Pre-Session Update # 7
February 12, 2021
Paul D. Seltzer, DO, Legislative Chair
Stephen R. Winn, ED
Michelle W. Larson, Assoc. ED
Jason D. Winn, Esq.
The legislature wrapped up its fourth week of interim committee meetings. In addition to hearing presentations from agencies, House and Senate Committees also passed legislation relating to CVID-19 claims against health care providers, protecting consumers against fraud during a pandemic and surrendered newborn infants.  For more information, please see the section titled “Legislative Spotlight.” 

The Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services heard a presentation by the Agency for Health Care Administration regarding Medicaid.  According to AHCA, enrollment in Medicaid has increased by 826,000 enrollees since March 2020, pushing the total enrolments for the program to 4.56 million.  The estimated fiscal impact to the state is $15.7M per month ($188M annually).   

Presently, the CARES Act provides a 6.2 percentage point increase in federal Medicaid matching funds to help states respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The enhanced FMAP is effective January 1, 2020 through the end of the quarter in which the Public Health Emergency ends.  ACHA stated, “the public health emergency declaration was recently renewed and will be in effect through April 21, 2021.”  The enhanced FMAP will generate roughly $800 million in general revenue savings in 21/22.  However, it’s important to note This estimate does not take into account continued growth in Medicaid enrollment.  
Policy Survey
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Legislative Spotlight

Senate & House Committees pass the following bills of interest:

SB 0074 COVID-19-related Claims Against Health Care Providers by Brandes

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 74 Relating to CVID-19 claims against health care providers - 6 Yeas, 4 Nays. SB 74 limits civil claims against health care providers related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill requires that the initial complaint in a COVID-19-related lawsuit be pled with particularity. A trial court must dismiss a case if not pled with particularity. Under the measure, The bill a claimant is required to prove that the health care provider was grossly negligent or engaged in intentional misconduct in failing to substantially comply with government health standards or guidance, in interpreting or applying the standards or guidance, or in the provision of a novel or experimental treatment. Additionally, a health care provider is immune from civil liability if supplies or personnel were not readily available to comply with the standards or guidance. A COVID-19-related claim against a health care provider must be commenced within 1 year.

The House companion, HHS1 (Health Care Civil Liability) will be considered in the House Health & Human Services Committee on Wednesday February 17, 2021.

HB 0009 Protecting Consumers Against Fraud During a Pandemic by Zika

The House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee passed HB 9 relating to protecting consumers against fraud during a pandemic - 17 Yeas, 0 Nays. HB 9 prohibits a person from knowingly and willfully making a false or misleading statement or disseminating false or misleading information regarding the availability of, or access to, a vaccine for COVID-19 or any other pandemic disease in marketing or advertising materials; on a website, social media platform, or other media; or by telephone, text message, mail, or e-mail, for the purpose of obtaining another's personal identification information or money or other valuable consideration. A first offense is a third degree felony ranked at a level 7 on the offense severity ranking chart, while a second or subsequent offense is a second degree felony ranked at a level 8. The rankings provided by the bill subject an offender to a state prison sentence for any violation.

The bill authorizes the Florida Attorney General to initiate a civil action for an injunction, restraining order, or other appropriate relief when he or she reasonably believes the crime has been committed. This authority allows the Attorney General to shut down websites or other media platforms disseminating false information about a vaccine for COVID-19 or any other pandemic disease, when done with fraudulent intent.

SB 0122 Surrendered Newborn Infants by Baxley

The Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services passed SB 122 relating to surrendered newborn infants - 7 Yeas, 4 Nays.  As drafted, the bill modifies statutory provisions relating to surrendered newborn infants. The bill increases the age at which an infant may be lawfully relinquished, from approximately seven days old to approximately 30 days old. It also authorizes the placement of surrendered infants in a newborn safety device at a hospital, emergency medical services (EMS) station, or fire station, if such facility is staffed 24 hours per day. The bill provides specifications for the use of such devices.

Week of
February 15, 2021
Monday Feb 15, 2021

1:30PM          H Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee           404 H        

Presentations by the Agency for Health Care Administration:
  • Directed Payment Program
  • Supplemental Payment Programs
  • Graduate Medical Education Programs
2:30PM           S Judiciary      412 K           

  • SB 0054        Motor Vehicle Insurance        Burgess 
  •  SB 0686          Offers of Judgment     Brandes 
3:30PM           S Commerce and Tourism      110 S          

  • SB 0072          Civil Liability for Damages Relating to COVID-19       Brandes  

Tuesday Feb 16, 2021

9:00AM           S Children, Families, and Elder Affairs            37 S     
  • SB 0080         Child Welfare  Brodeur  
  • SB 0590          Involuntary Examinations of Minors  Harrell 
  • SB 0828          Mental Health and Substance Abuse Book  
 S Criminal Justice       110 S        
  •  SB 0614          Assault or Battery on Hospital Personnel      Rodriguez (A)  
 S Education    412 K     

  • SB 0280           Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training In Public Schools   Baxley  
  • SB 0538           Use of Epinephrine Auto-injectors on Public K-20 Campuses           Polsky  
12:30PMS Regulated Industries         412 K        

  • SB 7032          OGSR/Prescription Drug Purchase Lists         Regulated Industries  
1:00PM           H Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee           212 K   

  • HB 0133          Surrendered Newborn Infants           Harding  
3:30PM           S Transportation         110 S         

  •  SB 0380          Child Restraint Requirements Perry  
4:00PM           H Judiciary Committee          404 H          

  • HB 0007          Civil Liability for Damages Relating to COVID-19       McClure  

Wednesday Feb 17, 2021
9:00AM           S Health Policy 412 K   
  • SB 0362          Pediatric Cardiac Care Harrell  
  • SB 0700          Telehealth       Rodriguez (A)  
  • SB 0780          Health Care Licensure Requirements Gainer  
  • SB 0768          Immunizations            Baxley  

4:00PM           H Health & Human Services Committee        17 H          

  • HHS1   Health Care Civil Liability        Health & Human Services Committee  

Thursday Feb 18, 2021
9:00AM           S Finance and Tax       110 S        

  • SB 0058           Hospitals’ Community Benefit Reporting       Rodriguez (A)  
 S Rules            412 K        

  • SB 0530          Nonopioid Alternatives          Perry 
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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