Florida Medical Association

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Who says doctors and insurers are at odds? The Florida Medical Association’s philanthropic arm has joined with its counterpart at Aetna to try to combat obesity. 

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The law that took effect July 1 limits prescriptions of opioids for acute pain to three days, although a seven day supply can be prescribed under certain conditions. 

Physicians' Group To Weigh In On 'PIP' Fees Case

Apr 5, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

The state Supreme Court on Thursday approved the Florida Medical Association's request to file a friend-of-the-court brief in a case about fees paid to medical providers who treat people injured in auto accidents.

Allstate Objects To FMA Brief In 'PIP' Fees Case

Mar 29, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Allstate Insurance is objecting to an attempt by the Florida Medical Association to file a brief in a state Supreme Court case about fees paid to health providers who treat people injured in auto accidents.

Hospital Obstetrical Departments Closure Bill Heads To Full Senate

Feb 8, 2016

A Senate committee Thursday approved a bill that would require hospitals to give advance notice to doctors before closing obstetrical departments, readying the bill to go to the full Senate.

Judge Rejects Challenge To Medical Record Charges

Dec 10, 2015
Barry Gutierrez/NPR

An administrative law judge Tuesday rejected a challenge to a state Board of Medicine proposal that would increase the cost of copies of patient medical records.

Many people have seen the ads on TV pushing this pill or that device. It's usually followed by "Ask your doctor if this medication is right for you."

But the American Medical Association says those ads contribute to rising drug costs and patient demands for inappropriate treatments and they're calling for a ban on what they call "direct-to-consumer" ads for prescription drugs and implantable devices.

Tallahassee Forum To Address 'Balance Billing

Oct 15, 2015

State Insurance Consumer Advocate Sha'Ron James will bring together key groups to discuss a controversial issue in the health-care industry known as "balance billing."

Republican Neal Dunn is making it a three-way race for the Congressional seat currently held by Democrat Gwen Graham. Dunn, a physician and banker, came to Tallahassee Monday after first announcing in his hometown.  

Armstrong Again Named DOH Secretary

Dec 16, 2014
University of South Florida

Governor Rick Scott on Monday tapped Dr. John Armstrong again as Florida’s Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health.

Armstrong has been in the post since 2012. His predecessor, Dr. Frank Farmer, stepped down after about a year on the job, citing taking care of his wife who has breast cancer.

myeyesurgeons.com

A letter from the Federal Bureau of Prisons almost cost Alan Mendelsohn his medical practice, only months after resuming it.

The prominent Hollywood eye surgeon, who served 2 ½ years of a four-year prison term on charges of public corruption and tax evasion, was sent to a halfway house in July.  There, residents are required to work during the days but must return each evening.

A ruling on the ongoing challenge to Florida's medical malpractice law is a win for groups such as the Florida Medical Association, Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida reports. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Friday says changes made in 2013 to the "ex parte communications" portion of the law does not violate patient privacy, the News Service reports.

FMA Opposes Pot Amendment

Aug 5, 2014

The group that represents Florida's doctors is coming out against a proposal to allow medical marijuana in the state.

Florida voters will vote this November on a measure authorizing medical marijuana. The Florida Medical Association on Monday announced it was opposed to Amendment 2.

The group that represents physicians said in a statement that there are "unintended consequences" linked to the proposal that create a health risk. The FMA contended that the amendment would allow health care providers with no training to order medical marijuana.

The Florida Medical Association recently gave $300,000 to a political committee running attack ads in a closely contested state legislative race, the News Service of Florida reports. The money went to the “Better Florida Fund Corp.,” which is running ads that criticize Sarasota County Republican Richard DeNapoli. He’s competing against fellow Republican Julio Gonzalez, who is a doctor, to replace term-limited Rep. Doug Holder, R-Venice, in the House District 74 race.

Dr. Larry Floriani

The Florida Medical Association surprised many this week when word came that its House of Delegates embraced a resolution calling for the legislature to expand Medicaid, the state-run program that's supposed to cover low-income people.

The money to do so, an estimated $51 billion over 10 years, had already been set aside by the federal government to begin in January this year, but the state House of Representatives refused to take  it. The FMA delegates want the Legislature to change its position.

DrElkinMD.com

  The Florida Medical Association's House of Delegates overwhelmingly adopted a resolution supporting Medicaid expansion to cover uninsured low-income adults at FMA's annual meeting on Sunday, according  to doctors who were there.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated with the statement from FMA.)

Freefoto

The Florida House passed a huge bill full of controversial health issues on Friday shortly after lunch, sending it on to a Senate that may not be friendly.

The "train" -- legislative jargon for a bill that carries many unconnected issues -- was a signal defeat for the Florida Medical Association, which had opposed two of the biggest issues. HB 7113 would give nurse practitioners the right to practice independently and would allow telemedicine consults with doctors in other states who don't hold Florida licenses. 

