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Weekly Legislative Update from March 2, 2018

Health Care

HB 21-Relating to Controlled Substances

On Thursday, March 1st, HB 21 by Representative Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) was read for a third time on the House floor and passed by a vote of  114 yeas to 0 nays.

This bill addresses opioid abuse by expanding the use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), increasing regulation of prescribers and dispensers, and aligning state criminal statutes with federal law. The bill limits the prescription for a Schedule II opioid to alleviate acute pain to a three-day supply, or a seven-day supply if deemed medically necessary by the prescriber.

The bill also requires the Department of Health (DOH) to adopt rules establishing guidelines for prescribing controlled substances for acute pain, similar to those for chronic pain. Additionally, the bill also requires a health care practitioner authorized to prescribe controlled substances to complete a board-approved 2-hour continuing education course on safely and effectively prescribing controlled substances, and to review a patient’s PDMP history prior to prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance.

HB 21 has been received by the Senate and referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy, the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Rules for consideration.

AIF supports legislative efforts that aim to curb opioid abuse and addiction that is currently running rampant through the state affecting Florida’s families and businesses.


SB 280-Relating to Telehealth

On Friday, March 2nd, SB 280 by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) was read for a third time on the Senate floor and passed by a vote of 36 yeas to 0 nays.

SB 280 provides specific authorization for the provision of health care services through telehealth. Telehealth is the provision of health care services using telecommunication technologies, which allows licensed practitioners in one location to diagnose and treat patients at a different location. The bill will remove regulatory ambiguity regarding the provision of health care services using this technology because it is not currently addressed in Florida Statutes.

SB 280 will go on to the House  for consideration.

AIF supports legislation that permits an unfettered role for telehealth services that will allow our citizens access to better quality care at lower costs.