|Opening Up More Access to Treatment
To help those battling addiction better access life-saving treatment, I voted for and the House passed legislation last week that would help health care professionals track down available beds at treatment centers.
House Bill 825, which now is under consideration in the Senate, would create a detoxification bed registry to facilitate treatment for drug addiction. The proposal would require the Department of Human Services to develop and administer an internet-based detoxification bed registry to collect, aggregate and display information about available beds in public and private inpatient psychiatric facilities and licensed detoxification and rehabilitation facilities.
The registry would contain information for facilities and licensed providers; the number of beds available at a facility; and a search function to identify available beds that are appropriated for the treatment of a substance abuse emergency.
This legislation is in addition to several other bills passed by the House in the last few years to help fight the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania.
Who’s That Calling You?
To help consumers fight back against fraud, the House will take up legislation soon to increase penalties for those found guilty of caller identification spoofing.
Spoofing occurs when individuals use technology to make it appear that a call is coming from a number or business other than that of the actual caller. Spoofing can be used to defraud, harass or induce call recipients into divulging sensitive or confidential information, especially senior citizens.
House Bill 979, which was recently passed out of the House Judiciary Committee, would make it a misdemeanor for any person to cause false caller identification information to be displayed on a recipient’s telephone, with the intent to harass or defraud the call recipient.
PennDOT’s 2018 Summer Employment Program
PennDOT is sponsoring an extensive Summer Maintenance Program for college students. The program runs April through August to supplement the permanent workforce.
The students assist with completing summer maintenance work and sign upgrade services, provide maintenance and custodial services at roadside rest facilities, and perform laboring and flagging duties in maintenance organizations and highway worksites.
To be eligible for consideration, candidates must be at least 18 years of age, enrolled as a full-time college student for fall 2018 and have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license. The hourly rate is $13.23.
If interested, please contact my office no later than Thursday, Feb. 15. Our office contact information is at the bottom of this email. Candidates must also apply online at employment.pa.gov in the “Summer Maintenance Program” category under the Open Jobs section of the website. Technical support is available at 717-787-5703.
New Medicare Cards: Watch Out for Scams
Beginning April 2018, Medicare beneficiaries will receive a New Medicare Card that will have a unique Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), thereby removing the Social Security number from the Medicare card.
Medicare will automatically mail the new card at no cost to the address on file with Social Security. Medicare beneficiaries should ensure their official mailing address with the Social Security Administration is current but otherwise do not need to do anything to receive their card.
More information about the cards – including a fact sheet and video -- is available at Medicare.gov.
The distribution of new cards will take about a year.