Florida Medical Association

Board of Medicine: Pelvic Exam Law Is For Women Only

Oct 15, 2020
Unsplash

A new state law aimed at protecting patients from unwanted pelvic exams does not apply to people who are “biologically male,” according to a state medical board.

The Florida Board of Medicine, which regulates physicians, issued an eight-page order designed to clarify the law, which prohibits health care practitioners and medical students from performing pelvic examinations on patients without written consent from the patients or the patients’ guardians.

Growth Of Telehealth Raises New Questions

Oct 6, 2020
Doctor speaks to patient on an online live chat
Nemours Children's Hospital- YouTube

Increased use of telehealth has been described as a silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing patients who have been staying home to see their doctors via technology.

But members of the Florida Board of Medicine are grappling with whether it can be used by physicians for other purposes.

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Worried that the proposal would deplete their operating budget, members of the Florida Board of Medicine on Friday overwhelmingly shot down a request for the state to waive physician licensure renewal fees for two years.

 

All physicians in Florida could soon be required to write and submit prescriptions electronically. State Rep. Amber Mariano (R- Pasco), is sponsoring a bill that would cut the number of exemptions allowed in the current e-prescribing program. Mariano’s bill eliminates exemptions like financial hardship and one-year waivers.


Panel Grapples With Substance Abuse, Mental Health Concerns Among Physicians

Dec 10, 2019
Heidi de Marco / Kaiser Health News

A state licensing board continues to grapple with how best to address mental-health issues and substance abuse among medical students and physicians across Florida. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Who says doctors and insurers are at odds? The Florida Medical Association’s philanthropic arm has joined with its counterpart at Aetna to try to combat obesity. 

Flickr Creative Commons

The law that took effect July 1 limits prescriptions of opioids for acute pain to three days, although a seven day supply can be prescribed under certain conditions. 

Physicians' Group To Weigh In On 'PIP' Fees Case

Apr 5, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

The state Supreme Court on Thursday approved the Florida Medical Association's request to file a friend-of-the-court brief in a case about fees paid to medical providers who treat people injured in auto accidents.

Allstate Objects To FMA Brief In 'PIP' Fees Case

Mar 29, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Allstate Insurance is objecting to an attempt by the Florida Medical Association to file a brief in a state Supreme Court case about fees paid to health providers who treat people injured in auto accidents.

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.

Judge Rejects Challenge To Medical Record Charges

Dec 10, 2015
Barry Gutierrez/NPR

An administrative law judge Tuesday rejected a challenge to a state Board of Medicine proposal that would increase the cost of copies of patient medical records.

Many people have seen the ads on TV pushing this pill or that device. It's usually followed by "Ask your doctor if this medication is right for you."

But the American Medical Association says those ads contribute to rising drug costs and patient demands for inappropriate treatments and they're calling for a ban on what they call "direct-to-consumer" ads for prescription drugs and implantable devices.

Tallahassee Forum To Address 'Balance Billing

Oct 15, 2015

State Insurance Consumer Advocate Sha'Ron James will bring together key groups to discuss a controversial issue in the health-care industry known as "balance billing."

Republican Neal Dunn is making it a three-way race for the Congressional seat currently held by Democrat Gwen Graham. Dunn, a physician and banker, came to Tallahassee Monday after first announcing in his hometown.  

Armstrong Again Named DOH Secretary

Dec 16, 2014
University of South Florida

Governor Rick Scott on Monday tapped Dr. John Armstrong again as Florida’s Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health.

Armstrong has been in the post since 2012. His predecessor, Dr. Frank Farmer, stepped down after about a year on the job, citing taking care of his wife who has breast cancer.

myeyesurgeons.com

A letter from the Federal Bureau of Prisons almost cost Alan Mendelsohn his medical practice, only months after resuming it.

The prominent Hollywood eye surgeon, who served 2 ½ years of a four-year prison term on charges of public corruption and tax evasion, was sent to a halfway house in July.  There, residents are required to work during the days but must return each evening.

A ruling on the ongoing challenge to Florida's medical malpractice law is a win for groups such as the Florida Medical Association, Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida reports. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Friday says changes made in 2013 to the "ex parte communications" portion of the law does not violate patient privacy, the News Service reports.

FMA Opposes Pot Amendment

Aug 5, 2014

The group that represents Florida's doctors is coming out against a proposal to allow medical marijuana in the state.

