Senate Health Policy Committee

Legislation aiming to expand Miami-Dade’s successful needle exchange program to other counties is advancing through the Senate. The three-year-old program has even changed some doubters’ minds.

State Medicaid Changes Come Under Fire

Jan 23, 2019

Florida has put in place sweeping changes to its main health-care safety net program over the last several months, but legislators on Tuesday received an earful about ongoing problems with the $28 billion Medicaid program.

Surgeon General Won’t Get Senate Hearing

Mar 10, 2016
Florida Department of Health

Senate President Andy Gardiner on Wednesday cast what could be the deciding vote in the clash over the confirmation of Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong.

Meeting with reporters, Gardiner acknowledged that --- despite his support for the embattled surgeon general --- he would not use a procedural move to pull Armstrong's stalled nomination out of a committee and hold a confirmation hearing on the Senate floor.

Direct Primary Care Gets Approval In Senate

Feb 2, 2016

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.

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.

Senate Panel Approves KidCare Expansion For Immigrants

Nov 19, 2015

Florida senators continued moving forward Wednesday with a bill that would help the children of legal immigrants get low-cost health insurance coverage through the state's KidCare program.

Senators Back Shielding EMT Records

Oct 22, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

With the bill pointing to interactions between emergency workers and violent, angry and mentally unstable people, a Senate committee Tuesday supported granting a public-records exemption to paramedics and emergency-medical technicians.

Senate Sets Health Expansion Bill Schedule

May 26, 2015
The Florida Senate

The Senate will move quickly during a special legislative session next month to reiterate support for a controversial plan that would use federal Medicaid money to provide health insurance to about 800,000 Floridians.

Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, sent a memo Friday to senators that said the Senate Health Policy Committee will take up the coverage-expansion plan June 1, the first day of the special session. The following day, the plan will go the Appropriations Committee, and it will be approved by the full Senate on June 3.

Music Therapy Bill Passes Senate Hurdle

Apr 9, 2015
Crystal Chavez / Health News Florida

A bill that would require music therapists in Florida to get a state license passed a State Senate committee. The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Health Policy committee Tuesday.

Music therapists with specific education and training to help patients cope and heal from a variety of illnesses are currently certified by a national board.

KidCare Bill For Legal Immigrants Retried

Feb 18, 2015

  After lawmakers scuttled the idea last year, a Senate committee Tuesday backed a proposal to help immigrant children get health coverage in the KidCare program.

The Senate Health Policy Committee unanimously approved a bill (SB 294), sponsored by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, that would eliminate a five-year waiting period for "lawfully residing" immigrant children to get health care through the subsidized insurance program. The bill would not apply to children who are undocumented immigrants.

The Senate Health Policy Committee’s move to create a one-year, $15,000 cap on trauma center fees is a positive development, but still too costly, the Tampa Bay Times editorial board says.

  Telehealth, one of the major issues of the Legislative session, passed a key Senate committee Wednesday the way the Florida Medical Association had hoped, the News Service of Florida reports.

Carol Gentry/WUSF

Ernestine Marshall's every move is being watched: morning, noon and night. 

Motion-activated sensors are everywhere in her Tampa apartment: on the toilet, the front door, even the kitchen cabinet where she stores medications help manage her multiple sclerosis.

It's been a year since the 60-year-old former teacher volunteered to let her health insurance company track her daily activities. If she oversleeps or if she’s up and down during the night, sensors around the house or those tucked into her bed trigger a check-in call from a Humana nurse.

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

Florida Senate

Opting for stronger privacy controls despite law enforcement concerns, the Senate Health Policy Committee has approved changes to Florida’s prescription drug database.

A state senate subcommittee today will start finalizing its framework for telemedicine and could vote as soon as next week, the Florida Current reports.

The sponsor of a ban on texting-while-driving got behind the wheel of a driving simulator to make her point, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Texting while “driving,” State Sen.Nancy Detert, R-Venice, hit two deer. Similar measures have failed in previous sessions; this time around, both the House and Senate bills have just one more committee to pass before heading to the floor.