HB 389 – Relating to Testing for and Treatment of Influenza and Streptococcus
On Wednesday, February 26, HB 389 by Representative Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) was heard by the House Health & Human Services Committee and was reported favorable with 11 yeas and 3 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
Pharmacy is the third largest health profession behind nursing and medicine and the Board of Pharmacy, in conjunction with the Department of Health, regulates the practice of pharmacists and pharmacies.
The bill amends the definition of the “practice of the profession of pharmacy” to include the testing for and treatment of influenza (flu) and streptococcus (the bacteria that causes strep throat) by a pharmacist.
SB 714 will now move to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AIF supports increased access to care which keeps healthcare and insurance costs low for businesses while providing a healthy workforce.
HB 1103 – Relating to Electronic Prescribing
On Wednesday, February 26, HB 1103 by Representative Amber Mariano was read a second and third time on the House floor and passed with 75 yeas and 40 nays.
Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) is a method by which an authorized health care practitioner electronically transmits a prescription to a pharmacy using a secure software system. Efforts have been made by states, as well as the federal government, to increase the use of e-prescribing software. For example, Congress passed legislation mandating e-prescribing for certain medicinal drugs under the Medicare Part D program and several states enacted mandatory e-prescribing laws.
Beginning July 1, 2021, the bill requires prescribers to generate and transmit all prescriptions electronically, except when electronic prescribing is unavailable due to a temporary electrical or technological failure. In such instances, written prescriptions may be used which must meet the requirements of current law.
Additionally, the bill relocates language to one section of law (s. 456.42, F.S.) to improve readability and provide clarification related to the 2019 passage of e-prescribing legislation.
HB 1103 will now go to the Senate for consideration.
AIF supports legislation that provides for improved prescription accuracy, increased patient safety, reduced opportunities for fraud and abuse and reduced overall costs. Improving the overall functionality and cost will further enable Florida employers to provide health care coverage for our citizens.
HB 607 – Relating to Health Care Practitioners
On Wednesday, February 26, HB 607 by Representative Cary Pigman (R-Sebring) was heard by the House Health & Human Services Committee and was reported favorable with 15 yeas and 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
The U.S. has a current health care provider shortage. This shortage is predicted to continue into the foreseeable future and will likely worsen with the aging and growth of the U.S. population and ongoing efforts to expand access. Florida law requires advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to practice under a supervising protocol with a physician and only to the extent that a written protocol allows. Similarly, physician assistants (PAs) must practice under a supervising physician and may only perform those tasks delegated by the physician.
The bill authorizes APRNs who meet certain criteria to practice advanced or specialized nursing without physician supervision or a protocol and authorizes PAs to practice primary care without physician supervision. These APRNs and PAs may act as a patient’s primary care provider; provide a signature, certification, stamp, verification, affidavit, or other endorsement currently required to be provided by a physician; certify a cause of death and sign, correct, and file death certificates.
HB 607 will now move to the House floor.
AIF supports legislative efforts that expand access to healthcare for employers and keep healthcare costs low for Florida businesses.
HB 7053 – Relating to Direct Care Workers
On Wednesday, February 26, HB 7053, sponsored by the House Health Market Reform Subcommittee, was heard by the House Health & Human Services Committee and was reported favorable with 16 yeas and 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of Amendment 10000 to this legislation.
The amendment added the entirety of Representative Pigman’s bill, HB 607, to HB 7053. Please refer to the summary and support statement for HB 607.
HB 7053 will now move to the House floor.