Florida Legislature

Multi-State Nurse Licenses On The Move In Senate

Feb 18, 2016
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Florida lawmakers continued moving forward Wednesday with a proposal that could help nurses practice across state lines.

Senators Reject Major Health Regulation Change

Feb 18, 2016

With hospitals, nursing homes and hospice providers lined up in opposition, a Senate panel Wednesday rejected a proposed overhaul of a key regulatory process for new health-care facilities.

AHCA, DCF Leaders Get Senate Panel’s Blessing

Feb 17, 2016
Agency for Health Care Administration

A Senate committee signed off Tuesday on the confirmation of seven agency heads, including leaders of some of the state's highest-profile departments.

Senators Approve Possible Balance Billing Compromise

Feb 17, 2016
MyFloridaHouse.gov

After a lobbying battle that has included insurers, doctors and hospitals, a Senate committee Tuesday approved a potential compromise on a controversial issue known as "balance billing."

The issue primarily stems from some patients receiving emergency treatment from doctors and other health providers who are not part of the networks in the patients' insurance plans. That has led to patients receiving unexpected bills for treatment.

Records Exemption Backed For Investigators, Paramedics

Feb 16, 2016
Barry Gutierrez/NPR

With nearly unanimous backing, the Florida Senate has approved a bill that would prevent the release of personal information about financial-services investigators, paramedics and emergency-medical technicians.

Surgeon General Faces Questions On Children's Health Program

Feb 15, 2016
Florida Department of Health

When Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong goes before a Senate committee Tuesday for a confirmation hearing, two members of the panel will be waiting with questions about thousands of sick kids who were dropped from the Children's Medical Services program last year.

After years of trying, lawmakers are finding success with a plan to create a needle exchange pilot program in Miami Dade County.

Leaders from the Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics went to Tallahassee Thursday to personally ask lawmakers to keep them in the budget this year.

What they’re asking for: at least $4.5 million in appropriations to serve 14,000  more uninsured Floridians

“These clinics play a critical role,” says Nick Duran, head of the association.

Scott Remains Mum On How To Fix State's Death Penalty

Feb 11, 2016
Florida Department of Corrections

With Florida's death penalty law in limbo due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Emilee Cope on Wednesday described in chilling detail how her father, Keith, was hog-tied and left for dead back in 2009 when she was a teenager.

Florida Court Hears Case Challenging Abortion Law

Feb 10, 2016

Florida's First District Court of Appeal is deciding whether they should lift an order that blocked a state law requiring a 24-hour waiting period for abortions.

The three-judge panel heard arguments Tuesday from the attorney general's office and the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. The state filed the complaint after two judges blocked the law last July when it was supposed to take effect.

'Direct Primary Care' Draws Senate Questions

Feb 10, 2016
healthcare.gov

Senators raised questions Tuesday about a bill that could help doctors and patients enter into what are known as "direct primary care" agreements.

The proposal, which has been moving through the House and Senate, would make clear that direct-primary care agreements are not covered by state insurance laws. Under the agreements, patients or their employers would make monthly payments to doctors for primary-care services, cutting out the role of insurers.

Bill Could Carve Out Medicaid Dental Benefits

Feb 10, 2016
Florida House

Despite opposition from the committee chairman, a House panel Tuesday approved a bill that could lead to revamping children's dental care in the Medicaid program.

The House Health & Human Services Committee voted 11-2 to approve the bill (HB 819), sponsored by state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami. Chairman Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, and state Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, cast the dissenting votes.

Bill Seeks To Boost Hospitals In Rural Areas

Feb 9, 2016
Florida Senate

A Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill that could help boost efforts to build new or replacement hospitals in rural counties.

Approved by the Senate Health Policy Committee, SB 236 would expand an exemption to the state's "certificate of need" regulatory process for hospital construction or expansion projects. The state currently has a narrow exemption that applies to hospitals in counties with populations of 15,000 to 18,000 people and densities of fewer than 30 people per square mile.

