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Washington Update - April 2020
April 1, 2020 by Tyler Smith
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • PAEA’s Government Relations team would like to thank all of the PA education advocates who responded to the Association’s action alert seeking COVID-19 relief for programs, faculty, and students. As a result of your advocacy, the final legislation, known as the CARES Act, included key priorities such as aid to institutions, student loan payment suspensions, and the reauthorization of expired Title VII health workforce programs.
  • Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
    • On March 20, PAEA submitted a letter to House and Senate leadership outlining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on PA education, including cancelled clinical rotations and increased out-of-pocket costs for students. To address these challenges, PAEA urged Congress to make substantial investments in the availability of personal protective equipment, extend funding for Title VII health workforce programs, and increase federal aid to higher education institutions and students.
    • PAEA submitted testimony to the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations subcommittee on March 23 outlining the Association’s funding priorities for fiscal year 2021. Specific priorities include funding to reestablish clinical education capacity in the aftermath of COVID-19 as well as continued investments in student diversity and curriculum development.
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • In addition to substantial relief for PA programs, faculty, and students, the CARES Act includes a long-standing priority for practicing PAs. Under the law, PAs, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists will now be permitted to order and manage home health services for Medicare patients.
    • In mid-March, CMS expanded payment for telehealth services as a means of reducing the frequency of in-person visits following the Trump administration’s emergency declaration in response to COVID-19.
  • Opportunities for Action
    • In the coming days, PAEA will be launching a campaign to advocate for the inclusion of additional relief for students in “Phase 4” COVID-19 response legislation being considered by Congress. Continued outreach from the PA education advocacy community will be critical in securing additional support for PA students facing unanticipated expenses resulting from the pandemic.
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