The Daily Work of Physician and Patient Advocacy—It Takes Tenacity and Physician Support to Enact Change

In a 2014 survey conducted by the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED), nearly half of all current, former, and prospective members identified advocacy done on behalf of physicians and patients in Pennsylvania as a top reason for joining PAMED. Current members also identified advocacy as one of the most important member benefits.

We’re proud to be able to represent the interests of physicians and patients in the state, and we take that mission seriously.

The 2015-2016 state legislative session is now well underway. PAMED will be monitoring more than 350 health care-related bills on your behalf and is looking to enact legislation that will benefit you and your patients—for example, the removal of barriers to telemedicine in Pennsylvania. Read more about PAMED’s 2015 advocacy priorities.

Just as important as the enactment of pro-physician and pro-patient legislation, however, is preventing legislation that would be harmful to the physician-patient relationship and the practice of medicine.

Here are some notable examples of legislation that PAMED stopped during the 2013-2014 legislative session:

  • Injectables legislation—Would have authorized pharmacists to administer injectable medications, biologicals, and immunizations to minors aged seven and older
  • Naturopath licensure and scope of practice legislation—Would have established licensure for naturopaths and granted them a scope of practice including the ordering of CAT scans
  • CRNP independent practice—Would have eliminated the requirement that CRNPs maintain a written collaborative agreement with a physician
  • Sales tax on office visits—Would have permitted school boards to tax health care services you provide. And, there’s good news on this issue. Office-based physician services were not part of Gov. Wolf’s tax proposal in his 2015-2016 state budget proposal.

Some of these issues may seem familiar. During the current state legislative session, new bills regarding CRNP independent practice, injectables and naturopathic licensure are again being considered and we are hard at work advocating on behalf of Pennsylvania physicians and patients.

“Failed legislation – good and bad – is often reintroduced in session after session, and it can take years to get a good bill to the governor’s desk or finally stop a bad proposal,” says Scot Chadwick, PAMED’s legislative counsel and former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “For example, it took three terms to modernize the state’s HIV testing law, and several years to morph a bad Lyme disease bill that would have statutorily endorsed specific, unproven treatment protocols into an excellent measure that will provide for public education and disease tracking.”

As your voice and advocate in Harrisburg, we understand how important it is to stay committed — day in and day out — to the issues that matter to physicians and patients. And, we rely on members like you to tell us what you’re seeing and hearing in your daily practice. Please email us at with your questions or concerns.

We wouldn’t be able to act as your voice and advocate without your support, so we thank you for your support.

Add your voice to our advocacy efforts at