FOMA Legislative Interim Committee Update, Week 6
December 5, 2021

Paul D. Seltzer, DO, Legislative Chair
Stephen R. Winn, ED
Michelle W. Larson, Assoc. ED
Jason D. Winn, Esq.
Last week, the Florida Legislature concluded all scheduled interim committee meetings ahead of the 2022 Legislative Session, passing a total of fifteen healthcare-related bills out of committee.  

Legislators will return to Tallahassee on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, to kick off the official start of the 2022 Legislative Session. 
Steve Winn, FOMA President Marc Kaprow, DO, State Rep. Colonel David Smith, FOMA President-Elect Lee Ann Brown, DO and FOMA Legislative Chair Paul D. Seltzer, DO
The FOMA Hosts Annual CRT Luncheon
After a brief intermission in 2020 due to COVID, the FOMA hosted its annual Legislative Corporate Educational Advocacy Roundtable luncheon at the Governor’s Club.  This event provides a venue through which representatives of the FOMA and its CRT partners with the pharmaceutical industry explore and identify areas of synergy regarding public policy issues that affect Florida’s patients. FOMA members in attendance include FOMA President Marc Kaprow, DO, President-Elect Lee Ann Brown, DO, FOMA Legislative Chair Paul D. Seltzer, DO, and Past-President Richard R. Thacker, DO.  

We thank our CRT members for attending this successful event and for their continued partnership with the FOMA as we work to ensure patients have access to innovative medications.
The FOMA's 2021 CRT Legislative Luncheon
Legislative Spotlight
COVID Liability
SB 7014 COVID-19-related Claims Against Health Care Providers by Judiciary

SB 7014 extends the length of time that health care providers receive certain liability protections from COVID-19-related claims. According to legislation passed during the 2021 Legislative Session, liability protections from COVID-19-related claims apply to claims accruing within 1 year after the effective date of the act, which was March 29, 2022.

The bill extends the application period of the liability protections, making them applicable to claims accruing before June 1, 2023. The net result of the bill is to extend the liability protections for about 14 months, from March 29, 2022, to June 1, 2023.
SB 0312 Telehealth by Diaz

The Senate Banking Committee unanimously passed SB 312 relating to telehealth. The FOMA, FMA, and other advocacy groups waived in support.  Other physician groups with an interest in medical marijuana, advocated for the ability to order medical marijuana for patients through Telehealth services. 

As passed, the bill removes a provision in the definition of “telehealth” that excludes audio-only telephone calls. In addition, the legislation amends a provision that, in practice, will allow a telehealth provider to issue a renewal prescription for a controlled substance listed in Schedule III, IV, or V of s. 893.03, F.S., through telehealth.  

Currently, telehealth providers are prohibited from prescribing controlled substances through telehealth unless the prescription is for the treatment of a psychiatric disorder, inpatient treatment at a hospital, the treatment of a patient receiving hospice services, or the treatment of a resident in a nursing home facility. The bill narrows this prohibition to the prescribing of only Schedule II controlled substances through telehealth, except under those specific circumstances.  
HB 0459 Step-therapy Protocols by Willhite

The House Finance and Facilities Subcommittee unanimously passed HB 459 relating to step-therapy.  The bill defines “step therapy protocol” as a protocol or program that establishes the specific sequence in which prescription drugs, medical procedures, or courses of treatment must be used to treat a health condition. In addition, it requires a process to receive a “protocol exemption”, which is a determination by an insurer or HMO to exempt an insured patient from an existing step therapy protocol.

The bill requires an insurer or HMO to publish on its website and provide to an insured in writing, a procedure for an insured patient and health care provider to request a protocol exemption. The procedure must include:

  • How an insured patient or health care provider may request a protocol exemption;

  • The manner and timeframe in which the health insurer or HMO is required to authorize or deny a protocol exemption request; and,

  • The manner and timeframe in which an insured patient may appeal the denial of a request.

Finally, HB 459 requires an insurer or HMO granting a protocol exemption to specify the prescription drug, medical procedure, or course of treatment approved. Alternatively, an insurer or HMO denying a protocol exemption request must provide a written explanation of the denial, including the clinical rationale supporting the denial. The written explanation must also describe the procedure for appealing the determination by the insurer or HMO.
SB 0534 Prescription Drugs Used in the Treatment of Schizophrenia for Medicaid Recipients by Harrell

The Senate Health Policy Committee unanimously passed SB 534. As drafted, the bill creates an exception from step-therapy prior authorization requirements within the Florida Medicaid program for certain mental health conditions if prior authorization was previously granted for the prescribed drug and the medication was dispensed to the patient during the previous 12 months.

In practice, the pharmacy benefit manager for the Florida Medicaid Fee-for-Service delivery system would review the exception request on behalf of the AHCA. Managed-care plans would process their exceptions. Providers may transmit written medical or clinical documentation by facsimile or submit their requests through the electronic prior authorization system.
Scope of Practice
HB 0469 Patient Care in Health Care Facilities by Trabulsy

The Finance & Facilities Subcommittee unanimously passed HB 469. As drafted, the bill revises home health agency statutes to allow home health aides and CNAs to perform additional tasks in assisting patients with self-administration of medication to create consistency.

Specifically, the bill allows a home health aide or CNA to assist with:

  • Transdermal patches;
  • Insulin syringes that are prefilled with the proper dosage by a pharmacist and insulin pens that are prefilled by the manufacturer;
  • Glucometers to perform blood-glucose level checks;
  • Antiembolism stockings;
  • Applying and removing oxygen cannulas;
  • Using continuous positive airway pressure devices;
  • Measuring vital signs; and
  • Colostomy bags.

Current law authorizes a registered nurse to delegate to a home health aide or CNA the authority to administer certain medications. The bill expands the duties a nurse may delegate to a home health aide or CNA to include administering an insulin syringe that is prefilled with the proper dosage by a pharmacist or an insulin pen that is prefilled by the manufacturer.

An advanced life support ambulance transporting a patient between two facilities is required to be occupied by two people, including one patient attendant who may be a paramedic, registered nurse, or a physician, and one qualified ambulance driver who is an EMT, paramedic, registered nurse, or physician. The bill removes the requirement for the driver to be an EMT, paramedic, registered nurse, or physician. For an interfacility transfer, this allows an ALS and BLS ambulance to be staffed the same.
Bill Action Report - Week of November 29
Bill Tracking Report (All Bills)
To review the legislation contained in the tracking report in greater detail:

  • Click on the Bill Number Link. 

  • This will take you to a shared LobbyTools webpage.
  • Find the section titled Bill Text and Amendments

  • Click on the PDF link
Legislative Calendar
January 7, 2022 - 5:00 p.m., deadline for approving final drafts of general bills and joint resolutions, including companion bills

January 11, 2022 - Regular Session convenes (Article III, section 3(b), State Constitution) 12:00 noon, deadline for filing bills for introduction (Rule 3.7(1))

February 26, 2022 - Motion to reconsider made and considered the same day (Rule 6.4(4)) All bills are immediately certified (Rule 6.8)

March 1, 2022 - 50th day – last day for regularly scheduled committee meetings (Rule 2.9(2))

March 11, 2022 - 60th day – last day of Regular Session (Article III, section 3(d), State Constitution)
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