Florida Legislative Session Review – Part VIII: Health Care

Health Care and other health related issues tend to be a major component of each Legislative Session.

Health Regulation

HB 543 authorizes pharmacists to administer flu shots to adults and creates the Task Force for Study of Biotech Competitiveness to develop proposals for bringing flu vaccine manufacturing and distribution companies to Florida. Passed 93-22 and 33-5.

HB 1155 creates a third-degree felony offense for any person who, with the intent to injure or defraud any person or to facilitate any violation of specified prohibited acts under the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, sells, manufactures, alters, delivers, utters, or possesses any counterfeit resistant prescription blanks for controlled substances. The bill also changes some regulations dealing with prescriptions by mail. Passed 118-0 and 39-0.

SB 1700 authorizes physician assistants who meet specified criteria to be certified as paramedics. Passed 39-0 and 111-0.

SB 1508 adds additional medical personnel to the provisions allowing immunity for certain emergency examination or treatment of incapacitated persons done without consent if informed consent would have reasonably been given under the medical consent law. Passed 36-0 and 118-0.

SB 770 outlines a process for the Department of Health to assess state’s future workforce needs for physicians, ensuring that there is an adequate and appropriate supply of well-trained physicians to meet Florida’s future health care service needs. Passed 39-0 and 118-0.

SB 248 provides requirements for certification as a clinical nurse specialist, restricts the use of professional titles and abbreviations by clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives. Passed 38-0 and 118-0.

SB 650 revises tje requirements for licensure or certification as osteopathic physician in this state. Passed 39-0 and 116-0.

HB 1007 requires prescription to be filled in a pharmacy unless it is a drug dispensed by a physician assistant and provides that the authority to dispense may be delegated only by supervisory physicians registered as dispensing practitioners. Passed 115-0 and 35-0.

SB 2858 makes some changes to the regulation of chiropractic physicians. Passed 38-0 and 118-0.

Health Care Facilities

SB 922 simply makes some revisions conforming with facility regulation legislation passed in 2006. Passed 39-0 and 117-0.

SB 1732 creates two pilot programs to provide extended operating hours at overcrowded clinics in the Primary Care Access Network in Orange, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota, and DeSoto Counties. Passed 38-0 and 117-0.

SB 246 revises the provisions applicable to hospitals seeking certification as Level I programs and provides criteria for certification to provide certain Level I cardiology services. Passed 38-0 and 117-0.

HB 7165 revises the definition of the types of specialty hospitals that may not be licensed or relicensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration. Instead of defining these prohibited specialty hospitals by enumerating specific diagnosis-related groups (DRGs), the bill defines them by major diagnostic categories (a higher level of classification than DRGs) or by the principal diagnosis or reason for admission. Passed 118-0 and 39-0.

SB 682 makes several changes relating to nursing home facilities:

  • changes the requirements for visits to nursing facilities by quality-of-care monitors;
  • allows homes with a standard license to develop a plan to provide training for certified nursing assistants;
  • deletes the requirement for nursing facilities to submit an adverse incident
    report to the agency within one day after an adverse incident is reported to the facility’s risk
  • provides that the most recent survey is considered a licensure survey for purposes of future survey scheduling; and
  • clarifies that compliance with federal posting standards satisfies state posting standards relating to staff on duty.

Passed 39-0 and 114-0.

SB 2634 provides for review of construction plans by the Agency for Health Care Administration. Passed 39-0 and 117-0.

Health Insurance

SB 590 requires an HMO to provide, in writing, disclosure of rights to new subscribers who reside at a continuing care facility or a retirement facility; and provides that if a subscriber’s request to be referred to a skilled nursing unit or an assisted living facility that is part of subscriber’s place of residence is not honored, the subscriber may use a specified grievance process. Passed 37-0 and 117-0.

HB 7065 makes some changes to the Medicare and Medicaid programs:

  • Requires implementation of the program on a pilot basis in Area 7 (Orange, Osceola,
    Seminole, and Brevard counties) and Area 11 (Dade and Monroe counties) on a voluntary
  • Allows any qualified managed care entity to participate and offer services to enrollees in
    the pilot areas.
  • Provides enrollees with access to the Subscriber Assistance Panel grievance process as
    well as requires AHCA to maintain an informal and formal provider grievance system.
  • Adds a 10-business-day prompt payment requirement for participating managed care
    organizations to make payment to nursing homes that bill electronically and provides for
    an alternative capitated payment to prospectively pay nursing homes at the beginning of
    each month.
  • Provides that OPPAGA is to evaluate the pilot for 24 months after enrollment of
    recipients into the pilot program and submit the report to the Legislature, no later than
    December 31, 2009.
  • Requires AHCA to provide a report to the Governor and Legislature that contains an
    analysis of the merits and challenges of seeking a federal waiver to implement a
    voluntary program that integrates Medicare and Medicaid payments for persons 65 years
    of age or older, no later than December 31, 2007.

Misc. Health Bills

HB 1269 creates the black infant health practice initiative and outlines objectives of the initiative to include determining factors that contribute to racial disparity in infant mortality and developing interventions to address that disparity. Passed 116-0 and 39-0.

SB 2260 creates the State Surgeon General as head of the Department of Health. Passed 38-0 and 112-0.

Schedule of Review Posts:

Mon May 21: Public Records/Public Meetings
Thu May 24: Education
Tue May 29: Environment, Growth Management, & Natural Resources
Mon Jun 4: Legal System & Public Safety
Mon Jun 18: Veterans/Military Affairs
Tue Jun 19: Elections
Wed Jun 20: Transportation & Economic Development
Sat Jul 7: Health Care
Mun Jul 9: Financial Services & Insurance (excluding property)
Wed Jul 11: Human & Social Services
Fri Jul 13: Gambling & General Government
Sun Jul 15: Property Insurance & Property Taxes
Tue Jul 17: Miscellaneous Bills not included in previous reviews

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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One Response to Florida Legislative Session Review – Part VIII: Health Care

  1. Maria Schmidt says:

    Would you be able to include me in your mailing list when you add to this, as seen above. I have an interest in legislative healthcare activity in FL.
    Thank You.

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