State Insurance Department Seeks Comments on Availability of Health Care

The state Insurance Department is accepting public comment through Aug. 5 on their proposed plan to investigate the availability of healthcare professionals in Pennsylvania. The department is looking for information about how easy or hard it is to find care in communities across the state. This is an important opportunity to document healthcare access issues.

The department is seeking information from organizations, consumer advocates, providers, and customers about their experience with getting a health care appointment or finding available specialists.

The goal of this study is to understand areas of need based on current availability of providers to accept new patients, the amount of time it takes to get an appointment with these providers,  and to assess network adequacy considerations based on the findings.  If you would like to contribute comments to this endeavor, submit them to, Attn: Katie Merritt, Policy Director, 1326 Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA 17120.  Comments will be accepted until Friday, August 5, 2022. 

The Pennsylvania Bulletin provides a proposed list of targeted provider types, but input, comments, lived experiences and suggestions of other provider types are needed. The final list for the study will include no more than ten provider types. When submitting responses individuals must indicate which of the listed provider types they believe have accessibility issues based on their experiences or known issues from others.  If you have experienced access issues with provider types that are not included on the list, comments may be submitted regarding those experiences as well.

Providing comments  and engaging with our healthcare systems helps to ensure that they work for the good of all.  Our ELCA Social Statement “Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor” reminds us that “Health is central to our well-being, vital to relationships, and helps us live out our vocations in family , work, and community . Caring for one’s own health is a matter of human necessity and good stewardship. Caring for the health of others expresses both love for our neighbor and responsibility for a just society. As a personal and social responsibility, health care is a shared endeavor.”

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