FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio
DeLissio seeks to broaden medical staff definitions
Hospitals would be granted autonomy on what personnel they include on the medical staff
HARRISBURG, June 18 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., has proposed an amendment to include broadening the definition of medical staff in legislation (H.B. 1570). This legislation could face House vote within the next two weeks.
"Although House Bill 1570 addresses a long overdue overhaul of the rules and regulations under which hospitals operate, it falls short by limiting the medical staff to physicians, podiatrists and dentists," DeLissio said. "It does not allow hospitals autonomy in deciding to which health care professionals the hospitals want to extend medical staff privileges.
"This proposed definition is problematic because it does not acknowledge the critical roles of the other health care professionals who are integral to the life of a hospital and who meet the needs of our citizens when they are hospital patients. Hospitals are multi-disciplinary entities and the medical staff definition does not reflect these other disciplines.
"We have escalating health care costs," DeLissio said. "Many of our rural areas are not adequately served due to the lack of available physicians. Health care professionals such as physician assistants, advanced practice registered nurses and pharmacists, to name a few, would be excluded.
"My amendment would be in line with the May 16 federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published final rule that allows other health care professionals to be included on a medical staff. At the release of the final rule, CMS said, 'We have broadened the concept of 'medical staff' and have allowed hospitals the flexibility to include other practitioners as eligible candidates for the medical staff with hospital privileges to practice in accordance with state law.'"
DeLissio said there has been no good or sufficient reason offered as to why the medical staff membership is so narrowly defined.
"Perhaps it is an age old 'turf war;' perhaps it is the reluctance to embrace new professionals. Regardless of the reason, it is a disservice to the citizens of Pennsylvania to not have this legislation amended to prevent the certified registered nurse practitioner from being precluded. We had to wait 30 years for the current legislation. It would be a disgrace to jeopardize the future health care of our citizens by omitting this amendment."