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Plenty Happening at Capitol

E-mails to physicians, nurse practitioners, nursing-home administrators and pharmacists are flying around the state, urging them to focus on action in Tallahassee this week. Many committees will be webcast on www.thefloridachannel.org in real time, but if not, a video will be posted online a few hours later at the websites for the Florida House and Florida Senate.

Here is a partial list:

Monday:

12:30 p.m. Antibiotic resistance.

The House Health Quality Subcommittee hears a proposal for handling outbreaks of bacteria that are resistant to treatment at 12:30 p.m. Monday in room 306 of the House building. Department of Health will be the agency that collects and makes public the information. (Update: unanimously passed.)

3 p.m. Trauma Centers, Telehealth, GME, Compounding, More.

The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee will take up HB 7113, which would give three HCA trauma centers the right to remain in operation, even though a court has said they were not properly certified by the Department of Health. The three are Blake Medical Center in Manatee County, Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Pasco County and Ocala Regional Medical Center in Marion County. (3 p.m.)

It is also scheduled to consider HB 7077, which would give the state authority over out-of-state businesses that engage in sterile compounding of risky drugs; CS/HB 751 Telehealth, providing a structure that would enable that industry to grow; HB 7109 Graduate Medical Education, which would add to the number of residency slots to combat the physician shortage; and more.

4 p.m. Cash Clinics.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee will consider CS/SB 746, the Health Care Clinic Act, which would remove a loophole that has kept state inspectors out of clinics that deal only in cash. It also would allow the state to suspend or revoke clinic licenses if two physicians have their licenses suspended or revoked for actions they took while working there.

The committee will also consider SB 1030, which would legalize an extract of the cannabis plant that in anecdotal cases appears to relieve intractable seizures in some children with epilepsy.

4. DOH Secretary.

The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee will take up the confirmation of Department of Health Secretary John Armstrong, who is also called the State Surgeon General. That confirmation was withheld last year.

Tuesday

At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, the Senate Health Policy Committee will take up a number of prominent health issues, including trauma centers, medical tourism, and consumer protections in the Managed Medical Assistance Program, the statewide Medicaid managed-care program.