Comitta and State Reps. introduced a pair of bills that puts more requirements on hospital owners to go through the closure process.
Policy experts say that mergers and acquisitions of for-profit healthcare systems often have a direct correlation to closures.
Currently, companies must provide 90-day notices for closures. The legislation will require companies to extend notices to six months. In addition, owners would also have to hold public hearings, provide data on alternative providers, and perform health equity assessments.
According to the Health Access Network, 33 hospitals have closed across the state over the last two decades, 15 of which were in the last five years.
Comitta cited the effects of the Tower Health closures in Chester County.
“This sudden closure of two hospitals last year led to longer wait times, a lack of beds, staffing shortages, gaps in the EMS service, a strain on behavioral health services and additional challenges at neighboring hospitals” Comitta said.
Read more about the legislation on Tioga Publishing.
CBS Mornings on Pennsylvania hospital shutdowns.