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 kinds of inventive solutions for which AIF will advocate during the 2019 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-fourth 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. Also, AIF 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 easier by giving them access to information, goods and services at their fingertips. 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 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 shortage of health care professionals.
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:
Employers rely on insurers so that their employees receive access to the most clinically effective treatments, this allows employees to receive prompt, adequate care and 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 medicallyproven 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 drugs, 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, cost-effective 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 to help 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.
AIF SUPPORTS modernizing the prior-authorization and step-therapy processes by automating them and requiring the use of electronic transmission of authorization requests.
AIF SUPPORTS requiring pharmacies to notify insurers when a drug coupon is used to process a claim as well as how much the coupon requires a consumer to pay for the drug.
AIF OPPOSES efforts to restrict health plans from using step therapy and prior authorization to control costs and improve quality.