The Mcare Abatement Program
The Abatement Program provided nearly $1 billion in medical liability insurance relief for Pennsylvania’s physician community from 2003 to 2007. On behalf of a major client, the Bigley and Blikle Team conceived the Mcare Abatement Program concept; successfully advocated for the enabling legislation and the tobacco taxes to support the program; and annually achieved the program’s renewal through 2007. This program is largely credited with stabilizing the physician community during the height of Pennsylvania’s medical liability crisis.
Blues Plan Merger
For more than two years, Pennsylvania’s two major Blue Cross/Blue Shield Plans attempted a merger that would create the nation’s third largest healthcare insurer. The Bigley and Blikle Team successfully advocated before the General Assembly and state regulators to block the merger. These efforts led state’s Insurance Department to deny the merger request.
Workers’ Compensation Fee Schedule
Pennsylvania has notoriously low insurance reimbursement rates for physicians. The Workers’ Compensation Fee Schedule is the one highlight. The statutorily set fee schedule provides the highest reimbursement rate most physicians receive in the Commonwealth. For the past dozen years, the insurance industry has attempted to modify this fee schedule. The Bigley and Blikle Team has annually defended the reimbursement rate. Our efforts have been so successful that legislation to modify the fee schedule has not been re-introduced for two legislative sessions.
Ambulatory Surgical Centers
For several legislative sessions, various legislators have advanced proposals to restrict physician ownership of ambulatory surgical centers. The Bigley and Blikle Team’s defense of physician ownership has been so successful, that the prime sponsor in the state Senate did not re-introduce the measure in either the last session or current session.
Mergers, Reimbursement, Medical Liability
Crane Operators Licensure
Bigley and Blikle advocated for and achieved passage of legislation to license crane operators in the Commonwealth. Prior to this legislative initiative, this industry was largely unregulated.
Capital Budget and Departmental Grants
During the ten years that B and B has been in existence our clients have received over $30 million in grants and other types of state funding. These have included funds received through many state agencies, The Commonwealth Financing Authority as well as through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.
Sales Tax on Legal Services
Traditionally a convenient source of state revenue, over the years the sales tax has been extended to various professional services. The Bigley and Blikle Team successfully preserved the legal profession as a non-taxed service.
Guidelines and Legislation
Grants, Taxation and Licensure
Real Estate Act
Bigley and Blikle successfully lobbied for changes to the Real Estate Act which recognize the status of timeshare properties. Those amendments to the Real Estate Act were signed into law by Governor Rendell.
The Bigley and Blikle Team advocated for and achieved amendment of Green Building legislation to include multiple rating systems. Prior to this legislative initiative, the legislation exclusively favored a competing system.
Green Building Guidelines
Recently, the Department of Environmental Protection proposed guidelines for accessing $25 million in Green Building Construction funds. The proposed regulations, however, effectively shut out builders who use wood products in their construction. The Bigley and Blikle Team quickly informed the four caucus leaders of the detrimental effect these guidelines would have on Pennsylvania’s forest products and building industries. Armed with this information, legislative appointees to the Commonwealth Finance Authority rejected the proposed guidelines and required the Department to develop new guidelines in consultation with the stakeholders. The Bigley and Blikle Team participated in the redrafting sessions and ensured that the new guidelines were acceptable to our client.
Estate Management, Property Management