From the Desk of Bryan Campbell, DCMS Chief Executive Officer:
Happy Session Day!
Today is the first day of the Legislative Session in Tallahassee and 2016 is certain to be a fast and furious one. The session starts early this year because of a new rule moving the session forward in Presidential election years. The session will be over before the end of March, allowing all Representatives and Senators to go back to their Districts to run for office. Because of redistricting and term limits, all 160 seats are up for election this fall.
Due to the early nature of this session, and the large number of special sessions in 2015, it is unclear just how much will get accomplished in the 2016 session. We do know that 2015 saw a record low number of bills passed by the Legislature, and it's likely we could break that record in 2016.
As always, we will continue to monitor more than one hundred bills that have some impact on the delivery of healthcare in Florida. We will bring you important information about bills as they progress through the system. Here are just a few of the bills we are watching at this time:
ER Balance Billing - This bill would prohibit balance billing and replace it with a rate determined by Medicare or "usual and customary" rates.
Fail First - This bill would allow physicians to override fail-first/step therapy in certain situations.
Nurse/Physician Assistant Prescribing - Would allow prescribing of controlled substances under physician protocol.
Healthcare Fee Transparency - Would require transparency of rates and fees prior to non-emergency care.
Telehealth - Would allow physicians not licensed in the state of Florida to practice medicine via telehealth in Florida.
Obviously there are many more, as well. We will be providing you an online resource to monitor the development of bills as we have done in years past. We will also keep you up to date on major developments and what they mean for your practice as they occur.
In the meantime, if you have questions about one of these bills, or any, legislative item, please call our Legislative Hotline at (904) 353-7536.