Cutler’s Bill to Streamline Hospital Accreditation Process Heads to Governor’s Desk
7/1/2013

HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by state Reps. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) and Pamela DeLissio (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) that would cut costs for both hospitals and the state by ending duplicative licensing inspections is heading to the governor’s desk after a unanimous concurrence vote in the House of Representatives today.

“These inspections can be conducted without any prior notice, are duplicative of each other, and drive up hospital overhead costs by diverting hospital personnel from their normal work duties in order to provide documentation required by inspectors,” said Cutler. “This is also a win for the state because it can cut back on the number of inspections it performs without jeopardizing safety or quality. By removing the duplicative inspections the state can now focus on the patient safety complaints it receives.”
 
House Bill 1190 allows the use of “deemed status” to exempt hospitals from routine licensure renewal surveys conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). 
 
DOH would recognize reports of national accreditation organizations as acceptable criteria for meeting DOH licensure requirements, as long as the organization’s standards are equal to or more stringent than the state’s. Hospitals not meeting national accreditation criteria would still be subject to the current licensing requirements of DOH. 
 
Cutler noted the inspections of accreditation organizations are used to determine eligibility to participate in Medicare, and the inspectors use the most stringent standards during their assessments.
 
As a former X-ray technologist and manager of support services for Lancaster General Hospital, Cutler has been on the front lines of health care management and patient care.

“The goal is to maintain the quality of service provided by our hospitals,” said Cutler. “Since the inspections are very similar, it makes sense that when a hospital passes the federal inspection then it has “deemed status” under state law. That allows the hospital to defer the state-level inspection because it has substantially complied with existing laws and regulations. It has been 30 years since the hospital inspection process has been updated in Pennsylvania. The way hospitals deliver health care has changed and it is time for our laws to catch up.”
 
Cutler’s legislation also contains a provision that allows hospitals to exceed identified bed limits defined within their licenses during times of natural disaster, catastrophes, acts of bioterrorism, epidemics and other emergencies. 
 
Once the bill reaches Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk, he has 10 days to sign it into law. The law would take effect 180 days after enactment.
 
More information about Cutler and his legislative priorities is available at www.RepCutler.com and www.Facebook.com/RepBryanCutler.  

Representative Bryan Cutler
100th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs
abriggs@pahousegop.com
RepCutler.com

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