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Interim Committees, Week 2

January 6, 2023

Paul D. Seltzer, DO, Legislative Chair

Stephen R. Winn, ED

Michelle W. Larson, Assoc. ED

Jason D. Winn, Esq.


This week the legislature convened for the first time this year to resume interim committee meetings in preparation for the 2023 Legislative Session, scheduled to begin March 7.  Only five weeks of meetings remain as the legislature marches toward the session.  As committees progress, the FOMA's legislative team is closely monitoring the process and is meeting with legislators to inform them of the FOMA's legislative priorities.  

Senator Gayle Harrell, a lifelong advocate for Florida patients, assumed her official role as Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services, hosting its first meeting since the election.  The committee heard presentations from staff concerning the current fiscal year’s budget and an overview of healthcare spending as part of the entire state budget.  According to the committee, healthcare spending accounts for 43 percent of the budget based on total general revenue and federal dollars allocated to the Health and Human Services Budget.  

Governor DeSantis Inauguration - Attended by FOMA ED Steve Winn & General Counsel Jason D. Winn, Esq.

Gayle Harrell, Chair Senate Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services

Governor DeSantis Inauguration

Governor Ron DeSantis was sworn in for a second term Tuesday, January 3, 3023, taking the Oath of Office at noon.  Speaking on the steps of the Florida Capitol, the Governor delivered his inaugural address, focusing mainly on preserving freedom for Floridians and his record of ensuring Florida was open during the pandemic.  In addition, the Governor touted Florida’s rankings among other States, declaring: 

"… Florida is leading the nation:  We are #1 in these United States in net in-migration; Florida is the #1 fastest growing state; We are #1 in new business formations; Florida is #1 in tourism; We are #1 in economic freedom; Florida is #1 in education freedom. And we rank #1 in parental involvement in education. Florida also ranks #1 in public higher education."

Speaking to future policy initiatives, Governor DeSantis briefly revealed his plan to utilize Florida's record budget surplus to enact record tax relief measures designed “to assist Florida families who are grappling with inflation."

Click the Link above for

Inauguration Video

FOMA General Counsel

Jason D. Winn, Esq. & Representative Carolina Amesty, Dist 45. 

Interim Meeting Schedule

  • Tuesday, January 17 – Friday, January 20, 2023
  • Monday, January 23 – Friday, January 27, 2023
  • Monday, February 6 – Friday, February 10, 2023
  • Monday, February 13 – Friday February 17, 2023
  • Monday, February 20 – Friday, February 24, 2023

Legislative Highlights

SB 112 Step-therapy Protocols - by Harrell: The bill defines the term “serious mental illness” to include certain conditions contained in the DSM-V.  It requires the Agency for Health Care Administration to approve drug products for Medicaid recipients for the treatment of serious mental illness without step-therapy prior authorization under certain circumstances.

The FOMA Supports SB 112, as presently drafted. 

SB 46 Health Insurance Cost Sharing by Wright: This bill could save patients high out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs if passed. As drafted, the bill requires health insurers and their pharmacy benefit managers to apply payments by or on behalf of insureds toward the total contributions of the insureds’ cost-sharing requirements.

The FOMA Supports SB 46, as presently drafted. 

HB 79 - Telehealth Practice Standards - by Fabrcio:  The bill amends the definition of telehealth, removing the restriction concerning audio only calls.

The FOMA Supports HB 79, as presently drafted.  

Bill Tracking Report

In the News

ACHA's chief of staff Jason Weida takes over as agency's interim secretary

With the departure of Simone Marstiller from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Jason Weida has become interim secretary of the agency, according to the AHCA website. Weida, an attorney, most recently worked as the agency's chief of staff after serving as an assistant deputy secretary for Medicaid Policy and Quality.

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The Florida Supreme Court will not hear USF's appeal over COVID-19 fees

The state Supreme Court on Thursday declined to take up an appeal by the University of South Florida in a dispute about fees collected from students for services that were not provided because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Survey: Perceived high cost of insurance keeps Floridians from enrolling

Thousands of uninsured Floridians say the perceived high cost of health plans keep them from seeking coverage for themselves and their families, according to a survey from Florida Blue. Survey participants between the ages of 21 and 64 say the main reason for not enrolling in a health plan in Florida is the perceived high cost of insurance.

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COVID spreading faster in Florida but isn't as strong, UCF epidemiologist notes

Florida's weekly average of COVID-19 hospitalizations doubled between November and January, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC data show Florida hospitalization numbers rose to a weekly average of 2,200 admissions by the first week of January.

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