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The 2017 Legislative Session Has Passed Its Midpoint

Dear Fellow FSPS Members:

April 9, 2017 Legislative Update
Christopher L. Nuland, Esq.

Happy Passover and Easter.

The 2017 Legislative Session has passed its midpoint, and with very little activity planned this coming week due to the Passover and Easter holidays, only three full weeks of full legislative activity remain.

That being said, this past week was an eventful one for Medicine both at the Legislature and in a marathon Board of Medicine Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale.  In Tallahassee, the House Ways and Means Committee passed its reform package, complete with ARNP Independent Practice, Telemedicine, and other reforms.  Fortunately, the bill must still pass the Health and Human Services Committee and then the full House. The Senate, for its part, has shown little interest in the House approach.

Likewise, the Optometric Scope of Practice Expansion Bill has slowed, in no small part due to our efforts and this of the ASPS. It also must still pass the House Health and Human Services Committee and the full House, and intense lobbying has made the Senate reluctant to take up the companion bill.  While the battle here is not over, I am happy with the progress (or lack thereof) so far.

In the Senate, the House Banking and Insurance Committee passed legislation that would eliminate retroactive denials, while the Senate Banking Committee advanced Maintenance of Certification (“MOC”) Reform legislation. While the current Senate MOC language is far from perfect, it is still alive, and we will be working over the next few weeks to advance the superior House version.

Meanwhile, the Florida Board of Medicine held a series of meetings on Thursday and Friday, where the Board and its committees focused on the prevention of wrong site surgeries, heavily disciplining those who practice outside the scope of their ACGME training, prevention of DVTs, and receiving updates from its staff and us on the current status of pending legislation.

As mentioned above, this likely will be a light week, so the next legislative update will be on April 21st.

The FSPS will continue to keep you informed as events transpire. Should you have any questions or need help finding a qualified risk manager, please contact:

General Counsel

Chris Nuland at nulandlaw@aol.com