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The UPMC/Highmark dispute needs to stop

(Jun 04, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 4 – Like many of my neighbors and fellow residents of western Pennsylvania, I continue to be dismayed by the ongoing situation between UPMC and Highmark. I am particularly angry about the decision by the UPMC board and CEO Jeffrey Romoff to make it effectively impossible for Highmark insurance subscribers to access care at UPMC facilities. I have even heard from people who are now being forced to travel out of the region, or out of the state, to get the care they need because UPMC will not honor their Highmark insurance policy. This is madness and it cannot go on. As a non-profit, the focus of UPMC should be medical care for the community and its people. The organization accepts donations from those people (and has done so for decades), in the form of charitable contributions and taxpayer-funded grants. Now, UPMC is stabbing those same people in the back by refusing to provide care if they have a Highmark policy. The Hillman Family Foundations have made large charitable contributions to the UPMC system for the good of the community for many years, and now large parts of the community will not have access to the facilities those contributions built. It seems like the UPMC board and its CEO are only seeing dollar signs as they seek to crush competition from Highmark and other insurers. Even Paul O’Neill, former Alcoa CEO, former U.S. secretary of the Treasury, and a former UPMC board member, said recently in Karen Kane’s excellent Read more

 

Voice your concerns to the UPMC board of directors

(May 31, 2019)

I’m writing you on a behalf of an editorial piece that was published Friday, May 24, regarding UPMC, its board of directors and CEO Jeffrey Romoff. Read more

 

Insurance Department teams with Realtors on tips to protect your home while vacationing

(May 29, 2019)

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Insurance Department today joined forces with the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors to re-launch a video and checklist offering homeowners tips on protecting their properties from break-ins while on vacation. “The Memorial Day holiday signals the traditional start of summer, and with most schools about to begin summer break, Pennsylvanians will very soon be hitting the road for summer vacations,” Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said. “Before leaving for a trip, there are steps homeowners can take to lessen the chance of a break-in and perhaps save on their homeowners’ insurance as well.” The Insurance Department today re-posted on its homepage and on social media a video and checklist first released last year with tips on preventing home break-ins while away on vacation. The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors is also today running a story on this video and checklist in its daily, statewide e-newsletter, Just Listed, distributed to all member realtors, encouraging them to share this information with their clients. “As Realtors®, we are often faced with empty properties from homeowners who have already moved. The Insurance Department offers excellent tips on protecting your home when you’re not in it. I usually recommend to clients I’m working with that they make the home look as lived-in as possible, and that includes keeping up with cutting the grass, picking up mail Read more

 

DeLuca bill geared toward pharmacy technician oversight passes House, heads to state Senate

(May 16, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 16 – On Wednesday, state Rep. Tony Deluca’s legislation, which would create a list of criteria for pharmacy technicians in Pennsylvania, passed the state House in overwhelming fashion. DeLuca’s measure, House Bill 770, would provide needed oversight for pharmacy technicians, who play a supportive role to licensed pharmacists and play an even larger role in hospitals, where they are asked to perform complex tasks, like mixing chemicals for chemotherapy treatments. “We’re grateful for the support and assistance provided by pharmacy technicians, but we currently have no oversight in Pennsylvania for a position that has a hand in filling residents’ prescriptions,” said DeLuca, D-Allegheny. “With an increase in prescriptions and a shortage of pharmacists, we need to – at the very least – ensure pharmacy technicians meet the minimal, universal standards, which is what this bill intends to do.” Under H.B. 770, pharmacy technicians would be required to: Register with the Pennsylvania Board of Pharmacy; Submit to a background check; Be at least 17 years old and have a high school diploma or the equivalent; and Go through a training program approved by the Pharmacy Board. Pennsylvania currently is one of four states in the U.S. that does not have any required criteria or oversight for pharmacy technicians, DeLuca added. “Errors cost more than money – they cost lives, Read more

 

DeLuca speaks in supports of residents who will be affected by UPMC/Highmark split

(May 15, 2019)

DeLuca speaks in support of commonwealth residents who will be affected by the UPMC/Highmark split. Read more

 

Protect yourself from identity theft by attending my shred event!

