Philadelphia County Medical Society

2017 Legislative Priorities

PAMED’s state legislative priorities include:

  • Preserving physicians’ clinical autonomy and physician-led, team-based care
  • Advancing telemedicine
  • Streamlining the prior authorization and credentialing processes
  • Continuing to combat the opioid abuse crisis
  • Putting the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program back on the map so that patients across the state can access these forms and be able to provide their physicians with the necessary documentation for what they want in the way of life-sustaining treatment.

PAMED will also continue to advocate on a number of national issues, such as much-needed Maintenance of Certification (MOC) reform.

Learn more: www.pamedsoc.org/Advocacy

Act 125 – Prescribing Opioids to Minors

Pennsylvania’s law on prescribing opioids to minors — Act 125 of 2016 — was signed by Gov. Wolf on Nov. 2, 2016. The law stipulates that, except for specified exceptions, a prescriber:

May not prescribe more than a seven-day supply of an opioid to a minor if a parent or guardian signs the consent form on behalf of the minor authorizing the prescribing of the opioid; or

Is limited to prescribing no more than a single, 72-hour supply of an opioid to a minor if an authorized adult (other than a parent or guardian) signs the consent form on behalf of the minor authorizing the prescribing of the opioid. In addition, when an authorized adult is present instead of a parent or guardian, the prescriber is required to indicate on the prescription the quantity that is to be dispensed pursuant to that prescription.

Pennsylvania’s state licensing boards were required to create the consent form that prescribers need in order to fully comply with the law. Physicians and other prescribers should be aware that the consent form was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on Feb. 4, 2017, and is now available online at http://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing On that webpage, click on “Act 125 – Consent to Prescribe Opioid Medication to a Minor Form” under Links. The completed form must be maintained in the minor’s record with the prescriber.

Learn more: www.pamedsoc.org/Act125

Learn more about this and other new opioid-related laws in PAMED’s A Physician’s Guide to Pennsylvania’s November 2016 Opioid Laws available at www.pamedsoc.org/quickconsult

Practice Options Initiative Update

The development of PAMED’s Practice Options Initiative (POI) continues to move forward. A summary of the first quarterly report was recently sent to members. You can also access it and learn more about the POI at www.pamedsoc.org/POI

Short-term and long-term Management Services Organization (MSO) services have been identified; the preliminary timeline anticipates that physician enrollment in MIPS readiness offerings will be underway by March 2017 and that MSO enrollment will commence in June 2017.

Upcoming Deadlines

The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) reporting period is underway. If you or your group reports your 2016 program year data satisfactorily, you will be able to avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2018. Get important upcoming deadlines: www.pamedsoc.org/PQRSdeadlines


Medicare EHR Incentive Program attestation ends on March 13, 2017. Learn more: www.pamedsoc.org/MedicareEHRIncentives

The Program Year 2016 Medical Assistance (MA) application deadline for both meaningful use (MU) and adopting, implementing, and upgrading (AIU) is now May 31, 2017.

Additionally, for eligible professionals, the MA EHR Incentive Program attestation deadline in program year 2016 for both MU and AIU is also May 31, 2017. Learn more: www.pamedsoc.org/MedicaidEHRIncentives

Opioids For Pain