Daily Legislative Brief from February 18, 2016
SB 676-Relating to Health Care
On Thursday, February 18th, SB 676, relating to Health Care, by Senator Denise Grimsley (R-Sebring) was heard in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee and passed with 15 yeas and 0 nays.
SB 676 would authorize and increase the scope for practice for physician assistants (PAs) and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) to prescribe controlled substances under current supervisory standards for PAs and protocols for ARNPs beginning January 1, 2017. ARNPs and PAs would not be allowed to prescribe controlled substances in a pain management clinic. Other provisions of the bill include:
- Requiring health insurers, HMOs and pharmacy benefits managers to use the standardized prior authorization form by January 1, 2017;
- Providing a health insurer or HMO cannot retroactively deny a claim due to an insured’s ineligibility, if that insurer or HMO verified eligibility at the time of treatment; and
- Requiring hospitals to notify OB physicians with privileges at least 90 days prior to closing its OB department.
Another provision to the bill, which causes AIF to continue to express concern, is the provision that would prohibit a health insurer and health maintenance organization (HMO) from retroactively denying a claim due to the insured’s delinquency of premium payments, if that insurer or HMO already verified the insured’s eligibility at the time of treatment. This provision on claims payment could lead to increased costs on Florida’s businesses.
However, we do SUPPORT the provision in this bill that will provide for an increase of the scope of practice for ARNPs and PAs.
At this juncture AIF did not take a position on this bill.
SB 676 will now go to the Senate floor for consideration.
AIF supports removing regulatory scope of practice obstacles for qualified health care professions to ensure greater access to quality care for more Floridians at more affordable costs.
Legal & Judicial
HB 761-Relating to Fraudulent Activities Associated with Payment Systems
On Thursday, February 18th, HB 761, relating to Fraudulent Activities Associated with Payment Systems, by Rep. Dana Young (R-Tampa) was heard before the House Judiciary Committee and unanimously passed with 17 yeas and 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.
HB 761 addresses “skimming” at gas stations, specifically at gas pumps themselves, which has become a significant issue in the state of Florida. “Skimmers” are typically found on the gas pumps themselves, disguised as the usual everyday credit card reader. Unbeknownst to the customer, their credit card information is stolen.
During recent investigations, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) has found that skimmed payment information is being used as part of elaborate fraud schemes to purchase hundreds of gallons of gas that is pumped into unapproved, hidden gas tanks in vans, SUVs, and trucks. Such gas is then usually resold by the criminals to independent truck drivers at a fraction of its usual cost.
To establish greater protection for consumer payment information and enhance penalties for crimes involved in the fraud schemes, the bill:
- Requires owners and operators of retail fuel pumps in this state to install a security measure that hinders or prohibits the unauthorized opening of the panel on the fuel pump which leads to the scanning device used for customer payment.
- Increases the penalty for the offense of unlawfully conveying and fraudulently obtaining fuel from an unranked third degree felony to a second degree felony ranked as a Level 5 offense on the Offense Severity Ranking Chart (OSRC).
- Reduces the number of counterfeit credit cards or related specified documents required to constitute second degree felony trafficking from 10 to five and ranks this felony as a Level 5 offense on the OSRC.
- Creates a second degree felony ranked as a Level 5 offense on the OSRC for the offense of possessing five or more counterfeit credit cards or related specified documents.
HB 761 will now go to the House floor for consideration.
AIF supports this legislation due to it cracking down on theft from Florida retailers while also protecting Florida's consumers.
HB 1133-Relating to Emergency Management
On Thursday, February 18th, HB 1133, relating to Emergency Management, by Rep. Dana Young (R-Tampa) was heard by the House Economic Affairs Committee and unanimously passed with 13 yeas and 0 nays. AIF stood in support of this bill.
This legislation would remove hindrances, such as taxes and regulations, that in any other situation would be the normal course of business for out of state companies coming to Florida to assist with emergency response during a disaster situation.
HB 1133 will now go to the House floor for consideration.
AIF supports legislation that will remove the loop holes’ businesses would ordinarily have to go through when coming to Florida to aide in a state of emergency.