A roundup of the first week of Florida's legislative session, as we begin week two

click to enlarge Florida State Capitol and Florida House Office, "where the magic happens" - PHOTO VIA MICHAEL RIVERA/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Photo via Michael Rivera/Wikimedia Commons
Florida State Capitol and Florida House Office, "where the magic happens"
Whew. We survived the first week of the 2020 session where a torrent of health care legislation started to gush through the Legislature (see Week in Review). The second week of session promises more of the same.

So eat your Wheaties ….

The Senate Health Policy Committee will consider Sen. Aaron Bean’s bill to make permanent changes to Florida's Medicaid eligibility requirements that shortened – from a maximum of 90 days to a maximum of 30 days – the time a person has to apply for the program.

Why it matters: The policy is expected to generate $104 million in “savings” that Gov. Ron DeSaantis has banked on in his proposed spending plan for the upcoming year. State economists also assumed the policy would be effect when calculating their Medicaid budget estimates for the upcoming year.

What you need to know: Legislators don’t have the benefit of information the Legislature mandated the Agency for Health Care Administration to supply, such as how the change in policy impacted a person’s medical debt. More on that here.

There may not be talk of workers' compensation changes this session, but state Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, is looking out for the state's judges of compensation claims. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday will consider SB 1298 to increase funding for the Division of Administrative Hearings in order to give pay raises to the judges of compensation claims.

The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee will consider Board of Medicine appointee Kevin Cairns.


The Board of Medicine proposes amending Rule 64B8-9.009, regarding office surgery registration and the requirements for a designated physician. More here.

The Board of Osteopathic Medicine proposes amending Rule 64B15-14.007, to clarify language regarding gluteal fat transfers. More here.

The Board of Osteopathic Medicine proposes amending Rule 64B15-14.0076. More here.

The Department of Health proposes Rule 64-4.301, for standards for certification and regulation of marijuana testing laboratories. More here.

The Board of Dentistry proposes amending Rule 64B5-15.006, related to renewal fees for dental hygienists licenses. More here.

The Board of Dentistry proposes amending Rules 64B5-16.001 and 64B5-16.006, to clarify definitions and the remediable tasks of dental hygienists. More here.

The Board of Physical Therapy Practice proposes amending Rule 64B17-3.001, relating to physical therapist and physical therapist assistant applicants. More here.

The Board of Physical Therapy Practice proposes amending Rule 64B17-7.005, which permits the Department of Health to issue a notice of noncompliance when a licensee has not timely completed the required human trafficking education course. More here.

Certificate of Need

AHCA has published the need for adult, children and adolescent psychiatric beds as well as adult substance abuse beds for July 2025. The agency says there's a need for 24 new adult and seven new children psych beds in Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties.

Meanwhile, there’s a need for 26 new adult psych beds in Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee, and Union counties.

There’s a need for 16 children and psychiatric beds in Brevard, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.

But health-care planners say there is no additional need for comprehensive medical rehabilitation hospital beds for July 2025.

Week In Review

And so it begins ... A Senate health-care panel on Wednesday voted 8-2 to support the confirmation of Scott Rivkees, the secretary of the Florida Department of Health and surgeon general. The dissenting votes in the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee came from Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation and Sen. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, who expressed concerns that Rivkees was investigated for sexual harassment because of comments he allegedly made after taking a position at the University of Florida in 2012. More here.

Insurers rolled ... Incoming House Speaker Chris Sprowls had little trouble Thursday convincing members of a House health-care panel to approve legislation that would prohibit life-insurance, long-term care insurance and disability-insurance companies from using customers’ genetic information in changing, denying or canceling policies. More here.

Isn’t that special? ... Less than a year after lawmakers agreed to change how the state licenses hospitals, a House health-care panel on Wednesday approved a bill that would continue to alter the industry by scrapping a ban on specialty, or “boutique,” hospitals. More here.

Pause for the cause ... A legal fight over a state petition-gathering law has been dismissed after supporters of allowing recreational marijuana use decided against continuing to try to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot. More here.

