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April in Tallahassee: An Update on the Legislative Session

Tuesday, April 2, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Dr. Mark Dobbertien
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By Mark Dobbertien, MD, FACS
DCMS Treasurer & FMA Surgical Specialty Board Representative

As we approach the halfway point of the 2019 Legislative Session, it has become abundantly clear that the House and Senate have very different healthcare agendas.

In the House, scope of practice issues have dominated, as the healthcare committees have been committed to passing independent practice bills for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, as well as allowing Pharmacists to diagnose and prescribe. The Senate, on the other hand, has not even considered these issues to date, and instead has focused on promoting Telehealth (with the requirement that Telehealth providers be licensed in Florida) and patient right issues.

Fortunately, a few issues appear to have grabbed the attention of both chambers. Both the House and Senate Health committees have advanced legislation that would allow the Department of Health to regulate not only the physicians who operate in Office Surgery Centers, but also the owners, operators, and facilities themselves. Likewise, both committees have passed proposals that would require hospitals to consult with primary care physicians when one of their patients is admitted.

All of these legislative initiatives have several more legislative stops before final floor action, but the stage has been set for a very eventful April.