Jun. 16, 2021

HARRISBURG – When it comes to accelerating the patient evaluation process in local hospital emergency rooms, state Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) believes there must be a better, more expeditious way to get people the help they need.

“We have seen firsthand the challenges faced by our local emergency rooms with behavioral health patients because there isn’t a clear process for treatment,” Struzzi said. “I am asking the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to do better and help our healthcare professionals and these patients. We must be able to give these people proper, timely care.”

This week Struzzi introduced House Bill 1644, known as the Pennsylvania Medicaid Care Transition Program Act.

A study Struzzi commissioned through prior legislation (House Resolution 268 in 2019) suggests a standardized procedure for hospitals to properly deliver behavioral health care to patients is needed. He is now asking the Department of Human Services to develop a statewide process to place patients, enrolled in Medicaid, with behavioral health or other long-term care needs in appropriate care settings in a timely matter. This methodology includes an escalation clause for cases where patient boarding exceeds an acceptable amount of time.

“Behavioral cases tend to be more critical and in need of more rapid response and diagnosis by emergency room personnel,” added Struzzi. “I’m suggesting we take a more serious look at how we are processing cases and providing proper access to timely treatment.

“We simply need to do better in the area of behavioral health and focus more of our energy on an aspect of health care that seems to not be taken as seriously as it should be,” concluded Struzzi.

Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Struzzi’s Indiana district office at 724-465-0220.

Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137 (office), 717.497.5937 (cell)
RepStruzzi.com / Facebook.com/RepStruzzi