(May 13, 2019)

Bring your unneeded documents to safely discard at my free shredding event on Monday, May 20 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the parking lot in front of my office, 7205 Saltsburg Road, in the Alcoma Plaza in Penn Hills. Read more

 

5/3/19 – What Drives Pharmaceutical Costs? – Pittsburgh

(May 03, 2019)

Materials from House Democratic Policy Committee public roundtable hosted by State Rep. Tony DeLuca and State Rep. Dan Frankel. Read more

 

DeLuca, Frankel host Policy Committee roundtable on what drives pharmaceutical costs

(May 03, 2019)

PITTSBURGH, May 3 – State Representatives Tony DeLuca and Dan Frankel, both D-Allegheny, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public roundtable discussion on pharmaceutical cost drivers at the Comfort Inn Conference Center. DeLuca and Frankel requested the meeting as Democratic Chairman of the House Insurance and Health Committees respectively to bring stakeholders and legislative colleagues from across the state to identify what makes prescription drugs so expensive. Improving patient access to medicines was also a highlight of the discussion. “The bottom line is people cannot afford their medicine. They are suffering through pain, discomfort and at risk all because they have to make a decision of whether to scale back dosages to pay a utility bill. This just isn’t right. We need our pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies to come together to work out solutions that help make sure people can afford their medicine and afford to get better per the doctor’s orders,” said DeLuca. "According to what we heard today, more than 80 percent of Pennsylvanians that are asked want aggressive action on pharmacy costs. That's Republicans and Democrats, because the pain of high drug costs is bi-partisan," said Frankel. "This conversation is the beginning step in bringing transparency to a complex industry. Now we must go further, and make both process, and costs, transparent." Panel participants Read more

 

Nearly $1 million awarded to Fox Chapel Area School District

(May 01, 2019)

The Fox Chapel Area School District on Wednesday was awarded $908,083 in state funding from the School Safety and Security Committee, which is part of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Read more

 

DeLuca, Frankel to host Policy Committee roundtable on what drives pharmaceutical costs Friday in Pittsburgh

(Apr 30, 2019)

PITTSBURGH, April 30 – State Representatives Tony DeLuca and Dan Frankel, both D-Allegheny, announced they are hosting a House Democratic Policy Committee public roundtable discussion on pharmaceutical cost drivers. The roundtable will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 3 at the Comfort Inn Conference Center, 699 Rodi Road, Pittsburgh. The public and media are invited to attend. DeLuca and Frankel requested the meeting as Democratic Chairman of the House Insurance and Health Committees respectively to bring stakeholders and legislative colleagues from across the state to identify what makes prescription drugs so expensive. The discussion will also focus on how to improve patient access to medicines needed. Panelists scheduled to participate include: Corey DeLuca, Director, Clinical Pharmacy Services, Highmark, Inc. Lauren Rowley, Vice President of State Affairs, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association Erin Ninehouser, Director of Campaigns & Consumer Engagement, PA Health Access Network Ashlie VanMeter, Senior Director of State Government Affairs, Association of Accessible Medicines Pat Lavella, RPh., Manager of Strategic Pharmacy Initiatives, Value Drug Company Dr. Adele Towers, President, Allegheny County Medical Society Jessica Brooks,CEO, Pittsburgh Business Group on Health The meeting is one in a series held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first by growing good jobs, providing health Read more

 

DeLuca, lawmakers file brief in support of lawsuit against UPMC

(Apr 25, 2019)

The lawsuit seeks to modify and indefinitely extend the UPMC-Highmark Health consent decrees that are set to expire June 30. Read more

 

DeLuca, DePasquale unveil school district financial reform measures

(Apr 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, accompanied by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, today unveiled a comprehensive bill package geared toward steering commonwealth school districts away from future financial mishaps, such as the financial crisis that landed Penn Hills School District on state-mandated financial oversight. The proposed bills, coined the “School Board and Administration Financial Reform Package,” was presented Wednesday during a Capitol news conference. The legislative package was crafted at the request of the Allegheny County Grand Jury that investigated the Penn Hills School District finances. “What took place in Penn Hills School District quite simply could be described as a complete disregard to taxpayers, the community and its students. I’m disgusted and downright disappointed that a once-renowned school district could dig itself into such a financial hole that its only option was to ask its taxpayers to bail them out,” DeLuca said. “The bill package presented today would guarantee that the financial disaster that took place in Penn Hills will never happen again, so long as we can get these good-government bills voted on and enacted into law. It’s my hope that my colleagues – on both sides of the aisle – see the importance of moving these legislative measures through the House.” The bills, which have yet to be formally introduced in the House, would: Read more

