As reported in the spring, the FAFP was pleased to announce several legislative victories that will go into effect next Friday, July 1, 2022:
Telehealth/Controlled Substance Prescribing
Florida law will now allow physicians to issue a prescription renewal for a Schedule III, IV or V controlled substance through telehealth, within the scope of their practice. While this is a significant step forward, the effort is not complete as payment parity and expanding the definition to formally include audio only will continue to be pursued. Remember, it is critical that your medical judgement in prescribing controlled substances be consistent with current standard of care requirements so please act accordingly.
Legislation was also passed to improve step therapy protocols as follows:
- Health insurers will be required to publish online and provide to their insureds and his or her physician the procedure for a fail-first protocol exemption or an appeal of the health insurer’s denial of a protocol exemption request.
- The procedure provided must include three elements:
- the mechanism in which the insured or healthcare provider may request the exemption (e.g., a form for making the request)
- the manner and timeframe in which the health insurer authorizes or denies the request
- the manner and timeframe in which the insured or the healthcare provider may appeal the health insurer’s denial of a protocol exemption request.
- Protocol exemptions authorizations must be administered as follows:
- approved requests must specify the approved prescription drug, medical procedure, or course of treatment.
- denied requests must include a written explanation of the reason for the denial, the clinical rationale that supports the denial, and the procedure for appealing the health insurer’s denial.
Not available yet but the application process will begin soon to provide eligible physicians in rural, underserved areas to apply for up to $20,000 annually in debt relief through the state’s Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program. The FAFP continues to work with state officials and the FMA to ensure the rules for implementation are fair and favorable to eligible family physicians. Details will be released as soon as they are available.