Session is underway and the halfway point is Wednesday April 3rd. The House and Senate budgets are being voted on in their respective chambers on April 3rd and 4th to put us in proper posture to start the budget conference negotiations process.
The House of medicine is under attack by the Florida House with a plethora of scope expansion bills moving through the House. Hospitals are also under attack in the House. The Senate is a much friendlier place to the medical community.
HB 23, Telehealth, by Rep Clay Yarborough- R, Jax, is ready for the House floor as is the companion fee bill, HB 7067. These bills still allow physicians practicing in other states to register with the Department of Health for $150 and practice medicine in Florida. SB 1526, Telehealth, by Health Policy Chair, Senator Gayle Harrell requires out of state doctors who want to practice medicine in Florida to get licensed through the Interstate Licensure Compact, has network adequacy and payment parity in the bill which passed out of Senate Health Policy on Monday March 25th. The bill has two more stops in the Senate. The challenge will be the end of Session negotiations on these bills but we have a strong advocate in Health Policy Chair Harrell.
Big thanks to President Steve DePrima for coming to Tallahassee during the annual residents visit. His insight in several meetings was greatly helpful. The residents were wonderful and had opportunities to meet with many House and Senate members.
The Department of Health finally has a new Secretary at its helm. Dr. Scott A. Rivkees, state surgeon general and secretary of the Florida Department of Health was announced on a April 1st. Dr. Rivkees, the current chair of the department of pediatrics at the UF College of Medicine and physician-in-chief at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, is an international expert on pediatric endocrinology and developmental biology who joined UF Health from Yale University in 2012.
Please contact me directly if you have a close relationship with him as he may be helpful in briefing the Governor as we get into the veto season.
All my best,
Alison Dudley, FRS Lobbyist