FOMA Legislative Update, Week 9
March 14, 2022

Paul D. Seltzer, DO, Legislative Chair
Stephen R. Winn, ED
Michelle W. Larson, Assoc. ED
Jason D. Winn, Esq.
A little late in finalizing negotiations on the budget, the legislature officially concluded business today, voting on the FY 2022-23 budget.  Despite the need to extend the session, the House and Senate passed the FY 2022-23 budget on a bipartisan basis, appropriating record funding totaling $112.1 billion.  Due to adjusted state income projections, the final budget is significantly higher than the Governor’s recommended FY 2022-23 budget totaling $99.7.  The budget is now in the hands of the Governor for his consideration.  

The House and Senate agreed upon Health & Human Services budget totaling $48.9 billion, approximately $1 billion higher than their preconference allocation. Moving to the Senate position, the final budget provides robust funding for graduate medical education totaling $291.6 million – funding GME above the Governor’s recommended allocation of $283.9 million.  No funding was allocated to support the osteopathic medical school programs at NOVA or LECOM.
Sini Die Press Conference
Speaker Sprowls,
Governor DeSantis &
Senate President Simpson
Steve Winn, Senate President Wilton Simpson &
Jason D. Winn, Esq.
The final budget provides $15 million in recurring dollars to fund the Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program.  This appropriation authorizes AHCA to purchase drugs in accordance with the programmatic requirements.    The plan also authorizes the transfer of funds to ACHA from the Department of Health, the Department of Children & Families, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, and the Department of Corrections to purchase prescription drugs through the importation program.

A promising effort to revive HB 861, a bill prohibiting the use of medical specialty designations, fell apart in the Senate the final week of the session.  During the last Senate Rules Committee meeting, Senator Albritton successfully amended the bill, significantly watering down the language and placing additional notification requirements on physicians.  Although HB 861 unanimously passed the Senate, the House refused to take up the returning message, favoring the House’s original language.  The FOMA supported the House version of the bill, and we thank Representative Massullo for his valiant effort to bring needed attention to this patient protection concern.
The Senate took up and passed SB 312 as amended by the House, sending the legislation to the Governor for his consideration.  SB 312 allows a telehealth provider to issue a renewal prescription for Schedule III, IV, and V controlled substances through telehealth.  A provision that would have included audio-only telephone calls within the definition of telehealth was removed from the bill.  

The FOMA supports this legislation. 

SB 0312 Telehealth by Diaz
The Senate unanimously passed HB 459 relating to step-therapy, sending it to the Governor for his consideration.  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 description must also describe the procedure for appealing the determination by the insurer or HMO.  

The FOMA supported this legislation. 

HB 0459 Step-therapy Protocols by Willhite
Administration of Vaccines
The House passed HB 1209, sending it to the Governor for his consideration. HB 1209 authorizes qualified Florida-registered pharmacy technicians to administer designated to adults under the supervision of a certified pharmacist.

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.

The bill also changes the supervision ratio; one pharmacist to a maximum of five technicians.

The FOMA monitored this legislation.

HB 1209 Administration of Vaccines by Tuck
Department of Health Bill
The legislature passed SB 768 relating to theDepartment of Health, sending the bill to the Governor for his consideration.  SB 768 addresses certain healthcare-related issues regulated by the Department of Health (DOH). The bill:

  • 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. 

The FOMA is monitoring this legislation.

  • SB 0768 Department of Health by Rodriguez (A)
Military Medics & Corpsmen of Florida Program
Although SB 466 was unanimously passed by the Senate, the House refused to concur with the Senate version of the bill. The bill would have created the Military Corpsmen and Medics Program of Florida (MCMF program) within the Department of Health (DOH).  This legislation was 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.

The FOMA monitored this legislation.

SB 0466 Military Medics and Corpsmen of Florida Program by Torres, Jr.
Medical Negligence Claims
The Senate refused to consider HB 6011 relating to the recovery of damages in medical negligence claims. HB 6011 would have authorized parents of adult children to recover damages for mental pain and suffering in medical negligence suits.  

The FOMA opposed this legislation, actively working with other stakeholders to prevent its passage.  

HB 6011 Recovery of Damages in Claims for Medical Negligence by Roach
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
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