April 6, 2000
Highlight of Waters-Peaden Bill
"Patient Protection Act of2000"
1. This proposal guarantees consumer awareness of existing patient protections.
Florida is ahead of the nation in providing strong patient protections. Those protections, however, are currently scattered throughout more than 120 pages of statute.
This proposal solidifies existing protections into one clear, concise, consumer-friendly format. Consumers will be guaranteed protections already afforded them, such as:
- quality health care from a broad panel of providers, including referrals, preventive care, emergency screenings, and second opinions
- receiving care from an independently accredited and financially secure HMO
- continuity of health care, even after the provider is no longer with the HMO
- clear-cut and speedy process for addressing grievances
We are not, however, satisfied with the status quo - and must build on our successes...
2. This proposal insures quality of health care:
- your doctor will be able to continue to treat you in the hospital
- licensed doctors, not HMO administrators, will make final decisions regarding your care
- if you have a complaint, you will be made aware of toll-free telephone numbers to provide assistance in a timely manner
- a strategy will be developed to focus on ways to prevent medical errors in the first place
3. This proposal will increase the affordability and availability of health care by:
- streamlining the review process for introduction of new health care services
- encouraging small employer health insurance reforms [of particular importance given our state's service economy with many Floridians employed by small businesses.]
- increasing access to hospital outpatient services for indigent patients
- addressing disparities in racial and ethnic health outcomes
- ensuring that new health care coverage requirements do not unnecessarily drive up the cost of health care [After all, insurance is of no benefit if you cannot afford it.]