Series Of Health Care Bills Poised To Pass House

Mar 2, 2016

After the issues sailed through committees, the House is poised to pass a series of bills dealing with health-care regulations.

The House took up the bills Tuesday and set the stage for votes as early as Wednesday. The bills include allowing what are known as "direct primary care" agreements between patients and doctors (HB 37); allowing patients to stay overnight at ambulatory-surgical centers and allowing the creation of longer-term "recovery care" centers (HB 85); trying to shield patients from unexpected medical charges stemming from a practice known as "balance billing" (HB 221); expanding the drug-prescribing authority of advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants (HB 423); entering an agreement that includes allowing nurses to get multi-state licenses (HB 1061); requiring greater transparency about health-care pricing (HB 1175); and trying to clear the way for greater use of "telehealth" services in Florida (HB 7087).

Each of the bills is expected to be approved easily, as House Republican leaders have made a priority of trying to revamp --- and, in many cases --- ease health-care regulations.

But the bills still would need Senate approval before they could go to Gov. Rick Scott, and the two chambers have disagreed in the past about some of the issues.