Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New PA Laws Affecting Seniors

Recently, PA Governor Edward G. Rendell signed various bills into law that impact long-term care and hospice care in Pennsylvania:

Employees' Overtime in Health Care Facilities:

House Bill 834, PN 3198, enacted as Act 102 of 2008, amends the law commonly known as the "mandatory overtime" law, and establishes the "Prohibition of Excessive Overtime in Health Care Act."

It provides that, except in certain circumstances, a health care facility cannot require an employee to work in excess of an agreed to, predetermined and regularly scheduled shift.

Overtime can be mandated when:
  • an unforeseeable emergent circumstance occurs and the assignment of additional hours is a last resort;
  • the employer has exhausted reasonable efforts to obtain other staffing; and
  • the employer gives the employee an hour to arrange for child or elder care or care of a disabled family member.

Licensure of Small Residential Hospices:
House Bill 2629, PN 4517, enacted as Act 120 of 2008, amends the Health Care Facilities Act to require that the Department of Health promulgate regulations for the licensure and operation of small residential hospices with 22 or fewer beds.

Distribution of Prescriptions from Veterans Facility:
House Bill 2034, PN 3198, enacted as Act 114 of 2008, amends the "Long-TermCare Patient Access to Pharmaceuticals Act" to allow a pharmacist employed by, or a pharmacy under contract with, a long-term care facility to repackage, re-label and dispense a dose of a drug acquired by a Veteran's Administration hospital to a veteran who is a patient of the long-term care facility
Source: Press Release issued by Governor's Office, "Governor Rendell Signs 31 Bills" (10/09/08).