 

House Democrats fight for healthy people and a strong economy in PA

(Mar 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 28 – With the president leading a renewed push to dismantle affordable healthcare coverage in the United States, a group of House Democratic lawmakers are reinforcing their commitment to a package of proposals designed to make sure people in Pennsylvania can always afford to see a doctor when they get sick. The “Healthy People, Stronger Economy” plan protects consumers even if special interests are able to overturn the Affordable Care Act. The plan contains four bills putting people first, including: Protecting Your Coverage, Protecting Your Health (HB 469) – sponsored by Reps. Tony DeLuca and Dan Frankel, both of Allegheny County – recognizes that a consumer paying for an insurance plan that doesn't cover items as basic as hospitalization and emergency services has insurance that is almost worse than having no insurance at all. The bill guarantees all insurance plans sold in the state cover 10 essential benefits: • emergency services; • hospitalization; • prescription drugs; • maternity & newborn care; • mental health & substance abuse disorder services; • rehabilitation; • laboratory services to aid in diagnosis and treatment; • chronic disease management; • ambulatory patient services; and • pediatric services, including oral and vision care. "If the Federal Health Care Reform law is ever abolished by the United States Supreme Court or Read more

 

Grants announced for local roadway, dairy farm in DeLuca’s district

(Mar 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 26 – Nearly $415,000 in state funding earmarked for the reconstruction of a borough street and the development of a ready-to-drink coffee beverage was distributed today to entities located in the 32 nd Legislative District, announced state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny. “Grant money can go toward a number of initiatives across the commonwealth, but it’s always great to announce funding that will have a direct, positive impact on constituents and the local community,” DeLuca said. “We have a growing region, but to continue that development we have to make sure that folks can get around – whether they are walking or riding,” added Sen. Jay Costa, D-Allegheny. The $390,000 disbursed to Verona Borough will aid in the reconstruction of the borough’s First Street roadway and sidewalks between North and South avenues. The borough also will benefit from the installation of 26 ADA-compliant ramps along First Street during reconstruction efforts. In addition, Turner Dairy Farms, located in Penn Hills Township, was awarded $23,500 to assist with the development of a ready-to-drink coffee beverage. DeLuca said the local farm is planning to develop and market the beverage, in partnership with an experienced local coffee roaster. The funds also will go toward the purchase of coffee processing equipment and the hiring of a graphic design firm to develop packaging. “Due to this allocation, not only will a Read more

 

Statewide Disaster Relief Approved for Pennsylvania Farms

(Mar 25, 2019)

The Wolf Administration today notified farmland owners in 61 Pennsylvania counties that they are eligible to receive disaster relief assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture. Read more

 

House Democrats fight for seniors and families by delivering on Promise of Care

(Mar 20, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – House Democratic lawmakers, in response to widespread concerns about patients and clients in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and long-term care homes not getting the quality care they deserve, announced a comprehensive package of bills to protect seniors and give family members the vital information they need to make the right choice for their grandparents and parents. As pension plans increasingly become a thing of the past and families become smaller and unable to care for elderly relatives in their own homes, House Democrats believe people need to know the long-term care options for their loved ones are the best possible – because, someday, we’ll all need a place to call home. While most facilities do a good job caring for patients and clients, as well as providing a stable place of employment for healthcare professionals, seniors, families and potential employees need the facts and protections these bills would deliver. The Promise of Care package includes: Making a Home truly a Home (Sponsored by Rep. Angel Cruz): A long-term care home shouldn’t feel like a hospital ward. This bill creates a voluntary Culture & Quality of Life Certification Program that would reward homes that go the extra mile to offer a rich, life-affirming program that treats residents like the individual people they are. Reporting Requirements when a Resident Passes (Two bills sponsored by Rep. Frank Burns): People Read more

 

Wolf Administration provides tips to avoid tax scams

(Mar 12, 2019)

