Re­cap­ping 2018 Penn­syl­va­nia leg­isla­tive ac­com­plish­ments

The Southern Berks News - - NEWS -

The 2017-18 Leg­isla­tive Ses­sion was a pro­duc­tive one, with many im­por­tant leg­isla­tive ini­tia­tives be­ing signed into law. It was also a ses­sion that saw sev­eral of my pro­pos­als signed into law. The ideas for these pro­pos­als were brought to my at­ten­tion by res­i­dents in the dis­trict and were formed from sit­u­a­tions I knew needed to be im­proved.

In or­der to pro­vide im­proved health care to stroke vic­tims, leg­is­la­tion I au­thored was signed into law this ses­sion that di­rects stroke pa­tients to the ap­pro­pri­ate hospi­tal to treat their spe­cific type of stroke.

The new law takes op­ti­mal ad­van­tage of fed­eral guide­lines that cre­ate three spe­cific lev­els of cer­ti­fied stroke cen­ters to treat pa­tients based on their in­di­vid­ual needs. The three lev­els of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion are pri­mary stroke cen­ters, acute stoke-ready hos­pi­tals, and com­pre­hen­sive stroke cen­ters.

Penn­syl­va­nia cur­rently has 81 cer­ti­fied pri­mary stroke cen­ters. Here in the Le­high Val­ley, we have St. Luke’s Hospi­tal and Le­high Val­ley Health Net­work’s Cedar Crest lo­ca­tion, which be­came one of the first com­pre­hen­sive stroke cen­ters in the na­tion in 2012.

The new law works by di­rect­ing emer­gency re­spon­ders to take stroke vic­tims to the near­est stroke cen­ter qual­i­fied to treat the sever­ity and type of stroke oc­cur­ring, in­stead of sim­ply the near­est “pri­mary stroke cen­ter,” which may not be pre­pared to han­dle the type of stroke the pa­tient is hav­ing. This en­sures the best pos­si­ble treat­ment and health out­comes for stroke vic­tims.

I also au­thored leg­is­la­tion to form a Penn­syl­va­nia Ma­ter­nal Mor­tal­ity Re­view Com­mit­tee, which was signed into law ear­lier this year. It was a leg­isla­tive idea brought to me by lo­cal con­stituents with the idea of help­ing to im­prove the health out­comes of ex­pec­tant moth­ers and their ba­bies.

A com­mit­tee has now been of­fi­cially cre­ated and is work­ing to for­mu­late so­lu­tions. Es­sen­tially, the com­mit­tee is charged with iden­ti­fy­ing preg­nancy-re­lated deaths, over­see­ing the re­view of these deaths, rec­om­mend­ing ac­tions to help pre­vent fu­ture deaths, and pub­lish­ing re­view re­sults. This in­for­ma­tion will help clin­i­cians and pub­lic health pro­fes­sion­als bet­ter un­der­stand cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing preg­nancy-re­lated deaths and en­able them to take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tions to pre­vent them.

In the Unites States, more women die from preg­nancy com­pli­ca­tions than in any other de­vel­oped coun­try. Causes of death for ex­pec­tant moth­ers in­clude pre­ventable con­di­tions like preeclamp­sia and ob­stet­ric hem­or­rhage. Men­tal health con­di­tions, in­clud­ing sui­cide and over­dose, are also be­com­ing the lead­ing cause of ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity in a num­ber of states.

In states where ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity com­mit­tees al­ready ex­ist, there has been a sig­nif­i­cant de­cline in ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity, as well as im­prove­ments in in­fant health.

In or­der to en­sure bet­ter pro­tec­tion of lo­cal tax dol­lars, my leg­is­la­tion was signed into law to more clearly de­fine best prac­tices of lo­cal tax col­lec­tors.

The new law re­quires checks to be made payable to the name of the tax col­lec­tor along with the of­fice, ti­tle, or po­si­tion and be de­posited into a sep­a­rate bank ac­count only used for tax money. The prac­tice of mak­ing checks payable to only an in­di­vid­ual’s name would be pro­hib­ited.

Rep. Ryan Macken­zie

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