Advocacy

TALLAHASSEE
The FCACC has a strong presence in the state capital where we meet with lawmakers and work with other like-minded organizations to support legislation. Our goal is to be the source of knowledge for cardiovascular health information.  Updates on bills we follow in session are posted on this page along with update on activities in the Capital.

Click here to find your Florida Senators and Representatives.
 
WASHINGTON, DC
Although a state chapter, the FCACC has an impact and voice at the Federal level. Working in concert with the other 49 chapters of the ACC and with Heart House leaders and staff we have a network of contacts with our Congressional delegation. If you would like to serve as a key contact email jennifer@accfl.org. Key contacts sit down with lawmakers in-district and in Washington to explain in detail the impact of bills on our patients and profession and form a relationship with our lawmakers and their staff.

ADVOCACY COMMITTEE
Charge: The Advocacy Committee is charged with advocating for CV medicine and communicating with the lawmakers and regulators of Florida on issues relating to improving the cardiovascular health of all Floridians and to promoting access to quality cardiovascular care in Florida.
 
David Kenigsberg, MD, FACC, Chair, Plantation


2020 TALLAHASSEE FLY-IN
Join us February 4-5!  
The FCACC has a strong presence in the state capital where we meet with lawmakers and work with other like-minded organizations to support legislation. Our goal is to be the source of knowledge for cardiovascular health information. Members from all over the state come to the Capitol to meet lawmakers. Over dinner on the 4th and a day in the Senate and House on the 5th we will meet elected officials who influence health care policy and tell them our stories from the trenches - what the real impact of bills are on our practices and patients. The chapter defers some travel expenses for this trip. Sign up to be a part of the delegation by contacting Chpater Executive Jennifer Ray Beckman at jennifer@accfl.org

A block of rooms has been secured at Aloft Tallahassee Downtown for Florida Chapter members who are participating in the fly-in.  The rate is $279 per night plus taxes and fees and will be available until January 5, 2020. Reservations can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week at by calling the following number: 866-932-6282. Please have reference the

Florida Chapter: American College of Cardiology group block to receive the discounted rates. 

2020 Legislative Session

Week One ending January 17

Florida’s 2020 Legislative Session is now in full swing!  On Tuesday January 14th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivered his annual State of the State address to a joint session of lawmakers.  While DeSantis touted his successful first year in office, some believe that his honeymoon with lawmakers may be ending.  The legislature has already expressed a differing of opinion on several of the Governor’s top legislative priorities including a teacher pay increase and e-Verify for immigration status of employees.  But they must all be able to ultimately come together for a successful and timely end to Session – especially this year.  Florida’s Presidential Preference Primary is Tuesday, March 17th – only four days after the scheduled end of the 2020 Session.  Lawmakers of both political parties will want to be back in their districts to campaign and participate freely in that event.

In his Opening Day remarks, Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva identified healthcare as a central focus for his chamber this Session. Calling hospitals, medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies “the Great Robber-Barons of our time”, Speaker Oliva announced his plans for continued reform.  He touted the healthcare successes from last Session - the first-in-the-nation drug importation bill, the repeal of the CON process, and the expansion of telemedicine – and wants to do more.  Americans, he said, have been made bankrupt as a result of exorbitant medical bills, which he says is “unquestionably the single greatest threat to our solvency”.  Expanding access to care by allowing healthcare professionals to practice to the extent of their training (HB 607) is one of the top priorities in the Florida House. House Bill 607 by Representative Cary Pigman was voted out of the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee on the second day of Session.  It has one final committee stop and a Floor vote before heading to the Senate for consideration.  At this point, there is no similar bill in the Senate. To further drive that message of expanding access to care, the Speaker has re-named the House’s “Doctor of The Day” program to the “Medical Professional of the Day” expanding the opportunity for a host of medical professionals to work in the legislative health clinic and treat patients during the Legislative Session. On the first day of Session, the Medical Professional of the Day in the Florida House was nurse practitioner.

Meanwhile, the Senate continues to take a traditional and conservative approach to healthcare.  When asked about HB 607, Senate President Bill Galvano said that his chamber will proceed “cautiously about letting certain groups achieve legislatively what is not achieved academically”.  He further indicated that healthcare is similar to a three-legged stool that includes “access, cost and quality” with each one equally important as the others.

Also this week, a Senate health-care panel on Wednesday voted 8-2 to support the confirmation of Scott Rivkees, the secretary of the Florida Department of Health and surgeon general. Dr. Rivkees faces further committee hearings on his confirmation before a final Senate vote.

During the next eight weeks, lawmakers will remain focused on their work in Tallahassee.  Tuesday, was the final day for bills to be filed and so far, more than 3400 bills have been introduced for consideration this Session.  The Chapter is watching more than 65 bills which have the potential to impact the practice of medicine and patient care.  Those include scope of practice issues, ending the insurance practice of retroactive denial,  authorizing (another) STEMI registry, price transparency, age for tobacco use.  And on February 4-5th, Florida cardiologists will be in Tallahassee to meet with lawmakers about these issues and more during the annual FCACC’s Fly-In.

Recap of Week One: January 13-17, 2020 - Click here for the full report

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

CS/HB 607 – Pigman; HOUSE Favorable by Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; 11 Yeas, 0 Nays.

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.


Cardiac Screening for Newborns 

SB 0518 - Gruters; SENATE Favorable by Health Policy; 10 Yeas, 0 Nays.

Currently the Department of Health (DOH) screens for critical CHDs through the newborn screening program. However, though required by DOH rule,  screening for such cardiovascular conditions is not specifically mandated in the Florida Statutes.  The bill amends Florida Statutes to require birth centers and hospitals to provide cardiovascular screenings for newborn infants as part of a mandated postpartum evaluation.

