Grove, Phillips-Hill Legislation Reduces Health Care Costs, Increases System Efficiency
7/11/2017
HARRISBURG – Legislation authored by state Reps. Seth Grove (R-Dover) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York Township) that saves taxpayer dollars by addressing cost drivers in our health care system has advanced to the state Senate following predominately party-line votes in the House.

“If we want a better system of health care, we can start by examining the bottom line and making it more affordable for our taxpayers,” Grove said. “If we lower the cost of doing business, available dollars allow us to reach more people and our health care system becomes more efficient.”

Grove’s House Bill 1354 would create the Office of Independent Medical Assistance Director, which would be required to post online the number of Medicaid enrollees, costs and a cost analysis to compare budget funds and forecasted expenses on a monthly basis. The office would also be tasked with improving health outcomes and working toward providing budget predictability.

“During the 2016-17 fiscal year, the Department of Human Services overspent its $11.5 billion budget by more than $200 million,” added Grove. “With the department’s annual budget projected to increase by $3.8 billion over the next five fiscal years, we need to ensure our Medical Assistance programs, one of the primary cost drivers in health care, are operating at peak efficiency.”

The newly created office would operate independently of elected offices, much like the Independent Fiscal Office and the Office of Open Records, making it free from political wrangling over the state’s health care programs. The director would be nominated by the governor and approved by the Senate in a nonpartisan manner.

House Bill 1532, sponsored by Phillips-Hill, continues Pennsylvania’s fight against the abuse of prescription drugs.

“Recent stories like the 51 heroin overdose cases in 48 hours at two Williamsport hospitals leave no doubt that Pennsylvania is in the midst of a prescription drug abuse epidemic,” said Phillips-Hill. “We must arm ourselves with all the necessary tools if we hope to win this war that is claiming lives and disrupting communities at an alarming rate.”

House Bill 1532 would allow the Commonwealth to better identify potential abuse among enrollees in the state’s Medicaid or Medical Assistance programs. The legislation would make available more information about people seeking prescription drugs by giving Medicaid Managed Care Organizations access to the information in the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

“By identifying waste and prescription drug abuse, House Bill 1532 saves taxpayer dollars,” Phillips-Hill added. “More importantly, the bill saves lives by allowing anyone prescribing or dispensing these medications to better recognize potential abusers and stem the tide of this epidemic.

“If you look down the road, you can see the federal government cutbacks coming to entitlement programs. States need to take a more proactive stance on key issues, and House Bill 1532 fits perfectly into that way of thinking.”

Representative Seth Grove
196th District

RepGrove.com / Facebook.com/RepSethGrove
Representative Kristin Phillips-Hill
93rd Legislative District

RepKristin.com / Facebook.com/RepKristin
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137
slittle@pahousegop.com

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