Legislative Interim Committee Update, Week 2
October 18 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 its second week of interim committee meetings.  Committees primarily heard reports from agencies and other healthcare organizations.  No bills of interest were heard.  The legislature will return for more interim meetings this week.  

On Friday, Representative Alexander filed HB 319 relating to prescriptive authority certification for phycologists. This legislation, expanding the scope of practice for professionals licensed under chapter 490, would allow psychologists who receive certification to prescribe, administer, discontinue, or distribute drugs or controlled substances recognized or customarily used in the diagnosis, treatment, or management of an individual who has a psychiatric, mental, cognitive, nervous, emotional, developmental, or behavioral disorder.  The FOMA is opposed to this legislation.     
Senate President Wilton Simpson & Steve Winn
ACHA Secretary Simone Marstiller,
On Monday, October 11, 20201, ACHA Secretary Simone Marstiller, reviewed the agency's legislative budget requests for FY 2022-23 with the House Healthcare Appropriations Subcommittee. According to Secretary Marstiller, since the beginning of the pandemic, individuals enrolled in Medicaid has increased by 1,188,362, bringing the total Medicaid patient population to a record setting 4.9 million enrollees.   
Throughout the pandemic, ACHA has provided needed support to over three-hundred hospitals and four thousand long-term-care facilities.  Presently, the agency is supporting third doses for seniors and the use of monoclonal antibodies to reduce hospitalizations.  Secretary Marstiller advised that hospitalizations are down by 78 percent and ICU admissions have fallen by 71.4 percent.  

According to the Secretary, the Canadian Drug Importation Plan has been submitted to federal regulators for approval.  “We are ready to go.  We anticipate this program will save $150 million annually.”  Florida is the first state to seek approval the importation of drugs from Canada.  

For more information regarding the legislative budget requests for ACHA and the Florida Department of Health, please click here.  
On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, the Florida Department of Health provided an update to the Senate Health Policy Committee concerning the State’s COVID mitigation strategies.  According to the Department, a total of 13.7 million Floridians, seventy-two percent, have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, and 63 percent are fully vaccinated.  Of individuals sixty-five or older, ninety percent have been vaccinated, highlighting the success of Florida’s senior first approach.

In addition to vaccinations, the Department supports monoclonal antibody treatments as a highly effective tool to reduce the progression of illness and hospitalizations. Monoclonal treatments reduce the development of symptomatic disease by over eighty percent and the risk of death/hospitalization by seventy to eighty-five percent. To date, the state has opened twenty-five treatment centers, administering close to three-thousand combined daily doses. Over 135 thousand dosed were administered as of October 10, 2021. Present monoclonal antibody treatments receiving FDA emergency use authorization include, REGEN-COV, Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab and Sotrovimab.   

According to the DOH, the State presently has a sufficient supply of vaccinations and monoclonal antibody treatments.  For more information concerning this meeting, please click here.
Legislative Spotlight
Medical Malpractice
HB 6011 Recovery of Damages in Claims for Medical Negligence by Roach
This bill would allow the parent of an adult child to sue under medical malpractice.  Presently, Florida is the only state that prohibits such lawsuits. Similar language passed out of the full House last session but died in the Senate.   
HB 0017 Telehealth Practice Standards by Fabricio

This legislation would allow any controlled substance not listed as Schedule II to be prescribed through telehealth. Under the proposed language, Schedule II substances could only be prescribed through telehealth under the following circumstances: the treatment of a psychiatric disorder; Inpatient treatment at a hospital licensed under chapter 395; the treatment of a patient receiving hospice service, and the treatment of a nursing-home facility resident. This language almost passed last session, dying due to other policy considerations within the larger legislative package.   
HB 0167 Abortion by Barnaby

The bill requires a physician to conduct tests for the presence of a detectable fetal heartbeat, prohibiting all abortions when a fetal heartbeat is verified. In addition, the bill authorizes a private civil cause of action for certain violations and provides for civil remedies and damages.
Scope of Practice
HB 0319 Prescriptive Authority Certification for Psychologists by Alexander

Prescriptive Authority Certification for Psychologists: Requires Board of Psychology to certify specified psychologists to exercise prescriptive authority; requires board to develop procedures & adopt rules relating to prescriptive authority certification; requires each applicant for renewal to complete continuing education; requires prescribing psychologist who is authorized to prescribe controlled substances to file his or her federal Drug Enforcement Administration registration number; requires Board of Psychology to transmit specified information to the Board of Pharmacy. Effective Date: July 1, 2022
Bill Tracking
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
Interim Calendar 2021

  • October 18 – October 22
  • November 1 – November 5
  • November 15 – November 19
  • November 29 – December 3
In the News
As state cracks down, local governments say they aren't...

Dozens of companies and local governments - even concerts from a pop singer and a country music band - are being investigated by the state for their vaccine requirements. State law bans so-called vaccine passports. Concertgoers to recent Harry...

Read more
Why experts say people should get both flu and COVID...

Although the peak of flu season starts in December and lasts through February, it officially starts in October. This year, doctors recommend not only getting a flu shot this month, but also getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more
Florida's health department proposes long-term rule on...

The Florida Department of Health on Friday proposed a long-term rule to try to prevent school mask mandates and give parents more authority to decide whether children who have been exposed to COVID-19 should be able to attend school.

Read more
Lawmakers eye education efforts to address the shortage...

After the delta variant caused a surge of coronavirus patients in Florida, health officials say the number of cases is continuing to trend down. But Mary Mayhew, president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association, says staffing concerns...

Read more