A healthy and productive workforce is vital to Florida employers and the state’s economy as a whole. To ensure a thriving Florida workforce, AIF will focus its efforts on proposals that seek to increase the accessibility and affordability of quality health care for Florida residents. Further, AIF will continue to encourage the legislature to leverage available federal funding for delivering health care to more Floridians in a manner that best safeguards Florida’s citizens and protects the state’s financial health. The following topics represent the types of inventive solutions for which AIF will advocate during the legislative session.
Florida is now the third most populous state in the nation; our residents reflect diversity in age, income, talent and most importantly needs. Almost one-quarter of the state’s physicians are age 60 or older and will retire or cut back their practice within the next 10 years. These statistics illustrate the need to increase our health care workforce.
AIF SUPPORTS increasing the number of graduate medical education slots available in Florida, and urges consideration of other available workforce resources that are currently underutilized. AIF also SUPPORTS removing regulatory scope of practice obstacles for qualified health care professionals to ensure greater access to quality care for more Floridians at more affordable costs. Further, AIF will urge the legislature to encourage institutions of higher education to include technological advances in degree curriculum and recognize that private institutions of higher education contribute in a significant manner to those health care professionals who serve our residents.
Everyday, Floridians are discovering how technology makes their lives simpler as information, goods and services is easier to access. Florida’s companies are finding new ways to virtually join consumers and products, which lowers costs and eases the burden of accessibility. In health care delivery however, these advances are not currently being used to their fullest potential. Current rules and regulations have not kept up with available technology and terminology and now hamper the operation of the free market, as well as the solutions for health care provider shortages and increased access to care that telehealth can provide. AIF SUPPORTS legislation that permits an unfettered role for telehealth services that will allow our citizens access to better quality care at lower costs and help solve the growing health care professional shortage.
Florida’s opioid epidemic is having a significant negative impact on businesses, employees and their families. From criminal justice to health care delivery, we all have a role in this fight. Steps must be taken to address this public health crisis.
AIF SUPPORTS the Governor and legislative efforts to curb opioid abuse and addiction, which includes limiting the availability of addictive opioids, promoting nonaddictive alternatives, and using appropriate therapeutic care for victims.
Employers rely on insurers so that their employees
receive access to the most clinically effective treatments -
this allows employees to be at work rather than at home
or in the hospital. Currently, the many health insurance
carriers in Florida employ robust policy product offerings
containing medically-proven prior-authorization
and step-therapy programs. These policy product offerings
are designed to reflect the protocols and standards
of care advanced and adopted by a vast array of specialty
physicians based on their latest evidence-based research.
These procedures and protocols allow for the use of the
safest, most appropriate and most cost-effective drug and
permit progressing to other, more costly drugs with more
sophisticated interactions and side-effects, in accordance
with FDA approvals. However, several legislative proposals
have been initiated to dismantle this rational, costeffective
and care-improving protocol, which would force
insurers and consumers to purchase the most expensive
drugs and treatments even when equally effective
therapies are available at much lower costs. The use of
specialty pharmacies, drug formularies, and cost sharing
incentives are examples of benefit designs that have
helped and should be permitted to continue helping patients get the care they need while keeping their coverage affordable.
AIF SUPPORTS continued flexibility for health plans to ensure consumers receive high quality, high value, and affordable care, through continued use of innovative plan designs to achieve this balance.
Currently in Florida, insurers pay claims for members who have paid their premiums. AIF OPPOSES legislation requiring insurers to pay claims for all people, even those that have not paid their premiums, because it: