Year-In-Review: Leading the Fight Against the Opioid Crisis

first_imgLike Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Year-In-Review: Leading the Fight Against the Opioid Crisis December 14, 2016 2016 In Review,  Public Health,  Substance Use Disorder,  The Blog,  Year in Review Throughout 2016, Governor Wolf traveled to every corner of Pennsylvania to learn how the opioid and heroin crisis was affecting families and communities. He sat with parents who lost their children and people in recovery and pledged Pennsylvania would make progress against this epidemic.He worked with the legislature to secure $20.4 million in the 2016-17 budget to fund treatment for 45 Centers of Excellence for Pennsylvanians struggling with opioid use disorder. Centers of Excellence help ensure that people with opioid-related substance use disorder stay in treatment to receive follow-up care and are supported within their communities.In late September, Governor Wolf addressed a joint session of the General Assembly to call for legislation that would battle the disease of addiction, and on November 2nd, Governor Wolf signed five bills that combat Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic, including:Senate Bill 1202 strengthens the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.Senate Bill 1367 and House Bill 1699 restrict the number of pills that can be prescribed to minors or emergency rooms patients.Senate Bill 1368 establishes education curriculum on safe prescribing.House Bill 1737 creates more locations for the drop-off of prescription drugs.Governor Wolf also announced more than 2,000 opioid overdoses were reversed with Naloxone thanks to a standing order his administration established, and launched Pennsylvania’s prescription drug monitoring program to cut down on over-prescribing of powerful opioid painkillers. By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretary YEAR IN REVIEW SHARE TWEET SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Governor Wolf Signs Employer Statement of Support for National Guard Members

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter June 25, 2018 Governor Wolf Signs Employer Statement of Support for National Guard Memberscenter_img Government That Works,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf signed a U.S. Defense Department Employer Statement of Support for the more than 1,300 Pennsylvania National Guard members and reservists who work for the commonwealth, thanking them for their service and pledging to offer support as these Guard members and reservists fulfill their military service duties while under the commonwealth’s employ. The governor was joined by the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania, Maj. General Anthony Carrelli, members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, and Col (ret.) Gregory Parish and George Mentzer from the Employer Support for Guardsman and Reservists Program.“I am proud to be here today to officially sign the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Statement of Support for National Guardsmen and women across Pennsylvania,” Gov. Wolf said. “This statement pledges our cooperation and support to our employees who need to take time away from their commonwealth duties to serve the people of Pennsylvania as members of the National Guard.”The intent of the Employer Statement of Support for Guardsmen and Reservists program is to increase employer support by encouraging them to act as advocates for employee participation in the military. Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the Nation’s Guard and Reserve units.The first Statement of Support was signed December 13, 1972, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense by the Chairman of the Board of General Motors. President Richard Nixon was the first President to sign a Statement of Support, and in 2005 every Federal Cabinet Secretary and all Federal agencies signed a Statement of Support to signify their continuing efforts to be model employers. Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of employers have signed Statements of Support, pledging their support to Guard and Reserve employees. Pennsylvania currently has 31,000 actively serving Guard members and reservists.“I urge all commonwealth employers to sign similar letters of support to ensure that, when duty calls, Guard members know that they can go without having to worry about responsibilities left behind at work,” Gov. Wolf said. “And so they can focus on their larger responsibility to the people of Pennsylvania. Their sacrifice, their bravery, and their willingness to do anything and go anywhere in service of their fellow Pennsylvanians is an inspiration.“It is because of the work that our Guardsmen and women do that Pennsylvania has the finest National Guard in the nation, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”More information on the Employer Statement of Support Program, here.last_img read more

Gov Wolf: State’s Major Health Insurers are Covering COVID-19 Testing, Resources Available Related to COVID-19 and Insurance Coverage

first_img Healthcare,  Press Release,  Public Health Governor Tom Wolf announced today that all major health insurers providing comprehensive medical coverage in the commonwealth will cover medically appropriate COVID-19 diagnostic testing and associated treatment for consumers and have committed to waive any cost-sharing for the testing.“First and foremost, the commonwealth is prepared for and focused on mitigating COVID-19 in our state,” Gov. Wolf said. “Pennsylvania insurers proactively waiving costs associated with COVID-19 testing for consumers helps the commonwealth identify additional cases and gives us a better opportunity to increase our resources appropriately and better protect all Pennsylvanians. No Pennsylvanian should forego testing for any reason, if deemed medically necessary, including fear of what it might cost.”The Department of Insurance encourages patients to be aware of steps their insurance company is taking to increase access to necessary care related to COVID-19.Pennsylvania’s major health insurers, all of whom have committed to take this critical step, are Highmark, UPMC Health Plan, Geisinger, Independence BlueCross, Capital Blue Cross, Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, Pennsylvania Health & Wellness, and Oscar. This increased access to testing is especially critical as multiple commercial medical labs are in the process of implementing testing capabilities and some have begun to perform tests. This means labs will begin billing insurance for the COVID-19 test as they would for any other diagnostic test. Up until now, testing has only been performed by the CDC or state labs, who have covered the cost of testing with public funds.“I’m pleased that Pennsylvania’s health insurance companies are stepping up to help fight the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus,” Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said. “Covering the costs associated with administering testing will ensure that consumer out-of-pocket costs do not serve as a barrier to the diagnoses and care of Pennsylvanians.”The department recognizes the critical role health insurers have in the public’s ability to access health care services, which could ultimately help decrease the spread of the virus. Consumers with excepted benefit policies, short-term, limited duration health insurance coverage, and/or health care sharing ministries need to understand these plans can have significant limitations on coverage and may not provide the same level of access. If any consumer has a question about their insurance policy, the department encourages them to contact their insurer or the department with any questions.COVID-19 is currently not widespread in Pennsylvania. Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, Pennsylvanians should take the same steps that health care providers recommend to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face and covering coughs and sneezes.Public health officials are urging people who have symptoms to stay home and contact their doctors by phone, rather than showing up at a medical facility asking to be tested.The Insurance Department, in partnership with the departments of Health and Human Services, also developed an FAQ that provides information and answers to common questions related to insurance coverage and COVID-19.For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, visit the PA Department of Health’s dedicated Coronavirus webpage that is updated daily.The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has a consumer services team available to answer questions about insurance coverage and benefits at (877) 881-6388. PID may also provide assistance if a consumer receives an unexpected bill related to COVID-19, or other health care services.Note: Photos and video from this announcement will be available at www.pacast.com. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Gov Wolf: State’s Major Health Insurers are Covering COVID-19 Testing, Resources Available Related to COVID-19 and Insurance Coveragecenter_img March 09, 2020last_img read more