Key Issues & Bill Tracker

COVID-19 Liability Limitations

Bill Number: Senate Bill 273

Prime Sponsor: Sen. Lisa Baker

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SB 273 provides liability limitations for health care providers and other businesses from lawsuits that arise from the COVID-19 pandemic during the Pennsylvania Proclamation of Disaster Emergency. 

LeadingAge PA Position

Support

Why This Matters

COVID-19 was an unknown pathogen, with unknown treatment and mitigation measures in the early days and months of the coronavirus pandemic. This legislation would protect providers by limiting liability exposure when covered entities attempted in good faith to comply with state and federal guidance. The bill only covers incidences that occurred during the state disaster declaration. Though the pandemic is ongoing, liability protections were limited to torts during the state's disaster declaration. 

Status

Introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

How You Can Help

Reach out to your elected senator and ask them to support SB 273 to their leadership. 
Video Monitoring in Nursing Homes

Bill Number: House Bill 1428

Prime Sponsor: Rep. Kurt Masser

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HB 1428 outlines requirements of families and residents seeking to install video monitoring devices in nursing facility resident rooms. The bill includes notification, timing, and financial obligations of residents or families seeking to have video monitoring installed in a resident room. 

LeadingAge PA Position

Neutral

Why This Matters

HB1428 and similar bills have been circulated in the past. It is important as technology advances to be sure there are protections for providers included in any legislation that would allow for video monitoring in nursing homes. Providers need assurances that families will bear the costs for any construction, installation, and removal while also protecting facility workforce and privacy concerns. 

Status

The bill passed the full House and is currently in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. 
Online Education and Nurse Aide Training

Bill Number: Senate Bill 729

Prime Sponsor: Sen. Judy Ward

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SB 729 offers additional language to be included in the nurse aide training statute indicating that training requirements can be met through a variety of methods. The bill includes the allowance of training delivery through online, in-class, virtual reality, or blended methods to better accommodate busy schedules and align with educational methods that have become common and accessible since the statute's passage in the 1990s. 

LeadingAge PA Position

Support

Why This Matters

Senate Bill 729 (SB 729) allows for the completion of nurse aide training program through a variety of means, including online, in-class, and virtual reality. The bill is intended to increase flexibility for training delivery to ease training and travel burdens related to becoming a nurse aide, thereby increasing workforce pools and reducing barriers to becoming certified nursing assistants. 

Status

SB 729 was reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee to the full Senate and was passed unanimously by the Senate on Sept. 29 (Y: 49/N: 0). It was referred to the House Aging and Older Adult Service Committee.

How You Can Help

Contact Gary Day, chairman of the Aging and Older Adult Services Committee, to call up this important piece of legislation for a vote.