Now that it’s over ... The Florida Senate says the state Supreme Court should not review the wording of a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow recreational marijuana use. More here.

No can do ... A state appeals court said Wednesday a medical-records firm is barred from charging more for copies of records when they are requested by patients’ attorneys. More here.

Equal rights ... Two transgender state employees who have been denied medical treatment for gender dysphoria filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the Florida Department of Management Services alleging unlawful sex discrimination. More here.

They’ve only just begun ... A Senate panel on Wednesday took the first steps toward overhauling a complicated and expensive program designed to help thousands of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. More here.

Gone ... State closing offices that help people sign up for food stamps, Medicaid. More here.

Pay up ... She had Medicaid insurance. After a car wreck, a Miami hospital billed her for $20,000. More here.

Advocacy ... USA Today’s Network’s midwife investigation sparks legislation to protect mothers. More here.

Epicenter ... In record setting year, MIami organ transplant hub performed the most transplants in U.S. More here.

Court battle ... Orthopedic surgeon files whistle-blower lawsuit against Orlando Health, Physician Associates. More here.

Bad medicine ... Breast cupping got a Pompano Beach doctor disciplined, state says. More here.

Mandates ... UF requires health insurance, but do students want that? More here.


Jan. 21

10 a.m. The House Health Quality Subcommittee meets and will consider legislation that allows physical therapists to “dry needle.” Place: 306 House Office Building. Agenda here.

10 a.m. The Senate Health Policy committee meets to consider legislation that would make permanent Medicaid retroactive eligibility changes. . Place: 412 Knott Building. Agenda here.

12 p.m. The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee meets to consider pharmacy benefit management legislation (SB 1338), as well as bills on coverage for air ambulances and hearing aids for children. Place: 412 Knott Building. Agenda here.

12 p.m. The Senate Children and Families and Elder Affairs Committee meets and will consider SB 1542, which would create a ”dementia director” within the Department of Elderly Affairs. Place: 301 Senate Building. Agenda here.

12:30 p.m. The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee meets and will consider HB 309, which addresses how healthcare providers can identify themselves. Place: 404 House Office Building. Agenda here.

1:30 p.m. The Board of Nursing meets to consider cases where Probable Cause has previously been found. Call (888) 585-9008; participant code: 275112502.

3 p.m. The Health Market Reform Subcommittee meets and will discuss insurance coverage for air ambulances. Place: 306 House Office Building. Agenda here.

Jan. 22

8 a.m. The Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council and Constituent Group meets. Place: Ocean Center, 101 North Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach.

8:30 a.m. The House Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee meets. Place: 12 House Office Building.

10 a.m. The Medical Cannabis Advisory Medical Subcommittee meets to conduct general business. Call: (866) 899-4679; participant code: 77448202. Contact [email protected] for agenda.

12 p.m. The Medical Cannabis Advisory Legislative and Legal Subcommittee meets. Call: (866)-899-4679; participant code: 646954909. Contact [email protected] for agenda.

Jan. 23

8 a.m. The Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council and Constituent Group meets. Place: Ocean Center Meetings, 101 North Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach.

12 p.m. The Medical Cannabis Advisory Banking and Insurance Subcommittee meets to conduct general business. Call (866) 899-4679; participant code: 126682613. Contact [email protected] for agenda.

4 p.m. The Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee to conduct general business. Call (866) 899-4679; participant code: 535849565. Contact [email protected] for agenda.

5 p.m. Real Time Outcomes Subcommittee of the Pediatric Cardiac Technical Advisory Panel meets. Call (877) 309-2071; participant code: 837164661. Webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/579623351730618627.

Jan. 24

8 a.m. The Board of Psychology meets. Place: Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, 555 North Westshore Blvd., Tampa. Agenda here.

9 a.m. The Board of Dentistry meets to conduct general board business. Call (888) 585-9008; participant code: 599196982. Agenda here.

2:30 p.m. The Board of Medicine Probable Cause Panel North meets. Call: (888) 585-9008; participant code: 432162565. Agenda here.

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