SB 1676 – Relating to Direct Care Workers
On Tuesday, March 3, SB 1676 by Senator Ben Albritton (R-Bartow) was heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee and was reported favorable with 16 yeas and 4 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
The bill expands the scope of practice for registered nurses (RNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and home health aides (HHAs) and establishes the Patient Access to Primary Care Pilot Program within the Department of Health to provide primary health care services in “primary care health professional shortage areas” by allowing Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) who meet certain criteria to engage in the autonomous practice of advanced or specialized nursing without the supervision of a physician.
SB 1676 will now move to the Senate floor.
AIF supports legislative efforts that expand access to healthcare for employers and keeps healthcare costs low for Florida businesses.
HB 607 – Relating to Health Care Practitioners
On Friday, March 6, HB 607 by Representative Cary Pigman (R-Sebring) was read a third time on the House floor and passed with 94 yeas and 12 nays.
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 go to the Senate for consideration.
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
On Friday, March 6, HB 7053 sponsored by the House Health Market Reform Subcommittee, was read a third time on the House floor and passed with 96 yeas and 10 nays.
The bill was amended in the last committee stop and the entirety of Representative Pigman’s bill, HB 607, was added to HB 7053. Please refer to the summary and support statement for HB 607 above.
HB 7053 will now go to the Senate for consideration.
HB 389 – Relating to Practice of Pharmacy
On Friday, March 6, HB 389 by Representative Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) was read a third time on the House floor and passed with 88 yeas and 18 nays.
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.
HB 389 will now go to the Senate for consideration.
AIF supports increased access to care which keeps healthcare and insurance costs low for businesses while providing a healthy workforce.