The vote was 74-42.

Florida TaxWatch’s recent report, “Diagnosing the Debate,” offers data that support proposals before the Legislature that would allow nurse practitioners to practice independently from doctors, the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reports.  The Florida Medical Association, which fiercely opposes the legislation, has called on TaxWatch to withdraw the report, pointing to “five serious flaws.”   TaxWatch stands by the report, saying th

After the Florida Supreme Court threw out the state's medical malpractice law last week, saying its cap on "pain-and-suffering" damages violates the state Constitution, it would seem to be the ideal time for an alternative.

Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, had already filed a bill (HB 739) that offers such an alternative: a Patients' Compensation System, which would use medical review panels to determine whether and how patients were injured and provide compensation without having to go to court.

Needle-Exchange Bill Leaps Hurdles

Feb 18, 2014

 A bill creating a pilot needle-exchange program in South Florida received the unanimous backing of a Senate committee Monday, according to the Miami Herald. (paywall alert)

Next week, a House panel reviews the bill, which would provide drug users with clean needles, drug testing and vaccinations at no cost to taxpayers, the Herald says.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.-- The House Select Committee on Workforce Innovation approved a massive bill that would expand the authority of nurse practitioners and open a door for them to practice independently.  The vote, with only two dissents, followed testimony against the bill by a number of physician organizations.

With a key committee set to vote today on a bill allowing nurses more authority, doctor groups were sending out alerts to their members Monday, urging them to call their representative and register a protest.

Critics of a legislative plan that would increase the authority of Florida’s nurse practitioners pushed back Monday, wondering if the massive bill would give nurses all the privileges now granted to more-educated and more-skilled physicians.

The plan -- which allows qualified nurse practitioners the ability to operate independently, without a physician’s supervision -- could be seen as a short-cut to those who want to treat patients but  don't want to go to medical school, said Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood.

The Florida Medical Association’s Board of Governors turned aside a resolution in support of Medicaid Expansion last weekend, sending it to a committee. While FMA did not say that effectively kills it for this legislative session, its supporters did.

    

“I am disappointed and disagree with tabling it, and disagree with the politics involved, which in essence will keep the status quo while patients, physicians and hospital suffer the consequences,” said Dr. Aaron Elkin of Hollywood, sponsor of the resolution.

The Florida Legislature’s plan to create new telemedicine standards is focusing on insurance reimbursements and licensing requirements, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

A Florida House committee will take up a bill Monday that would give nurse practitioners more independence and authority to provide medical services without a supervising physician.

The bill, which could help address the shortage of primary-care physicians, would apply to “advanced registered nurse practitioners,” a classification requiring more training and education than registered nurses, according to the News Service of Florida.

The Florida Medical Association, one of Tallahassee’s most influential lobby groups, sat out last year’s legislative nail-biter over Medicaid expansion, saving its firepower for pocketbook issues, such as making it harder for patients to sue and keeping non-physicians off their turf.

But now an FMA advisory committee that studied the issue is backing Medicaid expansion, which would bring in federal funds to cover the low-income uninsured, according to two doctors who have seen the documents.  A resolution from that committee goes to the FMA Board of Governors later this week.

Nurse practitioners and physicians are headed for another legislative battle over the scope and care of Florida patients. The House Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Innovation on Friday heard more than three hours of testimony from doctors and advanced nurse practitioners, who want to increase their authority, according to the Florida Current. The state’s physician shortage could be lessened if they had more prescribing and diagnosing powers, nurse advocates said.

To the Editor:
 
Re:
“AARP Medicare plans announced this fall that they would be dropping thousands of Florida doctors from their managed care networks. But the Florida Medical Association is not letting the matter drop…Several Tampa Bay doctors and their representatives expressed glee this week that somebody, somewhere, was doing something.”Tampa Bay Times, 12/12/13

TALLAHASSEE — The Supreme Court refused Thursday to adopt a state rule reflected in a law that creates restrictions on doctors who can testify during medical malpractice trials, agreeing it would have a chilling effect on the ability to find expert witnesses.

The law was a priority for Republican Senate President Don Gaetz and signed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott. It was designed to help doctors defend themselves in malpractice cases. Critics said it would make it more difficult for victims to seek compensation for injuries caused by doctors' mistakes.

The Florida Medical Association is backing a Connecticut lawsuit challenging UnitedHealthcare's decision to cancel Medicare Advantage contracts.

The Association filed a brief late Wednesday supporting the Connecticut State Medical Society's attempt to block the insurance carrier from tearing up thousands of physician contracts. A judge had imposed a stay on United's cancellations, and United wants him to lift the stay so it can proceed.

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