Pre-Session Update # 6
February 6, 2021
Paul D. Seltzer, DO, Legislative Chair
Stephen R. Winn, ED
Michelle W. Larson, Assoc. ED
Jason D. Winn, Esq.
Summary
The legislature wrapped up its third week of committee meetings. House and Senate committees mostly heard presentations overviewing the Governor's FY 2021-22 budget recommendations.  A few bills of interest were adopted by the Senate Health Policy Committee.  For more information, please see the section titled “Legislative Spotlight.”


On Friday, House Speaker Chris Sprowls rolled out his civil liability protection plan for health care providers.  According to the Speaker, “separate bills were necessary because of the different standards and different circumstances in the health care arena than with more general businesses.”  Florida House Health & Human Services Committee Chair Colleen Burton (R-Lakeland), will be the lead sponsor for this needed legislation.

The PCB provides for five categories of claims in which the liability standard is raised from negligence to gross negligence. In addition, the legislation provides for an affirmative defense for following government guidance or health care standards at the time of the cause of action.

Under the legislation, the plaintiff must submit an affidavit signed by a licensed physician stipulating that states with a reasonable degree of certainty the COVID-related damage was a result of the defendant’s action or omission. In addition, the defendant must be shown to have been lacking in a good-faith effort to show compliance with authoritative or controlling government-issued health standards or guidance at the time of the cause of action. Finally, the civil action in both patient and non-patient claims must take place within one year after the cause of action accrues or within one year of the effective date of the act if the cause accrued before the effective date of the act.

FOMA General Counsel Jason Winn continues to meet with the coalition regarding the legislation.  For more information, click here.

A similar measure was filed in the Senate and is scheduled to be heard next week - SB 0074 COVID-19-related Claims Against Health Care Providers by Brandes.

Governor DeSantis appointed Simone Marstiller as Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and Shevaun Harris as Secretary of the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Marstiller previously served as the Secretary of Juvenile Justice since 2019 and Harris, who most recently served as the Acting Secretary of AHCA, fills the vacancy created by the resignation of DCF Secretary Chad Poppell. 
Legislative Spotlight

The Senate Health Policy Committee passed the following bills of interest:



SB 0494 Administration of Vaccines by Burgess


The Senate Health Policy Committee passed SB 494 - 9 Yeas, 0 Nays. The bill revises the authority of pharmacists and pharmacy interns to administer immunizations and vaccines, within the framework of an established protocol with a supervising physician, by eliminating steps in the approval process for immunizations and vaccines that such practitioners may administer. Under the measure, pharmacists and pharmacy interns are authorized to administer to an adult, under the protocol, any immunization or vaccine that is:

  • Listed in the Adult Immunization Schedule by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regardless of the date it was added to the schedule and without the need for authorization by rule of the Board of Pharmacy (BOP);

  • Recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP); or

  • Recommended by the CDC for international travel, regardless of the date of the recommendation and without the need for authorization by rule of the BOP.

The bill was amended to require a pharmacist, when administering epinephrine using an auto-injector delivery system in order to address an unforeseen allergic reaction, to administer a weight-based dose of epinephrine.


SB 0530 Nonopioid Alternatives by Perry


The Senate Health Policy Committee passed SB 530 - 9 Yeas, 0 Nays. This legislation amends s. 456.44, F.S., to allow a specific educational pamphlet, which must be provided to health care patients or their representatives under certain circumstances, to be provided electronically or in printed form, instead of only in printed form as required under current law. The pamphlet contains information on the use of nonopioid alternatives for the treatment of pain and must be provided when a patient will receive anesthesia or will be prescribed certain opioid medications.


SB 0340 Supermajority Vote Required to Enact a Single-payor Healthcare System by Diaz


The Senate Health Policy Committee passed SB 340 -  6 Yeas, 3 Nays. SJR 340 proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution to prohibit the Legislature from enacting a single-payor health care system for providing comprehensive health care services, except through legislation approved by two-thirds of the membership of each house of the Legislature and presented to the Governor for approval.

The amendment proposed in the joint resolution will take effect on January 3, 2023, if approved by sixty percent of voters during the 2022 general election or an earlier special election specifically authorized by law for that purpose.


SB 0272 Rare Disease Advisory Council by Baxley


The Senate Health Policy Committee passed SB 272 - 9 Yeas, 0 Nays. This legislation creates s. 381.99, F.S., to establish the Rare Disease Advisory Council (Council) adjunct to the Department of Health (DOH). The Council is tasked with providing recommendations to improve the health outcomes of Floridians who have a rare disease, defined as a disease that affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. The bill establishes the membership of the Council as well as the length of the members’ terms, requires that the Council first meet on October 1, 2021, and that the Council provide its recommendations to the Governor and the State Surgeon General by July 1 of each year beginning in 2022.
Steve Winn with Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez
CALENDAR
Week of
February 8, 2021
Tuesday Feb 9, 2021 

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services

  • SB 0122 Surrendered Newborn Infants

Wednesday Feb 10, 2021 

Senate Judiciary Committee 

  • SB 0074 COVID-19-related Claims Against Health Care Providers

House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee

  • HB 0009 Protecting Consumers Against Fraud During a Pandemic
Bill Tracking
Corporate Education Advocacy Roundtable Members
Please see the link below containing a list of all legislation filed to date. Let us know if you have any specific areas of interest or concern.

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