 

Prohibited Acts by Health Care Practitioners 

SB 0500 - Harrell SENATE Favorable with CS by Health Policy; 10 Yeas, 3 Nays

SB 500 prohibits any person from knowingly using certain professional titles that are typically used by allopathic, osteopathic, or podiatric physicians. The bill authorizes the Department of Health (DOH) to take disciplinary action against any person who knowingly uses one of the listed titles.

Public Records/Emergency Room Health Care Practitioners 

SB 0878 - Harrell; SENATE Favorable with CS by Health Policy; 9 Yeas, 1 Nay.

The bill defines an “emergency room health care practitioner” and provides a new public records exemption for:

  • The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current and former emergency room health care practitioners;
  • The names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such practitioners; and
  • The schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such practitioners.

Physician Referrals         

HB 0955 Shoaf; HOUSE Favorable by Health Quality Subcommittee; 11 Yeas, 2 Nays.

The bill authorizes health care providers to refer patient to licensed hospital owned or leased & operated by entity in which provider has investment interest; requires health care practitioner to notify patient in writing upon referring patient to certain providers; provides requirements for such notice.

Electronic Prescribing 

HB 1103 –Mariano; HOUSE Favorable with CS by Health Quality Subcommittee; 9 Yeas, 4 Nays. 

The bill requires all prescriptions to be electronically generated & transmitted; prohibits electronic prescribing from interfering with patient's freedom to choose pharmacy; authorizes electronic prescribing software to display information regarding payor's formulary; repeals provisions relating to electronic prescribing for medicinal drugs.

Dispensing Medicinal Drugs 

HB 0057 Willhite; HOUSE Favorable by Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; 11 Yeas, 0 Nays.                 

The bill expands this authorization to allow all prescribers, not just physicians, to prescribe medicinal drugs under these circumstances and extends patient eligibility to include a hospital inpatient upon discharge. The bill also authorizes a hospital pharmacy to dispense the greater of a 24-hour supply of a medicinal drug or a supply of a medicinal drug that is sufficient to last a patient until the next business day. The bill corrects current language to reflect that it is the hospital pharmacy that dispenses the medicinal drug, rather than the prescriber.

Automated Pharmacy Systems 

HB 0059 Willhite: HOUSE Favorable by Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; 11 Yeas, 0 Nays.               

CS/HB 59 expands current law to authorize a community pharmacy to provide outpatient dispensing through the use of an automated pharmacy system. The bill establishes criteria for such systems and a community pharmacy’s responsibilities when employing such a system.

Testing for and Treatment of Influenza and Streptococcus 

HB 0389 Sirois; HOUSE Favorable by Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; 10 Yeas, 1 Nay.  

HB 389 authorizes pharmacists to tests for and treat the flu and strep within the framework of an established written protocol with a physician licensed in this state. To provide such services, a pharmacist must meet certain criteria, including education, proof of liability insurance, and employer approval. The bill also establishes standards of practice for pharmacists providing these services.

Automated Pharmacy Systems 

SB 0708 - Hutson; HOUSE Favorable with CS by Health Policy; 10 Yeas, 0 Nays.

The bill permits a licensed community pharmacy to provide outpatient pharmacy services for the dispensing of medicinal drugs through the use of an automated pharmacy system (APS) located inside a community pharmacy or located inside the same establishment as the community pharmacy, if specific requirements are met.

Nonopioid Alternatives 

SB 1080 – Perry; SENATE Favorable by Health Policy; 10 Yeas, 0 Nays.

The bill revises exceptions to certain controlled substance prescribing requirements; clarifying that a certain patient or patient representative must be informed of specified information, have specified information discussed with him or her, and be provided with an electronic or printed copy of a specified educational pamphlet.

EARLY VIEW ON ISSUES UP NEXT WEEK

During the first part of Session, the Senate provides a three-day notice for committee meeting agendas; while the House provides only a two-day notice.

Monday 1/20/20

Martin Luther King Holiday – Legislature is NOT meeting.

Tuesday 1/21/20

Senate Health Policy 10-11:30am

SB 0810 - Tobacco and Nicotine Products

Health Quality Subcommittee  10am-12noon

HB 0599 - Consultant Pharmacists           

HB 1147 - Patient Access to Records

Senate Banking and Insurance 12pm-1:30pm

SB 1338 - Prescription Drug Coverage

House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee  12:30am-2:30pm

HB 0309 - Prohibited Acts by Health Care Practitioners

House Health Market Reform Subcommittee 3pm-5pm

HB 0959 - Medical Billing             

HB 1205 - Price Transparency in Health Care Services

Support HR 3107
HR 3107 is  the bipartisan “Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act,” which would bring about necessary reforms to the prior authorization process within Medicare Advantage plans. The Florida Chapter supports the bill - go to this link and send your lawmakers a message to support the legislation.  
The legislation specifically:
  • Creates a “real-time” electronic prior authorization process, developed by the Secretary of HHS, for items and services that are routinely approved;
  • Improves transparency by requiring plans to report to CMS on the extent of their use of prior authorization and the rate of approvals or denials;
  • Requires plans to adopt transparent prior authorization programs that are reviewed annually, adhere to evidence-based medical guidelines, and include continuity of care for individuals transitioning between coverage to minimize any disruption in care;
  • Holds plans accountable for making timely prior authorization determinations and to provide rationales for denials;
  • Prohibits additional prior authorization for medically-necessary services performed during a surgical or invasive procedure that already received, or did not initially require prior authorization.





Florida Chapter, American College of Cardiology
3208 E. Colonial Drive, Suite 264

Orlando, FL 32803

877-793-8171

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