With about a month remaining before the April 15 deadline to file state and federal tax returns, the Department of Revenue today partnered with the IRS and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants to offer useful filing tips and other guidance to help Pennsylvanians avoid falling victim to common tax scams. Read more

 

Celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month

(Mar 08, 2019)

March in its entirety is a month of recognition for women near and far: March 8 marks the 108 th International Women’s Day, and the entire month of March is recognized as Women’s History Month. Women across the world have made and continue to make positive progress and remarkable contributions to society. Without women like Marie Sklodowska Curie, founder of the science of radioactivity, or Rosa Parks, who took a stand against race segregation in 1955 by refusing to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Ala., effective treatments for cancer or the beginning of the Civil Rights movement could have been delayed decades. We, as a society, have come a long way in regard to women’s rights, but the fight is far from over. We need to continue the push for equal gender rights and pay, and move forward in our quest to ensure women are getting the paid leave they deserve and need following a child’s birth. It’s because of women that we are who we are as a society, and it’s with great pride that I wish all of the women across the 32 nd Legislative District a Happy International Women’s Day and History Month! Read more

 

Why didn't the state Department of Education step in sooner? My letter to Secretary Pedro A. Rivera

(Mar 07, 2019)

I am writing regarding the Penn Hills School District dire financial situation and asking that your department explain how it exercised appropriate oversight of the school's finances, and what it did to prevent this nearly irreversible financial hole. Read more

 

PennDOT announces plans to repair landslide on Hulton Road

(Mar 05, 2019)

I am pleased to inform you the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has announced plans to repair the landslide on Hulton Road which, when completed, should result in reopening the roadway near Milltown in Penn Hills. Hulton Road will be closed for one or two days beginning Monday, March 11, so all of the underground utilities can be located. When that survey work is finished, the road will reopen with the current lane restriction. Plans then call for the landslide repair project contracts to hopefully be awarded at the end of April so construction can begin in mid-May. According to PennDOT, in addition to repairing the landslide, the project includes installing a retaining wall to support the fill-slope; reconstructing the lane and shoulder on the embankment side of the road; and milling and resurfacing the lane and shoulder on the cut slope side. The reconstruction length is approximately 700 feet. Detour signs will be posted. Official maps and proposed detours during the landslide repair project can be found here . Questions and input can be directed to Jonathan Moses, PennDOT District Geotechnical Engineer, 412-429-4897 or jmoses@pa.gov. Read more

 

The UPMC/Highmark dispute needs to stop
Jun 04, 2019

Voice your concerns to the UPMC board of directors
May 31, 2019

Insurance Department teams with Realtors on tips to protect your home while vacationing
May 29, 2019

DeLuca bill geared toward pharmacy technician oversight passes House, heads to state Senate
May 16, 2019

DeLuca speaks in supports of residents who will be affected by UPMC/Highmark split
May 15, 2019

Protect yourself from identity theft by attending my shred event!
May 13, 2019

5/3/19 – What Drives Pharmaceutical Costs? – Pittsburgh
May 03, 2019

DeLuca, Frankel host Policy Committee roundtable on what drives pharmaceutical costs
May 03, 2019

Nearly $1 million awarded to Fox Chapel Area School District
May 01, 2019

DeLuca, Frankel to host Policy Committee roundtable on what drives pharmaceutical costs Friday in Pittsburgh
Apr 30, 2019

DeLuca, lawmakers file brief in support of lawsuit against UPMC
Apr 25, 2019

DeLuca, DePasquale unveil school district financial reform measures
Apr 17, 2019

House Democrats fight for healthy people and a strong economy in PA
Mar 28, 2019

Grants announced for local roadway, dairy farm in DeLuca’s district
Mar 26, 2019

Statewide Disaster Relief Approved for Pennsylvania Farms
Mar 25, 2019

House Democrats fight for seniors and families by delivering on Promise of Care
Mar 20, 2019

Wolf Administration provides tips to avoid tax scams
Mar 12, 2019

Celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month
Mar 08, 2019

Why didn't the state Department of Education step in sooner? My letter to Secretary Pedro A. Rivera
Mar 07, 2019

PennDOT announces plans to repair landslide on Hulton Road
Mar 05, 2019