HB 723, PN 3155 (Mizgorski) – This legislation makes updates to the Workforce Development Act of 2001 to bring our state law in compliance with the federal requirements of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

SB 1173, PN 1534 (Martin) – The bill amends the act of May 1, 1933 (P.L.216, No.76), known as the Dental Law. This legislation allows for continuing education credits to be earned for volunteer dental, hygiene or dental assisting practice.  A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

SR 285, PN 1801 (Gordner) – A Resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to conduct an assessment and analysis of public and private recycling infrastructure and operations across the Commonwealth. A vote of 48-1 was recorded.

SB 892, PN 1765 (Laughlin) – The bill would expand the electric low-speed scooter – or e-scooter – pilot program to allow for participation of cities of the second-class A and third class. A vote of 47-2 was recorded.

SB 1188, PN 1585 (Brooks) – The bill enacts the Lyme Disease and Related Tick-Borne Illness Diagnoses and Treatment Act, requiring health insurers to cover long-term antibiotics and antimicrobials, all diagnostic testing including tick testing for the treatment of Lyme Disease or related tick-borne illness and imposes duties on the Department of Health. A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

SB 1194, PN 1758 (Mensch) – The bill would Amends Title 51 (Military Affairs) to establish the Military College Educational Assistance Program to provide tuition assistance to PA National Guard members. A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

SB 1203, PN 1759 (Argall) – An Act preventing the Commonwealth from dealing with persons associated with the Government of Russia or the Government of Belarus; and imposing duties on the Treasury Department and the Attorney General.

Amendment A05069 (Argall) – This amendment strikes the specific criteria for which entities are to be included on the Pa. Treasury Department’s list of “persons” in the bill, and it clarifies the definition of “person” to broadly include any entities owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, Russia or Belarus as defined by the U.S. Treasury Department. It also requires the Department to update the list annually, instead of every 90 days.

This also clarifies the business restrictions on those entities, and it requires that the Attorney General handle all challenges lodged by entities disputing their inclusion on the Department’s list instead of the Treasury Department.

Finally, this clarifies the provision exempting critical materials and minerals. Any person providing or obtaining a critical material or mineral identified by the U.S. Department of the Interior will be, upon notification to the Treasury Department, exempted from the Department’s list of persons and the business restrictions in this bill. Nothing in this bill may prohibit transactions permitted under Federal law.

The amendment passed by a voice vote and was rereferred to appropriations.

SB 225, PN 948 (Phillips-Hill) – This legislation will amend the Insurance Company Law of 1921 in order to streamline and modernize the process for prior authorization of medical services in Pennsylvania.

The bill only applies to managed care plans which are Medicaid managed care organizations and gatekeeper commercial insurance plans. The amendment expands the bills applicability to Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, and fully insured commercial plans and makes other changes.

Amendment A05018 (Phillips-Hill) – The amendment includes provisions that address the following:

  • Prior authorization shall not be required for emergency services, including testing and other diagnostic services that are medically necessary to evaluate or treat an emergency medical condition prior to the point at which the condition is stabilized.
  • Providers shall have a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours to notify an insurer, MCO, or contractor following an enrollee’s admission to inpatient care.
  • At least one FDA-approved prescription drug classified as medication assisted treatment shall be available without initial prior authorization. Nothing shall prohibit the designation of preferred medications nor prohibit prior authorization on subsequent requests for medication assisted treatment in accordance with clinical guidelines.
  • Within 18 months following the effective date, an insurer shall establish a provider portal for electronic submission of requests and training will be made available to the providers on how to use the portal.
  • Prior authorization requests shall be submitted electronically – if the provider has the capability to do so.
  • Medical policies and clinical review criteria shall be made available on the insurer, MCO, or contractor’s website or provider portal.
  • Clinical review criteria shall be based on nationally recognized medical standards and be consistent with governmental guidelines.
  • Streamlines the existing two levels of internal complaint review into a single review – to be completed within 30 days.
  • Medical polices that incorporate step therapy for prescription drugs shall be reviewed in accordance with the same standards set forth for prior authorization review.
  • A list of all health services for which prior authorization is required shall be posted on the insurer, MCO, or contractor’s website.
  • Prior authorization may only be denied upon review by a properly licensed medical professional in the same or similar specialty.
  • If a prior authorization is denied, the opportunity for a peer-to-peer review shall be made available.
  • Prior authorization shall be rendered within 72 hours for urgent requests and 15 days for non-urgent medical services. Prescription drug and step therapy determinations shall be made in not more than 24 hours for urgent requests and not more than 72 hours for non-urgent requests.
  • If a request is missing clinical information necessary to complete the review, an insurer, MCO, or contractor shall notify the provider within 24 hours for urgent and 2 business days for all types of requests.
  • If a provider performs a closely related service, the insurer, MCO, or contractor may not deny a claim for failure to obtain prior authorization provided the provider notifies the insurer, MCO, or contractor no later than 72 hours following completion but prior to submission of the claim for payment.
  • The bill streamlines the existing two levels of internal grievance review into a single review.

The amendment passed by a vote of 49-0 and was rereferred to appropriations.

SB 1093, PN 1685 (Gebhard) – The bill would make an addition to the definition of “erect”, as established in the Outdoor Advertising Control Act of 1971, to allow for the conversion to energy efficient lighting provided that the change in lighting does not require any structural changes, modifications, or reinforcements. A vote of 49-0 was recorded.