FOMA Legislative Update, Week 8
March 6, 2022

Paul D. Seltzer, DO, Legislative Chair
Stephen R. Winn, ED
Michelle W. Larson, Assoc. ED
Jason D. Winn, Esq.
Last week, the legislature adopted several healthcare-related bills supported by the FOMA, sending them to the Governor for his consideration. Among the bills passed were HB 817 relating to emergency treatment of minors and HB 357 relating to pharmacy benefit managers. The FOMA thanks the bill sponsors and the legislature for adopting this needed patient-centered legislation.

Committees officially concluded business, marking an end for most legislation not making it through the committee process.  Some bills may be withdrawn from committee and placed on the calendar or amended onto other viable bills as legislators jockey to get their initiatives across the finish line.  The FOMA continues monitoring the process for adverse amendments as the legislature presses to close out the 2022 Legislative Session.  
FOMA President
Lee Ann Brown, DO
Budget conference subcommittees officially concluded business, sending all remaining negotiation points to the full Appropriations Conference Committee chairs.  Any issues not resolved early next week will be bumped to the presiding officers for resolution before the required seventy-two-hour legislator review period. We will keep you posted regarding any new developments in the budget process.  This is typically the moment within the conference process when new funding items are generated by the big chairs, what insiders sometimes refer to as “the sprinkle.” 
Emergency Medical Treatment of Minors
The FOMA is pleased to announce that the legislature has passed HB 817, a measure allowing physicians to render emergency medical care to minors, sending it to the Governor for his consideration.  This legislative initiative, spearheaded by the FOMA and others, fixes a glitch resulting from the passage of the Parental Bill of Rights legislation adopted in the 2021 session, preventing physicians from rendering emergency care to minors for fear of committing a criminal violation. 

Under current law, parental consent is required for a physician to provide emergency medical care to a minor outside of a hospital or college health service. HB 817 allows physicians and emergency medical personnel to provide emergency medical care or treatment to a minor at any location without the consent of the minor’s parents.  A provider must first attempt to identify and contact the legal guardian, and care rendered without consent must be the result of a genuine emergency.

HB 0817 Emergency Medical Care and Treatment to Minors Without Parental Consent by Massullo, Jr.
PBM Regulation
After falling short in the 2021 session, legislation revising provisions relating to the regulation of pharmacy benefit managers finally crossed the goal line.  Last week, the Florida Senate took up and unanimously passed HB 357, sending it to the Governor for his consideration.  This patient-centered legislation provides an enforcement mechanism for violations of established PBM audit protections for licensed pharmacies.  Under current law, the Board of Pharmacy cannot enforce Pharmacy Act violations committed by PBMs and insurers. 

The bill:

  • Transfers the audit provisions of the Florida Pharmacy Act to the Florida Insurance Code, granting the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) the ability to respond to potential violations;  
  • Allows pharmacies to appeal audit findings through AHCA’s Dispute Resolution Program.  Further, the bill establishes a financial penalty for PBMs failing to register with OIR; 
  • Provides that a health insurer is responsible for violations of the pharmacy audit provisions, even if a PBM is contracted to manage pharmacy benefits on behalf of the insurer or HMO.

The FOMA Supports this legislation.

  • HB 0357 Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers by Toledo
Prescription Drug Treatment Schizophrenia
Legislation creating an exception from the Florida Medicaid Program step-therapy prior authorization requirements for certain mental health conditions, SB 534, unanimously passed out of both chambers and is on its way to the Governor for his consideration.  Prior authorization for the medication must have previously been granted and dispensed to the patient during the previous 12 months to qualify for the exception.

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.

The FOMA Supports the Legislation

SB 0534 Prescription Drugs Used in the treatment of Schizophrenia for Medicaid Recipients by Harrell
Administration of Vaccines
The Senate amended and passed HB 1209 relating to the administration of vaccines.  HB 1209 authorizes qualified Florida-registered pharmacy technicians to administer designated to adults under the supervision of a certified pharmacist. The bill was amended, changing the supervision ratio; one pharmacist to a maximum of five technicians.

Under the measure, pharmacy technicians must become certified before administering authorized immunizations. To become certified, a registered pharmacy technician must complete a certification program approved by the Board, in consultation with the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine. The training curriculum must have at least 6 hours of training that, at a minimum, includes instruction on the safe and effective administration of vaccines and potential allergic reactions to such vaccines. Pharmacy technicians must have completed at least two hours of additional continuing education upon registration renewal.

