapy Medication – Supported the new law to provide for insurance coverage for oral chemotherapy medication. The enactment of this law gave more patients access to various chemotherapy medications and required health insurance companies to offer plans that include the coverage of oral and intravenous chemotherapy medication.
Pharmacy Audits – Voted in favor of the law that established procedures for conducting audits on pharmacy benefit managers and requires them to provide a pharmacy with a written report of the audit. The law also requires Pharmacy Benefits Managers to register with the state Insurance Department and establishes minimum requirements on multiple source generic drug lists for pharmaceutical drugs.
Health Insurance Navigators – Voted in favor of the law called the “Navigator Accessibility and Regulation Act,” that requires those who help enroll citizens in Medicaid or a private insurance plan to register with the state Department of Insurance and to pass a criminal background check. This is to ensure the safety of a consumer’s private information and to be sure that the navigator is relaying correct information.
Fairness in Multiple Co-Payments – Supported legislation that was enacted to ensure that individuals do not have to pay multiple copayments for various medical services, including those provided by a physical therapist, occupational therapist and chiropractor.
Suicide Prevention – Supported the “Matt Adler Suicide Prevention Continuing Education Act,” which was designed to raise awareness for suicide prevention and require individuals licensed by the State Board of Psychology or the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors to complete continuing education in the assessment, treatment and management of suicide risks.
Increased Access to Flu Shots for Children – Voted in favor of updates to the state Pharmacy Act to allow pharmacists to give flu shots to children ages 9 and older, with parental consent.
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact – Supported enactment of a law that authorized Pennsylvania to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. This allows medical professionals to obtain licensure in other states more easily.
Modernization of the Professional Nursing Law – Supports legislation that updates the Professional Nursing Law to provide for the title of a certified nurse practitioners in Pennsylvania to include certified registered nurse practitioner, registered nurse practitioner, certified nurse practitioner and nurse practitioner. This legislation will allow these health care professionals to expand the scope of practice to areas of which they have been trained therefore providing more provider options, choice and accessibility to patients.
Flu Vaccine Information – Voted in favor of requirements for the Department of Health to prepare and publicize information on the influenza vaccine for people who reside in assisted living and personal care homes.
Notification of Certain Drug Prescriptions – Supported enactment of updates to the Generic Equivalent Drug Law that now requires pharmacists to alert a patient’s doctor before a pharmacist may give biosimilar products to the patient. Prior to this measure, pharmacists were allowed to give patients lower-costing generic drugs instead of brand name products if they are biosimilar products. This measure ensures that doctors must be consulted before patients receive a biosimilar drug that might not be the best medical option for them.
Prostate Cancer – Supported the “Prostate Cancer Surveillance, Education, Detection and Treatment Act” to raise awareness about prostate cancer.
Medical Marijuana – Ardent supporter of the groundbreaking legislation that legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania to allow for the treatment of certain medical conditions.
Right to Try – Voted in favor of the law to permit eligible patients to request and use investigational drugs, biological products and medical devices not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if the patient has a terminal illness and passes other requirements.
Pediatric Cancer Research State Income Tax Form Check-off – Supported enactment of law to provide taxpayers the option to donate to Pediatric Cancer Research.
UPMC-Highmark – While the agreement in June 2019 was welcome news and a relief to thousands of patients and consumers that went a long way in establishing stability in healthcare access in Western Pennsylvania, I am still working to advance a permanent solution so that we never revisit this terrible situation again. I am co-sponsor of legislation that would require hospitals and physicians operating as part of an integrated delivery network to contract with all insurers, consumers will not be denied care, or worse abandoned mid-treatment, simply because they hold one type of insurance over another. All consumers should be afforded access to these vital hospital and physician services, regardless of which insurance card they carry. Secondly, the legislation would eliminate the ability of any dominant hospital system from demanding unreasonable rates for services from insurers, and in turn raising the overall cost of health care because they are the “must have” system in the area.
Making Wealthy “Non-profit” Corporations Pay their Fair Share – While we recognize and respect the fact that both Highmark and UPMC have been vital employers and participants in our region’s economic growth, their leadership should understand that if they continue to operate like for-profit businesses, our property tax laws will treat them as such. I have authored legislation that would require that large non-profits pay real estate taxes based on the value of their land. This would ensure that all large non-profits are paying their fair share of property taxes and reduce the burden currently being placed on individual taxpayers throughout Allegheny County.