Archive for November 2020

COVID-19 Update: Tuesday, November 24

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the state and federal governments as of 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 24. Pennsylvania Update Governor Wolf/Department of Health Citing modeling that projects 22,000 new COVID-19 cases a day in Pennsylvania in December, Governor Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Levine have introduced new mitigation efforts.  The governor’s news release announcing these new efforts noted that “In the past week, the number of COVID-19 attributable deaths has quadrupled, and the average daily case count is 7 times higher than it was two months ago.” The news release also explained that “The new measures include revamped school safety attestation, targeted business and gathering restrictions, and a new enforcement plan that includes liability protection … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

SNAP Asks Wolf to Sign COVID-19 Liability Protection Bill

Sign a bill to provide vital liability protection to health care providers during the COVID-19 emergency, SNAP asked Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf in a letter the association delivered to the governor yesterday. In the letter, SNAP wrote that Medical professionals and hospitals on the frontlines should be permitted to use their clinical judgment without risk or fear from civil liability for decisions made in good faith. House Bill 1737, which was recently sent to your desk for consideration, would provide civil liability protections for the medical decisions made in caring for Pennsylvania’s citizens during the COVID-19 disaster declaration. This legislation would protect hospitals and providers from questionable lawsuits and the financial harm they could cause, especially at a time when … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

New Report on the Health of Children in PA

The health of children in Pennsylvania is the subject of a new report published by the Pennsylvania Partnership for Children. The report, “The 2020 State of Children’s Health Care in Pennsylvania:  Unlocking Access to a Healthy Childhood,” includes the following major findings: Pennsylvania has the 8th highest number of uninsured kids in the nation, with nearly 128,000 children who do not have health Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate for children increased slightly from 4.4% to 4.6%, signaling movement in the wrong direction. The most recent uninsured data from the S. Census Bureau was captured prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic, meaning more Pennsylvania kids headed into the public health emergency without basic health coverage. Factors such as age, poverty level, race and … Read More

Posted in Uncategorized

COVID-19 Update: Thursday, November 19

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the state and federal governments as of 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 19. Pennsylvania Update Department of Health The Department of Health has released its “COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan.”  Among other considerations, the plan addresses: The phased approach the state proposes for administering vaccines to different segments of the population. Provider recruitment and enrollment. The readiness of the state’s health care infrastructure to play its planned role in administering vaccines. Vaccine allocation, storage, and distribution. Information technology and record-keeping considerations. Regulatory considerations. Public outreach. Vaccine program communication. During a Thursday afternoon news briefing, Secretary Levine made the following points about the planned vaccine program and other aspects of the state’s response to … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

SNAP Seeks Help From End-of-Year Federal Legislation

Eliminate Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts (Medicaid DSH), appropriate additional resources for the Provider Relief Fund, and extend the current suspension of the two percent sequestration of Medicare spending, the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania asked members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation in a letter SNAP sent earlier this week. The request comes as Congress returns to Washington to take up the funding of the federal government at a time when authorization for spending under a continuing resolution ends on December 11.  In addition to addressing federal funding, Congress also may consider COVID-19 legislation. Learn more from SNAP’s letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation.

Posted in COVID-19, DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

COVID-19 Update: Tuesday, November 17

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the state and federal governments as of 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17. Pennsylvania Update The Wolf Administration/Department of Health The Wolf administration and Department of Health announced new COVID-19 mitigation efforts in the face of growing numbers of new cases.  See their announcement here.  The new effort consists of four components. A memorandum to acute-care hospitals presenting projections that the state could run out of ICU beds in December.  It urges hospitals to act now, on their own, to address capacity planning and elective procedures matters. An order requiring anyone who visits from another state to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering Pennsylvania.  If someone cannot … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Friday, November 13

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from Pennsylvania’s state government as of 2:00 p.m. on Friday, November 13. Department of Health The Department of Health updated its guidance for providers on the counseling of patients evaluated for or diagnosed with COVID-19 to self-isolate and identify persons with whom they were in close contact in the 48 hours before symptom onset.  A COVID-19 Close Contact Worksheet and COVID-19 Patient Instructions for Self-Isolation While Awaiting Laboratory Results accompanied the guidance. Department of Health – by the numbers Pennsylvania’s number of COVID-19 cases today surpassed 250,000. At the height of the pandemic in the spring, Pennsylvania never exceeded 2000 new cases in a single day.  On October 22 the state reached that … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Thursday, November 5

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the state and federal governments as of 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 5. Pennsylvania Update Department of Health The Department of Health updated its hospital guidance to clarify that hospitals must test COVID-19 patients prior to discharge to another facility and communicate those test results to the receiving facility prior to discharge. In response to an increase of new COVID-19 cases in Huntingdon County, the Department of Health contracted for drive-through and indoor testing clinics in the county from October 29 through Monday, November 2. During a news conference this week, Secretary Levine noted that Pennsylvania is now seeing more COVID-19 “long-haulers”:  people who continue to experience COVID-19 symptoms over a period … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19


The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission met for two days last week in Washington, D.C. The following is MACPAC’s own summary of the sessions. The October 2020 MACPAC meeting opened with a panel discussion on restarting Medicaid eligibility redeterminations when the public health emergency ends.  It included Jennifer Wagner, director of Medicaid eligibility and enrollment at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; René Mollow, deputy director for health care benefits and eligibility at the California Department of Health Care Services; and Lee Guice, director of policy and operations at the Department for Medicaid Services, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. After a break, Commissioners heard a panel discussion with Kevin Prindiville, executive director at Justice in … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

PA Health Law Project Newsletter

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published its November 2020 newsletter Health Law News. Included in this month’s edition are articles about: How the renewal of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency declaration extends key Medicaid protections. State planning for children with complex needs. State efforts to connect people to COVID-19 testing and care. An upcoming webinar about challenging Medicaid and Community HealthChoices waiver service denials. Read about these subjects and more in the Pennsylvania Health Law Project’s November 2020 newsletter.

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid COVID-19, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy
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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania