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Opinion

Better Care, Less Hassle: HB 1001

Dr.-Philippe-Saxe.jpg
The Palm Beach Post

Many health insurers now require that patients undergo a "fail-first" trial of cheaper drugs before using the expensive ones, which sounds reasonable until you consider that can make them so sick they wind up in the hospital, writes Dr. Philippe A. Saxe of Delray Beach.

Another time-waster for doctors and patients, Saxe writes, is the requirement for "prior authorization," which can delay patient access to effective treatment, he writes. This rule forces doctors to request permission before ordering certain tests or treatments and requires them to justify doing so -- eating up many hours that they could be seeing patients.

In an opinion column published in The Tampa Tribune, Saxe says House Bill 1001 by Rep. Jason Brodeur would save lots of time and money for doctors and promote better health care.

The bill would set up a single-page electronic form that doctors could use to request an exemption from the cheapest protocol, and the insurers would have to act on it within 72 hours or it would automatically go into effect.

Dr. Saxe, managing partner at Arthritis Associates of South Florida in Delray Beach, is immediate past president of the Florida Society of Rheumatology.