HB 1209 is headed back to the House for its consideration.

The FOMA is monitoring this legislation.

HB 1209 Administration of Vaccines by Tuck
Department of Health Bill
The Senate amended and unanimously passed SB 768 relating to theDepartment of Health, sending the bill to the House for its consideration.  SB 768 addresses certain healthcare-related issues regulated by the Department of Health (DOH). 

  • Updates the “Targeted Outreach for Pregnant Women Act of 1998”;

  • Amends section 381.0303, Florida Statutes., to specify that for pediatric special needs shelters, theDOH is the lead agency to coordinate local medical and health care providers for the staffing and management of the shelters and is the decision-making authority for determining the medical supervision in each special needs shelter;

  • Allows the DOH to collect samples of marijuana and marijuana delivery devices, in general, from a medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) for specified testing, rather than only samples of edibles;

  • Expands MMTC recall requirements to all marijuana products and delivery devices, rather than only edibles;

  • Provides an exception from criminal laws for the DOH employees to acquire, possess, test, transport, and lawfully dispose of marijuana and marijuana delivery devices;

  • Amends statutes regulating several types of health care professions, including allopathic and osteopathic physicians, nurses, midwives, psychologists, orthotists, prosthetists, clinical lab personnel, chiropractors, mental health counselors, clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists;

  • Amends sections 460.406, 468.803, 483.824, and 490.005, Florida Statutes, to delete references to the term “regional” and replace it with the word “institutional” to conform with theU.S. Department of Education accreditation nomenclature for approving healthcare-related educational institutions; and

  • Amends section 766.314, Florida Statutes, authorizing the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA) to collect and enforce physician assessments in circuit court, if necessary and requires the NICA to notify the DOH and the appropriate board of any unpaid final judgments against a physician within a specific timeframe. 

SB 768 was amended to include language relating to medical marijuana treatment center licensing and medical marijuana compliance testing. 

The FOMA is monitoring this legislation.

  • SB 0768 Department of Health by Rodriguez (A)

  • HB 0693 Department of Health by Drake
Military Medics & Corpsmen of Florida Program
Last week the Senate unanimously passed SB 466, a bill creating the Military Corpsmen and Medics Program of Florida (MCMF program) within the Department of Health (DOH).  The bill is designed to assist military-trained veterans and their spouses in identifying and applying for healthcare-related employment and licensure and identifying educational and training opportunities.

  • Requires the DOH to establish the MCMF Program Office of Veterans Advocacy (MCMF office) to provide information, guidance and assistance with the licensure process or expedited licensure to military-trained health care veterans and their spouses. 

  • Requires Florida is for Veterans Inc. (FIFVs) to establish and maintain a statewide list of health care providers who agree to participate in the program and assist such providers in recruiting and hiring military-trained health care veterans and their spouses.

  • Authorizes the Board of Governors (BOG) and the State Board of Education (SBE) to create a process that enables military-trained health care veterans to earn uniform postsecondary educational credit for college-level education and training acquired while in the military.

  • Requires State universities, Florida College System institutions, career centers, training schools, and training programs to award postsecondary education credit and career education and academic and clinical clock hours for certain courses taken and training received during military service.

SB 466 has been sent to the House for its consideration. The House companion, HB 131, has passed all committees and is eligible for consideration. The House and Senate bills differ significantly.

The FOMA is monitoring this legislation.

SB 0466 Military Medics and Corpsmen of Florida Program by Torres, Jr.
Medical Negligence Claims
The House passed HB 6011 relating to recovery of damages in medical negligence claims by a 102-13 vote.  HB 6011 would authorize parents of adult children to recover damages for mental pain and suffering in medical negligence suits.  Although the bill is in messages, the Senate companion, SB 262, has not been heard by any of its referenced committees.  

The FOMA is opposed to this legislation and actively works with other stakeholders to prevent its passage.  

  • SB 0262 Damages Recoverable by Parents of an Adult Child in Medical Negligence Actions by Rodriguez (A)

  • HB 6011 Recovery of Damages in Claims for Medical Negligence by Roach
Bill Tracking Report
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 Week 9
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