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Pennsylvania legislation signed into law by Governor Wolf providing rural trauma center funding and optimizing trauma center placement

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On July 2nd Governor Tom Wolf signed HB 786 into law. HB 786 was the culmination of discussions that started more than ten years ago by the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation (PTSF) on how to assure injured patients in Pennsylvania get the best care possible. PTSF is the accrediting body for trauma centers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Highlights include providing funding for Level IV trauma centers in the rural counties of the Commonwealth, changing the volume requirement of Level II trauma centers to mirror that of Level I trauma centers, and assuring appropriate distribution of trauma centers. Future Level I, II, and III trauma centers in Pennsylvania will now need to be 25 miles away from each other or there must be evidence of double the required patient volumes in trauma centers within 25 miles of the locale of a pursuing hospital. This important requirement will avoid depletion of patient volumes by high-level trauma centers situated in close proximity to one another, which research shows negatively impacts patient outcomes.

Many thanks are extended to PTSF Board Member/Pennsylvania House of Representatives Majority Leader, Bryan Cutler, representing the 100th Legislative District, who shepherded this bill and made it a reality. Additional thanks are extended to the PTSF Board, the PTSF Ad Hoc Trauma System Development Committee (TSDC), and TSDC Chairman Dr. Fred Rogers from Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health whose research with Michael Horst, PhD, on geospatial placement of trauma centers in Pennsylvania, provided significant evidence for the changes.

 

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation