Government Relations

With our continued commitment to monitor all activity that may affect our field, here is an update for this legislative year.

HEALTHCARE

The Health Care Appropriations budget totals $34.3 billion ($9.5 billion General Revenue and $24.8 billion Trust Funds), including funding for 31,773 authorized positions. There is a 4.12 percent increase in total spending and an 8.44 percent increase in General Revenue funds from the FY 2015-16 Appropriation. The budget includes a 1.19 percent reduction in state FTE or a reduction of 384 FTE.

PROPOSED BILLS – PASSED OR FAILED

KIDCARE (PASSED): A bill to allow lawfully residing immigrants who have been living in the United States less than five years to be insured under the state and federal KidCare program failed (HB 89) but the measure is included in the budget implementation bill.

ABORTION RESTRICTIONS (PASSED): Requires abortion clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and prevents state money from going to abortion clinics. (HB 1411)

CERTIFICATE OF NEED (FAILED): Ends the requirement that hospitals gain state approval that there will be sufficient demand before constructing or expanding the number of beds in a facility. (HB 437)

CERTIFICATE OF NEED (FAILED): Exempts health care facilities from a state licensing program if they provide more charity care to uninsured people than the average facility in their area. (SB 1144)

SURGICAL CENTERS (FAILED): Allows ambulatory surgical centers to keep patients for 24 hours and creates recovery care centers to house patients for 72 hours after surgery. (HB 85)

PRIMARY CARE (FAILED): Lets people contract with doctors for primary care, cutting out the middle man of an insurance company. (HB 37)

SCOPE OF PRACTICE (PASSED): Allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe narcotics and other drugs. (HB 423)

HOSPITAL PRICE TRANSPARENCY (PASSED): Requires hospitals and insurance companies to publish the cost of common procedures and quality of care information. (HB 1175)

ABORTION BAN (FAILED): Outlaws abortions in Florida. (HB 865/SB 1718)

MEDICAL TOURISM (FAILED): Directs Visit Florida to create a plan for luring visitors to Florida to have medical procedures. (SB 178)

MEDICAL MARIJUANA (PASSED): Legalizes medical marijuana for people who have terminal illnesses, expands the number of licensed growers after customer base reaches 250,000. (HB 307)

CHILDREN’S HEART SURGERY (FAILED): Directs the Department of Health to reinstitute quality standards for pediatric heart surgery through the Children’s Medical Services program, which covers most kids’ heart surgery in the state. (HB 617/SB 378)

MENTAL HEALTH (PASSED): Pushes for coordination between local agencies offering mental health and substance abuse treatment, including the creation of a “no wrong door” policy. (SB 12)