State Capital Briefs (Late Afternoon Edition): Monday, March 27
The News Service of Florida
With Republican leaders looking for ways to revamp the health-care system, the House could pass bills this week that deal with doctor-patient relationships, ambulatory surgical centers and what are known as "recovery care centers." The House on Wednesday is slated to take up a bill (HB 161) that would clear the way for "direct primary care" agreements between patients and doctors. Such agreements involve patients making regular payments to doctors to cover routine primary-care services, cutting out the role of insurers. The bill, backed by doctors and small businesses, would make clear that direct primary care agreements are not insurance and are not subject to regulation under insurance laws. Also Wednesday, the House will consider a bill (HB 145) that would allow patients to stay up to 24 hours at ambulatory surgical centers. Under current law, patients cannot stay overnight. Also, the bill would allow the creation of recovery care centers, where patients could stay up to 72 hours after surgical procedures. A Senate version of the bill (SB 222) would allow patients to stay up to 24 hours at ambulatory surgical centers but does not include recovery care centers. The House could vote on the bills as soon as Thursday.