The fail first legislation passed its final Senate committee and will be passed off the Senate floor this week!! Friday evening the Patient Access for Florida fail first legislation was place on the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee for Tuesday, January 30th. This is the second committee stop in the House.
The Florida Legislative session is set to officially begin January 9, 2018. Our 2017 session began in March and ended in May ALTHOUGH, committees continued to meet throughout the summer and will continue into the early part of next week before taking off for the remainder of December.
Senator Greg Steube has sponsored Senate Bill 98 (Health Insurer Authorization) which speaks to step therapy/fail-first policies, simplified prior authorization processes, protections against discriminatory plan designs and offering appeals processes for medical exceptions and more. Representative Shawn Harrison has also sponsored House Bill 199 that is identical to SB98. SB98 will be heard on Tuesday,December 5th in the Senate Judiciary Committee( Representative Shawn Harrison is Chairman) and is expected to pass successfully.
Because our 2018 session will be short lived, some bills may actually only be heard by one (1) committee prior to going to the floor for a vote. Therefore, it will be extremely important to act quickly and speak to committee members prior to any vote.
We have tried for 5 or 6 years now to have legislation that deals with prior authorization, step therapy and issues that affect our patients access to sound medical care and treatments that are designed by physicians, not insurance companies. We have made great strides but, our job is not over yet. It is extremely important to continue to have our voices heard in Tallahassee, patients and healthcare workers alike need to reach out to your legislative representatives and share your stories and your concerns. This year has seen many legislators talking about their personal experience with some of these issues and perhaps with an awareness that has not been seen in years past.
During Christmas break as well as at the beginning of session there are a few “key” legislators to contact in both houses: Richard Corcoran,House Speaker and
newly elected Vice Chairman, Jose Oliva, as well as members of the House Health Innovation Committee, House Health and Human Services Chairman, Travis Cummings. The House has historically been our challenge with healthcare bills.
Be watching for additional contact information for legislative committee members.
Thank you for your continued interest and support and Many Blessings for a safe and Happy Holiday Season.
Michelle Smith Flowers, President
Oncology Managers of Florida, Inc.
Important Bills to Watch during our Legislative session beginning January 9, 2018
Update Oct. 27: FL SB492
Sponsor: Senator Rene Garcia (REP-FL)
Title: Provision of Pharmaceutical Services
Abstract: Provision of Pharmaceutical Services;
Prohibiting certain health insurance policies and health maintenance contracts from requiring insureds and subscribers to obtain certain prescription drugs exclusively from mail order pharmacies for the treatment of specified chronic illnesses; requiring certain health maintenance organizations to include specified disclosures in their outlines of coverage regarding such prescription drugs, etc.
Status: Referred to Banking and Insurance; Health Policy; Appropriations – 10/26/2017