Florida Legislative Update
Health care is a hot issue in Florida’s 2000 legislative session. Some speculate that there may even be a special session devoted to the proposed laws relating to nursing homes. Other significant topics before the legislature include:
- Insurance mandates: Lawmakers are considering legislation that would require a cost analysis of health insurance mandates. One such bill provides for the automatic repeal of a newly mandated benefit five years after its creation unless the legislature re-enacts the mandate.
- HMO reform: Efforts are underway to pass numerous provisions relating to health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Pending bills would alter various facets of HMO operations by creating mandatory electronic claims processing, requiring notification of providers within 14 days if a claim is incomplete or a service was not authorized, requiring prompt payment of providers, and instituting uniform claims standards. In addition, many legislators are pushing for greater patients’ rights, including allowing patients to bring civil suits against HMOs.
- Public Medical Assistance Trust Fund taxes: Proposed bills would repeal the tax on outpatient services, clinical laboratories, ambulatory surgical centers, imaging centers, and other facilities.
- Certificate of Need (CON) reform: The legislature is examining bills that seek to exempt certain bed increases from CON review, and to eliminate CON review for cost overruns.
- Pharmaceutical subsidies: Legislators are leading a push to provide state subsidies to Medicare recipients purchasing pharmaceuticals.
In addition to these important topics, the legislature will address numerous other health law issues. Watch for a summary of this session’s statutory changes in an upcoming edition of The Health Law Report.