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Consumers may not lose medical-board seats

The state’s association for physician assistants has agreed to drop its request for one of the consumer slots on each medical board, the group’s chief lobbyist said today.

Consumers currently hold three of 15 seats on the Florida Board of Medicine and just two of seven on the Board of Osteopathic Medicine. One of the seats from each board would have been given to a physician’s assistant (PA) under HB 363 and SB 774.

Juhan Mixon, who represents the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants, said FAPA is more interested in a part of the bills that removes the extra payment PA’s must make if they want authority to prescribe drugs. They want that authority to be included with their license payment, as with other professions.

The request for a consumer slot met resistance from a number of groups, Mixon said,  so they dropped it from the bill in order not to “drag it down.”

CS/HB 363 passed the House Health Care Appropriations Committee this morning with the consumer-seat loss still intact. Opponents did not debate it because they had been assured the issue would be struck as the bill moves forward.

The PA’s had asked for a consumer seat because they assumed the powerful Florida Medical Association wouldn't concede a physician slot. For more background on the bill, see Health News Florida's previous coverage.

--Health News Florida is an independent online publication dedicated to public-service journalism. Comments or questions can be directed to Editor Carol Gentry at 727-410-3266 or by e-mail.