Florida voters will vote this November on a measure authorizing medical marijuana. The Florida Medical Association on Monday announced it was opposed to Amendment 2.

The group that represents physicians said in a statement that there are "unintended consequences" linked to the proposal that create a health risk. The FMA contended that the amendment would allow health care providers with no training to order medical marijuana.

The Florida Medical Association recently gave $300,000 to a political committee running attack ads in a closely contested state legislative race, the News Service of Florida reports. The money went to the “Better Florida Fund Corp.,” which is running ads that criticize Sarasota County Republican Richard DeNapoli. He’s competing against fellow Republican Julio Gonzalez, who is a doctor, to replace term-limited Rep. Doug Holder, R-Venice, in the House District 74 race.

Dr. Larry Floriani

The Florida Medical Association surprised many this week when word came that its House of Delegates embraced a resolution calling for the legislature to expand Medicaid, the state-run program that's supposed to cover low-income people.

The money to do so, an estimated $51 billion over 10 years, had already been set aside by the federal government to begin in January this year, but the state House of Representatives refused to take  it. The FMA delegates want the Legislature to change its position.

DrElkinMD.com

  The Florida Medical Association's House of Delegates overwhelmingly adopted a resolution supporting Medicaid expansion to cover uninsured low-income adults at FMA's annual meeting on Sunday, according  to doctors who were there.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated with the statement from FMA.)

Freefoto

The Florida House passed a huge bill full of controversial health issues on Friday shortly after lunch, sending it on to a Senate that may not be friendly.

The "train" -- legislative jargon for a bill that carries many unconnected issues -- was a signal defeat for the Florida Medical Association, which had opposed two of the biggest issues. HB 7113 would give nurse practitioners the right to practice independently and would allow telemedicine consults with doctors in other states who don't hold Florida licenses. 

The vote was 74-42.

Florida TaxWatch’s recent report, “Diagnosing the Debate,” offers data that support proposals before the Legislature that would allow nurse practitioners to practice independently from doctors, the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reports.  The Florida Medical Association, which fiercely opposes the legislation, has called on TaxWatch to withdraw the report, pointing to “five serious flaws.”   TaxWatch stands by the report, saying th

After the Florida Supreme Court threw out the state's medical malpractice law last week, saying its cap on "pain-and-suffering" damages violates the state Constitution, it would seem to be the ideal time for an alternative.

Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, had already filed a bill (HB 739) that offers such an alternative: a Patients' Compensation System, which would use medical review panels to determine whether and how patients were injured and provide compensation without having to go to court.

Needle-Exchange Bill Leaps Hurdles

Feb 18, 2014

 A bill creating a pilot needle-exchange program in South Florida received the unanimous backing of a Senate committee Monday, according to the Miami Herald. (paywall alert)

Next week, a House panel reviews the bill, which would provide drug users with clean needles, drug testing and vaccinations at no cost to taxpayers, the Herald says.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.-- The House Select Committee on Workforce Innovation approved a massive bill that would expand the authority of nurse practitioners and open a door for them to practice independently.  The vote, with only two dissents, followed testimony against the bill by a number of physician organizations.

With a key committee set to vote today on a bill allowing nurses more authority, doctor groups were sending out alerts to their members Monday, urging them to call their representative and register a protest.

Critics of a legislative plan that would increase the authority of Florida’s nurse practitioners pushed back Monday, wondering if the massive bill would give nurses all the privileges now granted to more-educated and more-skilled physicians.

The plan -- which allows qualified nurse practitioners the ability to operate independently, without a physician’s supervision -- could be seen as a short-cut to those who want to treat patients but  don't want to go to medical school, said Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood.

The Florida Medical Association’s Board of Governors turned aside a resolution in support of Medicaid Expansion last weekend, sending it to a committee. While FMA did not say that effectively kills it for this legislative session, its supporters did.

    

“I am disappointed and disagree with tabling it, and disagree with the politics involved, which in essence will keep the status quo while patients, physicians and hospital suffer the consequences,” said Dr. Aaron Elkin of Hollywood, sponsor of the resolution.

The Florida Legislature’s plan to create new telemedicine standards is focusing on insurance reimbursements and licensing requirements, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

A Florida House committee will take up a bill Monday that would give nurse practitioners more independence and authority to provide medical services without a supervising physician.

The bill, which could help address the shortage of primary-care physicians, would apply to “advanced registered nurse practitioners,” a classification requiring more training and education than registered nurses, according to the News Service of Florida.

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