Telehealth, Transparency Move Forward In House

Feb 9, 2016
Mayo Clinic

A House panel Monday approved a pair of bills aimed at increasing the use of "telehealth" to remotely provide medical services and at offering greater transparency in health-care costs.

House Members Back Pot For Terminal Patients

Feb 9, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Continuing to consider how many nurseries should take part in the industry, a House panel Monday approved a bill that would allow patients with terminal illnesses to legally use medical marijuana.

Florida Department of Corrections

Legislation requiring a unanimous verdict from the jury to recommend the death penalty will head to the state Senate floor after passing a committee vote Monday.

Hospital Obstetrical Departments Closure Bill Heads To Full Senate

Feb 8, 2016

A Senate committee Thursday approved a bill that would require hospitals to give advance notice to doctors before closing obstetrical departments, readying the bill to go to the full Senate.

One Florida lawmaker's effort to provide clear guidance for end-of-life care turned into a conversation on death, and euthanasia. Republican Senator Jeff Brandes’ bill would lead to the creation of a portable form patients and their doctors fill out to make sure the patients' wishes are followed.

The state Legislature is on the verge of extending healthcare to thousands of Florida children.  Revisions to the KidCare program will cover children of legal immigrants.

A bill allowing all sexual abuse victims to avoid going physically to court to give their testimony during a trial has passed its first Senate panel. But, not without some concerns.

Planned Parenthood Responds To Latest Abortion Bill

Feb 4, 2016
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

A Florida House panel's approval of a bill placing more regulations on abortion clinics led Planned Parenthood activists to Lakeland Thursday, where they spoke out in front of the legislative office of one of the bill sponsors.

House Aims To Approve Open-Carry Bill

Feb 3, 2016
Florida House

The Florida House is expected to vote Wednesday to allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry sidearms in most public places.
 
And in preparing the bill late Tuesday for a final vote, the House voted 72-43 to tack on an amendment that would let lawmakers with concealed-carry licenses pack heat during legislative meetings and on the House floor.

Abortion Restrictions Pass House Panel After Debate

Feb 3, 2016
Florida House

After a passionate debate, a House panel on Tuesday approved a wide-ranging bill that would place more regulations on abortion clinics and address issues such as the sale or donation of fetal tissue.

Direct Primary Care Gets Approval In Senate

Feb 2, 2016
http://www.denisegrimsley.com/

With the backing of physician groups and small businesses, a Senate committee Monday approved a bill aimed at clearing the way for "direct primary care" agreements in Florida.

Certificate Of Need Change Moves On, With A Twist

Feb 2, 2016
FLSenate.gov

Grappling with an issue that is a priority of House leaders, a Senate committee Monday stopped short of supporting the full repeal of a controversial regulatory process that helps determine whether new hospitals can be built.

KidCare For Legal Immigrants Keeps Moving In House

Feb 1, 2016

The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee late last week unanimously approved a bill (HB 89), filed by Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, that would eliminate a five-year waiting period for the children of legal immigrants to be eligible for the state's KidCare health-insurance program.

'Transparency' Backed in Senate Amid Questions

Feb 1, 2016
healthcare.gov

A Senate budget panel last week approved a bill that seeks to increase transparency about health-care costs, but the measure drew pointed questions from some lawmakers.

Senate To Take Up High-Profile Health Issues

Feb 1, 2016

With House Republican leaders pushing for a wide range of regulatory changes in the health-care industry, a Senate committee will wade into some of the key issues this week.

A proposed constitutional amendment to allow medical use of marijuana will be back on the ballot in November and organizers said Wednesday that growing public support and a larger voter turnout in a presidential election year should help pass the measure that narrowly failed in 2014.

Florida Surgeon General Confirmation Hearing Delayed

Jan 27, 2016
Florida Department of Health

A confirmation hearing for state Surgeon General John Armstrong was delayed Tuesday, with the chairman of the Senate Health Policy Committee saying the panel simply didn't have time to get to the nomination.

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