2022 Legislative Session
Click here for the Week 1 update on bills the FCACC is following.
The 2022 Florida Legislative Session is now underway!
In his State of the State address to the joint Session of the Florida Legislature on Tuesday, Governor DeSantis focused his remarks on the “freedoms” afforded Floridians through the programs and policies initiated by his administration. He declared that Florida is a ‘free state’ and rejected the “biomedical security state that curtails liberty, ruins livelihoods and divides society”. Further stating that “… we will protect the rights of individuals to live their lives free from the yolk of restrictions and mandates”. One example referenced in his address related to the freedoms from COVID restrictions and his refusal to put in place rules and policies that infringed on Floridian’s rights in the name of fighting the disease.
ECG Student Athlete
So far, no legislative action has been taken on this issue (HB 59 by Hawkins & SB 1590 by Baxley). The FCACC, the Florida Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, the Florida Medical Association, the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association and other medical associations are meeting with House and Senate leaders to express concern with this legislation mandating ECG testing of all student athletes in Florida. The FCACC is following the guidance of the ACC and the medical studies that have been conducted on this issue.
Telecommunicator Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
SB 890 by Senator Burgess was approved this week in the Senate Health Policy Committee. The Telecommunicator Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation legislation will ensure that 911 telecommunicators are equipped with the information and knowledge they need to provide high-quality T-CPR instructions to callers when appropriate; it will ensure that all 911 dispatch centers provide T-CPR or transfer the calls to a call center capable of providing T-CPR if there is an agreement in place; and it will include continuing education for T-CPR training. The FCACC is working with the American Heart Association to help pass this legislation.
HB 17 by Rep. Tom Fabrico and SB 312 passed their first committees of reference this week. The bills will allow a telehealth provider to issue a renewal prescription for Schedule III, IV or V controlled substances through telehealth that is within their scope of practice. The Senate bill removes a provision in the definition of telehealth that excludes audio-only telehealth calls.
During this Session, the Florida Legislature will consider may ‘freedom’ proposals. One in particular relates to ‘data privacy’. This controversial issue which was considered but not passed last Session would ensure that “big tech companies” would not be able to sell user data without the affirmative consent of Floridians. The bills - HB 9 by Rep. McFarland and SB 1864 by Senator Bradley - have been filed in both chambers but have not yet been heard.
The House bill contains a legal private cause of action provision. However, Senate took this provision out of their bill last Session and recently filed legislation without that language. Both bills exclude from new regulation the “identifiable private information collected for purposes of research as defined in 45 C.F.R. s. 164.501 conducted in accordance with the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects for purposes of 45 C.F.R. part 46, the good clinical practice guidelines issued by the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, or the Protection for Human Subjects for purposes of 21 C.F.R. parts 50 and 56, or personal information that is used or shared in accordance with one or more of these standards”.
This week, Senator Jason Brodeur filed SB 1950 - Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Program which is tied to the anticipated 2023 release of the Agency for Health Care Administration’s new Medicaid procurement. The legislation includes provisions impacting legal challenges to the anticipated procurement. Specifically, it would preclude the managed care plans from providing care to any of its enrollees until all administrative challenges to the procurement are settled. Further, the legislation reconfigures the number of Medicaid managed care regions by reducing from eleven to eight regions. The Agency is gearing up to begin the new procurement process as the current contracts for these regions expire on December 31, 2023. The House is expected to file their version as a committee bill rather than an individual member bill.
Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers
HB 357 by Rep. Toledo on Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers, one of several bills filed on this topic, was approved in the House Finance and Facilities Subcommittee this week. This legislation transfers the audit provisions of the Florida Pharmacy Act to the Florida Insurance Code giving the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) the authority to enforce provisions and respond to violations. Among other things, the bill authorizes pharmacies to appeal audit findings made by public health plans and PBM’s using the existing dispute resolution program available through the Agency for Health Care Association.
Covid 19 related Claims against Health Care Providers
This week, the Senate Rules committee approved SB 7014 that extends the duration of the liability protections provided to health care providers against COVID-19 related claims from March 29, 2022 to June 1, 2023. According to legislation passed during the 2021 Legislative Session, liability protections from COVID-19-related claims apply to claims accruing within 1 year after the effective date of the act, which was March 29, 2022. The bill extends the application period of the liability protections, making them applicable to claims accruing before June 1, 2023. The net result of the bill is to extend the liability protections for about 14 months, from March 29, 2022, to June 1, 2023.
With only nine weeks in the 2022 Legislative Session, lawmakers are keenly focused on Reapportionment, the process by which all legislative and congressional districts are re-drawn due to the recent Federal Census. This process of re-configuring legislative and congressional boundaries occurs every ten years to keep up with the population growth within the State. As you might imagine, this is a very contentious process that ultimately dictates the political make-up of each legislative and congressional district. This is the top priority of all legislators who are running for election in November.
CORONAVIRUS AND YOUR HEART: DON'T IGNORE HEART SYMPTOMS
ACC CardioSmart recently published the infographic below to emphasize the importance of maintaining heart health through the epidemic. Click here for additional information.
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.
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 email@example.com. 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.
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.