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These new Florida health care laws are set to hit the books Friday

Members of the Florida House of Representatives give Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls a standing ovation after Sprowls gave his farewell speech and had his official portrait unveiled during a legislative session at the Florida State Capitol, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Tallahassee.
Wilfredo Lee
/
AP
Members of the Florida House of Representatives give Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls a standing ovation after Sprowls gave his farewell speech and had his official portrait unveiled during a legislative session at the Florida State Capitol, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Tallahassee.

Nearly 150 laws that legislators passed this year are set to hit the books on July 1. The focus may be on the new abortion ban, but there are others affecting Medicaid, medical marijuana and telemedicine.

Nearly 150 laws that Florida legislators passed this year are set to hit the books Friday. The new laws range from a record $109.9 billion budget to naming a state dessert.

In all, lawmakers sent 280 bills to Gov. Ron DeSantis. Of that total, 149 had July 1 effective dates. Seventy-five took effect immediately when signed. Others are slated to take effect Oct. 1, Jan. 1 or at other times.

Here are health care related bills that will become law Friday:

  • Amid national legal and political battles about abortion, lawmakers passed the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality bill (HB 5) that prevents abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The law faces a court challenge.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week, leaving abortion laws to individual states. Unlike 13 other states, Florida did not pass a trigger law immediately banning abortion after the ruling, but the Legislature voted to shorten access from 24 weeks to 15 weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
A Leon County Judge is expected to rule Thursday on whether to issue a temporary injunction sought by abortion providers based on privacy rights specified in the state's constitution.

  • Lawmakers passed a measure (SB 1950) that will help set the stage for the Agency for Health Care Administration to award billions of dollars in Medicaid managed-care contracts.

The agency during the past decade has gone through lengthy processes twice to award contracts to managed-care plans and is expected to begin a third round this year.
The bill passed after the House agreed to drop a controversial proposal that dealt with disputes between managed-care plans and “essential” providers, such as children’s hospitals and teaching hospitals. The House proposal could have led to withholding what are known as Medicaid “supplemental” payments from essential providers that do not reach agreements to be part of managed-care networks.

  • As the use of telemedicine has increased, lawmakers approved a bill (SB 312) that expands the authority of physicians to prescribe Schedule III, IV and V controlled substances through telemedicine.

Doctors will continue to be prohibited from using telemedicine to prescribe what are known as Schedule II substances, which include drugs that are considered highly addictive.

  • Lawmakers passed a wide-ranging Department of Health bill (SB 768) that will prevent renewal of licenses for medical marijuana businesses that have not started to grow, process and sell cannabis.

The bill, addresses issues involving licensing of medical-marijuana businesses known as medical-marijuana “treatment centers.” The bill will prevent the department from renewing the licenses of centers that have not started to grow, process and sell medical marijuana by the time licenses come up for renewal.

As another example, the bill will expand the authority of the department to collect and test samples of marijuana from the centers. The department has been only able to collect samples of edibles, but the bill will allow obtaining samples of other marijuana products.

The measure also creates an exception to criminal laws to make clear that department employees can possess, test, transport and dispose of marijuana in the course of their jobs.

Jim Turner - News Service of Florida