Florida Senate approves bill to increase oversight of pharmacy benefit managers
Elsewhere in the Legislature, the Senate OKs a measure to that would make changes in state’s Medicaid managed-care system and the House took up the issue of nursing home staffing.
The Florida Senate gave final approval Thursday to a bill that would lead to increased oversight of pharmacy benefit managers.
Senators voted 36-0 to pass the bill, which also was unanimously approved last week by the House (HB 357). It is ready to go to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Action in the Legislature on other health policy bills Thursday included:
Medicaid: The Senate unanimously passed a bill (SB 1950) that would make changes in the state’s Medicaid managed-care system as the Agency for Health Care Administration prepares to move forward with awarding billions of dollars of contracts. The House is expected to take up its version of the bill (HB 7047) on Friday.
Nursing home staffing: The House is ready to vote on a proposal that would revamp staffing standards in nursing homes. The House took up the measure (HB 1239) on Thursday and positioned it for a vote as soon as Friday.
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Pharmacy benefit managers serve as sort of middlemen between health insurers and pharmacies. Small pharmacies have long complained about pharmacy benefit managers, which represent health insurers in negotiations with drug companies and pharmacies.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, and Sen. Tom Wright, R-New Smyrna Beach, would give the state Office of Insurance Regulation more authority over pharmacy benefit managers.
As an example, pharmacy benefit managers are required to register with the state, but the Office of Insurance Regulation does not have power to enforce the registration requirement.
The bill would allow the Office of Insurance Regulation to fine pharmacy benefit managers for violations of the requirement. Also, current law sets guidelines for audits that pharmacy benefit managers conduct of pharmacies. The bill would give the Office of Insurance Regulation authority to enforce violations of the guidelines.