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03/03/2015

Wolf Administration Investing in Public Health in Fiscal Year 2015-16 Proposed Budget

Department of Health Will Focus on Innovation, Efficiency and Savings

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf’s fiscal year 2015-16 proposed budget invests in key public health initiatives at the Department of Health, with a renewed focus on innovation, delivering quality care while reducing costs, and investing in critical health services that will improve outcomes for the people of Pennsylvania.

“A government that works invests in health to improve the well-being of all Pennsylvanians,” said Dr. Karen Murphy, PA Department of Health Acting Secretary. “The Wolf Administration and the Department of Health are committed to make strategic investments in innovation that realize concrete positive health outcomes, improvements to health care delivery and lower costs across the entire state.”

Department of Health budget highlights include:

  • Health Innovation: The department received $3 million in federal funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to design a state-wide plan for health system innovation. Governor Wolf’s budget commits another $3 million, totaling $6 million, to explore best practices in developing and implementing a high quality, accessible and cost effective health care delivery system. The department will work with other state and health-related agencies, physicians, hospitals, insurers and consumers to develop ways to improve health, improve health care and lower costs for Pennsylvanians.
  • Marcellus Shale Health Registry: The department has been allocated $100,000 to fund the creation of a registry of health concerns and clinical data of residents located in proximity to geographic areas where natural gas activities are underway. The registry funding will also allow for further analyses by the department’s epidemiologists regarding potential health impacts of Shale drilling.
  • Achieving Better Care by Monitoring the All Prescriptions Program, ABC-MAP (formerly known as PDMP): More than $2.1 million has been added to improve and streamline the administration of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. The program will increase the quality of patient care by giving prescribers and dispensers access to patient’s prescription history to ensure medications are prescribed safely and help those who may have an addiction find treatment. The program will also aide regulatory and law enforcement agencies that help prevent fraud and drug abuse. This increase is the first since 1972.
  • Reopening State Health Centers: More than $3.8 million will help fund the reopening of state health centers across the Commonwealth that were previously closed. The funds will be used for office spaces, administrative costs and the re-establishment of 26 positions previously eliminated at the centers. State health centers provide comprehensive screening and case management services for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), as well as disease investigations and immunizations.
  • Newborn Screening: More than $1.4 million has been added for additional screening requirements associated with Hannah’s law (Act 148 of 2014), that added certain Lysosomal storage disorders, such as Krabbe disease, to the mandatory panel of screening tests for newborns.

“The department is pleased with the commitment of these additional resources and I, along with Acting Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, are committed to moving these initiatives forward to better serve the health needs of Pennsylvanians,” said Dr. Murphy.

Media contact: Holli Senior, DOH, 717-787-1783

 

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