Venkat seeks to improve PA’s preparedness for public health emergencies

(Sep 27, 2023)

“The COVID-19 pandemic revealed both strengths and weaknesses in the state’s preparedness for public health emergencies,” said Venkat, D-Allegheny. “As an emergency physician who worked on the frontlines during this challenging time and continues to work clinically, I strongly believe that we have an obligation to all Pennsylvanians to evaluate our response and make recommendations for how we can be better prepared in the future. We must work together to improve Pennsylvania’s response to public health challenges. Through this resolution, we can save lives, respect individual liberty, and ensure Pennsylvanians are better equipped for future crises.” Read more

 

Cholesterol Education Month, LDL-C Day resolution reported out of House Health Committee

(Sep 27, 2023)

“As 36.6% of Pennsylvanians experience elevated cholesterol levels and elevated LDL-C contributes to the risk of cardiovascular disease, it’s important to me, as both an emergency physician and a legislator, that we inform the public about the risks of high cholesterol levels,” said Venkat, D-Allegheny. “With this resolution, we can educate Pennsylvanians so they may improve their overall health.” Read more

 

Grant opportunities

(Sep 27, 2023)

Grants available as of Wednesday, Sept. 27 Read more

 

Medical Debt Is Killing Our Patients

(Sep 18, 2023)

As an emergency medicine resident in the early 2000s, I cared for a patient in her early 60s with back pain. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), approximately 16%opens in a new tab or window of emergency department patients were uninsured. Often their issues were of low acuity, again because they had no other place to see a physician. I assumed that to be the case with this patient, that I would treat her presumably musculoskeletal back pain, and discharge her. However, while treating her, I noticed she struggled to walk and clutched her gown across her chest. It was the clutching that really struck me as unusual. Read more

 

Venkat seeks to protect children’s welfare

(Sep 12, 2023)

“While sexually violent predators must register under Megan’s Law, they may live where they choose, potentially putting children at risk,” Venkat said. “My legislation would change that and align Pennsylvania with a number of other states that enacted more robust residential restrictions, bolstering community safety and security, especially for our children.” Read more

 

Addressing the use of AI in the health insurance claims process

(Aug 14, 2023)

“As a recent example of the danger with algorithm-driven health insurance decision making, Cigna denied more than 300,000 claims, and health care professionals employed by Cigna only reviewed the cases for approximately 1.2 seconds each over a period of two months in 2022, which is unethical,” Venkat said. “With professionals spending approximately 1.2 seconds on a case and subsequently issuing rapid denials based on algorithmic decision making, individuals may receive unexpected bills for medically necessary treatments. It is time to regulate AI in health insurance claims processes that may only accelerate such dangerous abdication of claims review responsibilities.” Read more

 

More than $1.6 million awarded to Town of McCandless

(Aug 14, 2023)

“In the Town of McCandless, more than $1.6 million will make our roads safer for the residents and all those driving through the town,” Venkat said. “These grants will assist with improving signal equipment along the town’s roads.” Read more

 

Venkat applauds increased investments in public schools

(Jul 05, 2023)

As part of the state’s budget, funding will increase to $4.34 million for Avonworth School District, $7.69 million for Hampton School District and $17.26 million for North Allegheny School District, making a 10.7 percent increase, 5.5 increase and 8.3 increase in investments for the three school districts within the 30th Legislative District. It also allocates $100 million in unspent federal COVID-19 relief funds to provide grants for mental health services at schools. Read more

 

Venkat’s bill to alleviate medical debt passes House

(Jun 26, 2023)

“By establishing the Medical Debt Relief Program, we can alleviate medical debt for working Pennsylvanians, improve health care institutions and providers’ finances and reduce the costs for all Pennsylvanians,” Venkat said. “As an emergency physician, I’ve witnessed patients delay medical care due to the rising cost of health care, to the point of dying as a result. Through this bill, it is my hope that we can alleviate Pennsylvanians’ medical debt so that they may receive the health care they need.” Read more

 

Venkat speaks on legislation to alleviate medical debt

(Jun 26, 2023)

“Medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States,” Venkat said. “It keeps thousands of patients from seeking necessary medical care. I’ve personally seen patients who died as a result of medical debt and not seeking necessary medical care, and so this is a real opportunity for us to help so many working Pennsylvanians.” Read more

 

Defying Divisions? State Legislatures Prove Bipartisanship Possible

(Jun 22, 2023)

A piece I wrote recently that challenges the belief that bipartisanship is impossible in state legislatures. Read more

 

Health Equity Q&A: Pennsylvania Rep. Arvind Venkat, MD

(Jun 16, 2023)

