Representatives of Governor Rendell’s administration reported at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Annual Health Law Institute that Governor Rendell’s “Prescription for Pennsylvania,” the comprehensive state health care reform program, is expected to be presented to the Pennsylvania Legislature before the end of the month. Prescription for Pennsylvania is intended to increase access, affordability and quality throughout Pennsylvania.

Although the legislation has not yet been officially  proposed, so we cannot yet provide any specific analysis, it is expected that some of the significant components will be as follows:

§      Expanded required health insurance coverage for small employers (along with tax-based financial incentives), expansion of basic health insurance coverage for uninsured, and required health insurance coverage for college students;

§      Expansion of the scope of practice for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certified registered nurse anesthetists and nurse midwifes, including such items as expanded prescription authority, expanded independent practice, and required credentialing by networks and health care providers;

§      Expansion of medical facility sites to improve access for Pennsylvanians by allowing nurse managed care centers, expansion of federally qualified health centers, allowing pharmacists to manage drug therapies in hospitals and other institutions, and supporting nurse practitioner practice in pharmacies;

§      Re-establishing of a process similar to Certificate of Need which will require regional approval based on resource budgets for new facilities such as imaging facilities and ambulatory surgery centers in Pennsylvania; and

§      Comprehensive Pay for Performance programs which will be uniform across third party payor programs to provide united incentives for performance improvement.

All of this is, of course, subject to specific proposals yet to be presented. Information can be obtained from the following websites: