2016 Legislative Session – End of Regular Session Report

BALANCE BILLING

HB 221 by Representative Carlos Trujillo

SB 1442 by Senator Rene Garcia

PASSED

This legislation passed during the final hours of session and was considered a priority for Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and his office of the Consumer Advocate to protect consumers.  This bill prohibits PPO insured patients from being balance billed by an out of network provider for emergency and elective services. It also includes a resolution process to resolve issues between the provider and the insurance company.  The President’s goal of adding language to the bill that mandates coverage of developmental disabilities passed in the last hours of Session.

 

Other issues in this bill included that insurers provide treatment coverage such as physical therapy and occupational therapy for the treatment of Down Syndrome.  This was a priority for Senate President Andy Gardiner who has a son with Down Syndrome. It also provided provisions for the use of a uniform prior authorization form.

 

SCOPE OF PRACTICE

HB 977 by Representative Kathleen Peters

SB 1250 by Senator Jack Latvala

PASSED

Of interest, this bill allows for psychiatric nurses to prescribe psychotropic controlled substances to treat mental illnesses under the established protocol of a psychiatrist.

 

HB 423 by Representative Cary Pigman

SB 676 by Senator Denise Grimsley

PASSED

HB 423/SB 676 allows for ARNPs (advanced registered nurse practitioners) and PAs (physician assistants) to prescribe controlled substances under the supervision of a physician.  There is a prescription limitation to a seven day supply, a prohibition of prescribing psychotropic drugs for children and clarification that ARNPs and PAs cannot prescribe controlled substances in a pain management clinic.

Other provisions of this bill requires health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to use a standard prior authorization form and provides sovereign immunity protections for free clinics who receive state dollars or grants.

 

NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT

HB 1063 by Representative Cary Pigman

SB 1306 by Denise Grimsley

PASSED
This legislation enacts the multistate nurse licensure compact in Florida – an agreement between participating states that would allow nurses to practice in other compact participating states with a single multistate license. The nurse must comply with state laws where she is practicing or where the patient is located.

 

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

HB 307 by Representative Matt Gaetz

SB 460 by Senator Rob Bradley

PASSED

Of interest, this bill would add medical marijuana (manufactured and sold to a licensed dispensing organization) to the list of drugs that is allowed for use under the Right to Try Act.  The Right to Try Act passed during the 2015 Legislative Session and allows patients that are suffering from a terminal condition to use certain drugs that have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

 

PRACTICE OF PHARMACY

 HB 547 by Representative Ed Narain

SB 692 by Senator Denise Grimsley

DID NOT PASS

 These bills proposed expanding the scope of pharmacists to include medication management, patient health assessments and the ability to refer for health care services.  It would also allow them to initiate, modify, discontinue or administer drugs within the framework of a therapy order or protocol with other health care providers.  This legislation would also provided that pharmacist would be reimbursed for these healthcare services outside of the prescribing.  HB 547 was brought up in its first committee of reference but ultimately did not pass due to its controversial nature.  Senator Grimsley withdrew her version from consideration prior to any hearing in the Senate.

 

DRUGS, DEVICES AND COSMETICS

SB 1604 by Senator Denise Grimsley

HB 1211 by Representative Scott Plakon

PASSED

This bill makes several changes to the Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act.  Of interest, it increases the number of unit doses, from 5,000 to 7,500 unit doses, of a controlled substance that may be ordered during a one-month period before triggering an assessment by the wholesaler as to whether the purchase of that controlled substance is reasonable.

 

AMBULATORY SURGERY CENTERS/RECOVERY CARE CENTERS

HB 85 by Representative Heather Fitzenhagen

SB 212 by Senator Don Gaetz

DID NOT PASS
HB 85 and SB 212 would have allowed patients to stay past midnight at ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) and up to 24 hours. It also created a new category of a licensed facility known as a recovery care center (RCC), which would provide general nursing and rehabilitative services for up to three days. The Senate bill ultimately removed the RCC component from the bill and added provisions to the ASC language that would have required these facilities to provide care to Medicare/Medicaid patients as well as patients who qualify for charity care.  Also, it would have required ASC’s to comply with the same reporting requirements and safety codes as a hospital. This legislation (HB 85) ultimately became a heavy train of health care issues and died in Messages.

 

 PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM

 SB 964 by Senator Denise Grimsley

HB 313 by Representative Ray Pilon

PASSED

SB 964/HB 313 exempts a rehabilitative hospital, assisted living facility, or nursing home that dispenses a dosage of a controlled substance to a patient from reporting to the PDMP.  It also allows a designee of a pharmacy, prescriber or dispenser to access the PDMP.  This legislation also included language that related to impaired practitioners.

 

Report presented by Johnson & Blanton, May 23, 2016

Notice of HB 305

HB 305, “An Act Relating to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists”, has been introduced in the Florida House of Representatives. Sponsored by Representative Erik Fresen, this bill aims to fundamentally alter the relationship between CRNA’s and physicians from one of “supervision” to that of “collaboration”. The explicit purpose of this bill is to lay the groundwork for CRNA practice independence. In fact the original version stated it would seek to revise their “authorized scope of practice”. We feel this would jeopardize patient safety and irreparably harm the authority of anesthesiologists to direct patient care.

As an FSA member, you can be confident that your leadership has already been in full gear for several weeks, coordinating with our Tallahassee strategists as well as contacts throughout Florida and nationwide to develop a political plan to kill HB305. Visits are being made to key policymakers who will continue to receive the undeniable message that this bill is bad for the safety of Floridians.

We will keep you informed of our efforts to derail 305 and to make sure legislators understand the importance of physician primacy over mid-level provider care. The legislative session begins March 5, and, at that time, the full FSA membership may need to be mobilized. Until then, we will keep you informed of any developments as they occur, and please feel free to contact myself or any member of the Board of Director via cell for questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Charles J. Chase, DO
President, Florida Society of Anesthesiologists
Anesthesiologists of Greater Orlando Orlando, FL
407-947-1954 Cell
407-896-9500 Office
http://www.fsahq.org/