"The idea here is that with a small state appropriation, we can give the resources to an entity like RIP Medical Debt (a 501 charity focused on the elimination of personal medical debt) that can partner with willing health systems to purchase distressed debt and then forgive it. That’s a win-win for everybody. It’s a win for patients because the program is targeted toward those whose household income is up to 400% of the federal poverty level or whose medical debt exceeds 5% of their annual income — which, conservatively, is up to 1 million Pennsylvanians. It’s a win for the health care systems because they will be able to collect some small amount of what is largely unrecoverable debt." Read more

 

House Health Committee reports out Venkat’s bill to alleviate medical debt

(Jun 14, 2023)

Venkat, the only physician in the General Assembly, will now work with colleagues for full House passage and enactment into law. Read more

 

Venkat aims to work in bipartisan fashion as part of House Bipartisan Caucus

(Jun 13, 2023)

“Since taking office earlier this year, I made the commitment to work in a bipartisan fashion with my colleagues on behalf of my district and Pennsylvania,” Venkat said. “As the state representative for McCandless, Franklin Park, Ohio Township, Kilbuck, Emsworth, Ben Avon, Ben Avon Heights and western Hampton Township, I intend to work for all constituents. In a time of political divide, it is important to meet in the middle to work together to pass legislation that helps all Pennsylvanians.” Read more

 

Venkat to host license plate legibility event June 15

(Jun 09, 2023)

The event will help motorists determine if their license plates are illegible and help them apply for a free replacement, if necessary. Read more

 

Venkat celebrates passage of state budget in the House, marking the start of budget negotiations

(Jun 06, 2023)

“I am pleased that my colleagues and I advanced a budget that will invest in all Pennsylvanians and, particularly, increase our investment in the Avonworth, North Allegheny and Hampton school districts while protecting against property tax increases,” Venkat said. “There is much work to do after Monday’s vote to fight for medical debt relief, increase access and affordability in health care and invest in our vital emergency medical services, police and fire agencies and all the municipalities I represent.” Read more

 

State Rep. Venkat's Avonworth Community Memorial Day Speech

(May 29, 2023)

Text of state Rep. Arvind Venkat's speech at the at the 77th Annual Avonworth Community Memorial Day Commemoration. Read more

 

Squirrel Hill group pushing for stricter gun laws meets with State Representative

(May 11, 2023)

While the man accused of shooting and killing 11 people inside a Pittsburgh synagogue currently stands trial, members of the group Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence are hard at work pushing for stricter gun control legislation in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Four gun safety bills could pass PA House in late May, head to Senate

(May 11, 2023)

At the end of May, the Pennsylvania House will have a final vote on four pieces of gun safety legislation. Read more

 

House passes Venkat bill to designate Diwali as a state holiday

(Apr 26, 2023)

In a victory for and celebration of Pennsylvanians of South Asian descent, the House today passed legislation that would designate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, as a state holiday, according to the bill’s prime sponsor, state Rep. Arvind Venkat. Read more

 

Venkat seeks to improve PA’s preparedness for public health emergencies
Sep 27, 2023

Cholesterol Education Month, LDL-C Day resolution reported out of House Health Committee
Sep 27, 2023

Grant opportunities
Sep 27, 2023

Medical Debt Is Killing Our Patients
Sep 18, 2023

Venkat seeks to protect children’s welfare
Sep 12, 2023

Addressing the use of AI in the health insurance claims process
Aug 14, 2023

More than $1.6 million awarded to Town of McCandless
Aug 14, 2023

Venkat applauds increased investments in public schools
Jul 05, 2023

Venkat’s bill to alleviate medical debt passes House
Jun 26, 2023

Venkat speaks on legislation to alleviate medical debt
Jun 26, 2023

Defying Divisions? State Legislatures Prove Bipartisanship Possible
Jun 22, 2023

Health Equity Q&A: Pennsylvania Rep. Arvind Venkat, MD
Jun 16, 2023

House Health Committee reports out Venkat’s bill to alleviate medical debt
Jun 14, 2023

Venkat aims to work in bipartisan fashion as part of House Bipartisan Caucus
Jun 13, 2023

Venkat to host license plate legibility event June 15
Jun 09, 2023

Venkat celebrates passage of state budget in the House, marking the start of budget negotiations
Jun 06, 2023

State Rep. Venkat's Avonworth Community Memorial Day Speech
May 29, 2023

Squirrel Hill group pushing for stricter gun laws meets with State Representative
May 11, 2023

Four gun safety bills could pass PA House in late May, head to Senate
May 11, 2023

House passes Venkat bill to designate Diwali as a state holiday
Apr 26, 2023