Act 106 of 2014
The PAO-HNS had a major legislative victory in 2014 after a 12-year effort to prevent legislation that would inappropriately expand the scope of practice of audiologists and speech language pathologists.
Act 106 of 2014 was the result of our negotiations with both professions to allow a modernization of their practice act. The PAO-HNS was able to ensure that only non-medical diagnosis and non-medical treatment would be allowed in the legislation. We were able to ensure proper titling for non-physicians and retained the requirement that one physician, specifically an otolaryngologist, serve on their state board of licensing. On every point of advice given by the national academy, we were able to achieve our goal. After more than a decade of work, Act 106 achieved our stated goal of updating the practice act for our allied health professional colleagues while preserving safeguards for our patients.
Current Legislation to Watch
Prior Authorization Reform- HB 1293
Improving transparency, standardization, and response times of prior authorization in Pennsylvania is the goal of HB 1293, a bill recently introduced by State Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks).
Rep. Quinn's bill would improve transparency, accessibility, and consistent application of prior authorization by including a standard definition. Additionally, the bill would significantly streamline the process by requiring insurers to make available an electronic communications network that permits prior authorization requests to be submitted electronically, and authorizations and adverse determinations to likewise be returned electronically.
The PAO-HNS has signed on with PAMED to make prior authorization reform one of the top priorities for 2017. Find out how to support PAMED's legislative efforts on this reform here.
CRNP Scope Expansion
Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland) and Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford) have introduced legislation in both the Senate (SB 717) and the House (HB 765) that, if passed, would eliminate the current requirement that CRNPs in Pennsylvania collaborate with a physician to diagnose, treat, and prescribe drugs to patients. In effect, this would grant a CRNP the same authority and clinical autonomy as a physician, without the extensive education and training that our state requires of physicians.
CRNPs are actively asking legislators to support their independent practice. Don't let their voices be the only ones heard. Legislators need to hear from physicians about how this legislation will negatively impact patients. The collaborative agreement is not an arbitrary safeguard; it exists to ensure that patients have direct access to a physician when their care requires a more highly trained professional. Eliminating the collaboration requirement runs contrary to providing effective team-based care and will jeopardize patient safety.
Please email your legislators and urge them to oppose both HB 765 and SB 717. Or, take a moment and contact them directly by phone.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) supports a physician-led, team-based approach to care, in which health care professionals with unique and complementary skill sets coordinate care efficiently for the benefit of the patient. Keep the team together and oppose legislation eliminating CRNP collaboration with physicians.
Learn more about our efforts to support physician-led, team-based care at
PA Otolaryngology PAC
Our PAC is an important factor in giving otolaryngologists a voice in state governments. Contributions to PA Otolaryngology PAC support legislators and candidates who are committed to supporting our issues. We encourage all otolaryngologists in Pennsylvania to support the PAC.
To make a donation to PA Otolaryngology PAC, please use the PayPal link on the side of this page.