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Washington Update - January 2023
January 2, 2023 by Catherine Majewski
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • On December 9, PAEA hosted a virtual advocacy day for 30 PA students from George Washington University. As part of the event, students conducted calls with congressional offices to request the inclusion of the PREVENT Pandemics Act in the final fiscal year 23 omnibus agreement – an effort that was ultimately successful following the enactment of the bill in late December. Special thanks to all the students who volunteered to participate and to Brandon Beattie, MMSc, PA-C, Nate'le'ge Wardlow, MPH, PA-C, and Michael Johnson, MPAS, PA-C, for helping to organize the event. 
  • Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
    • On December 5, the Coalition for Health Funding published an editorial from PAEA as part of their monthly blog. The editorial emphasizes the importance of investing in our nation’s PA workforce through Title VII programs such as the Primary Care Training and Enhancement grants, Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students, and Area Health Education Centers.
    • On December 6, PAEA along with other members of the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC) submitted a letter to lead appropriators in the House and the Senate urging them to increase investment in Title VII and Title VII health workforce development programs and finalize FY 23 spending packages to avoid additional continuing resolutions. 
    • On December 7, PAEA signed onto an additional letter to House and Senate appropriators. The letter, submitted by the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP), urged Congress to include robust funding for health professions education and training as well as scholarship and loan repayment programs for health professions students in a final FY 23 appropriations package.
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • President Biden signed the FY 23 omnibus package into law on December 29. The bill enacts final funding levels for federal programs through the end of FY 23 and includes several other legislative provisions of interest to PAEA such as: 
      • A collective 12% increase in funding over FY 22 levels for Title VII programs including the Primary Care Training and Enhancement grants, Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students, and Area Health Education Centers,
      • An 88% increase to slightly over $2 million in annual funding for the Faculty Loan Repayment Program which provides loan repayment assistance in exchange for a service commitment as a faculty member at a health professions program,
      • The PREVENT Pandemics Act, which will establish a new loan repayment program for students and graduates specializing in infectious disease care, and
      • The Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act and Medication Access and Training Expansion Act, which will fully eliminate the waiver as well as the 24-hour training requirement previously required for PAs to prescribe buprenorphine in office-based settings for the treatment of opioid use disorder and will instead require all practicing clinicians to register with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to certify their completion of 8 hours of substance use disorder training through an external organization or via the curriculum provided by the educational program from which they graduated.
  • Opportunities for Action
    • Thank you to all the PA student and faculty advocates who have helped PAEA secure significant legislative victories on behalf of PA education over the past year. To reflect on these achievements and explore opportunities for future grassroots engagement in 2023, please check out the December 12 PAEA Networker article published by the Government Relations team. 
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