Florida was active in healthcare legislation in recent legislative sessions. Most notably, in 2019, the legislature repealed certificate of need (CON) requirements (HB 21), the state’s longstanding approval system for expanding healthcare facilities. The legislature attempted unsuccessfully to repeal the program during the 2017 session (HB 7). The CON program will remain in effect for specialty hospitals for another two years and will not be eliminated for nursing homes, hospices and intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled.
In other healthcare market legislation, Florida enacted SB 322 to require insurers to cover consumers with pre-existing conditions in the event the Affordable Care Act is repealed. The bill also expands short-term and association health plans. Additionally, the legislature passed HB 23, which encourages insurers to use telehealth, and HB 1113, which authorizes individual and group health insurers and health maintenance organizations to offer shared savings incentive programs.
On the pharmaceutical front, the state enacted HB 19 in 2019 to allow drug importation from Canada in an effort to reduce prescription drug prices. In 2018, the legislature passed HB 351, which requires pharmacists to inform customers of certain generically equivalent drug products and whether cost-sharing obligations to such customers exceed retail price of prescription. The Florida legislature was also active in pushing for prescription cost transparency legislation in 2017.
In past legislative sessions, Florida passed legislation promoting healthcare transparency and protecting patients from surprise out-of-network bills. Another key Florida effort in healthcare transparency is the FloridaHealthFinder.gov website, which allows consumers to view performance and outcome data, including average costs, for healthcare facilities in the state. Florida is also active in promoting the use of electronic Health Information Exchanges to streamline provider access to patient information and consequently lower costs and improve quality of care.
2020 Legislative Session: 1/14/2020 - 3/13/2020 (2020 term). *Current session bill updates are ongoing. Check back weekly for updates.
FY 2019-2020 BUDGETFlorida’s fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30th of the following year. To view Florida’s FY 2019-2020 Budget Act as signed by the Governor, click here.
REGULATION & ENFORCEMENT
- The portal for accessing administrative enforcement orders from the Agency for Health Care Administration is here.
- On August 18, 2014, two Florida women, represented by the law firm of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll filed a class action law suit against JFK Medical Center and its owner, HCA Holdings, which owns 80 hospitals across the state, for grossly and unreasonably overcharging for medical services. Under a previous policy that HCA abandoned this year, uninsured patients were also charged a special trauma fee that could add $30,000 or more to their bills irrespective of the service rendered.