While this week may be devoted to issues pertaining to property insurance and taxes, health issues still were in play. Not only would the Senate property insurance proposal place a surcharge on all insurance policies, including medical malpractice, but all of the members of the various health care committees were in Tallahassee with plenty of time to talk about upcoming issues.
While most agree that health care issues are not likely to dominate this year, several proposals are likely. Already the nurses have refiled their controlled substance prescribing bill, and naturopathic licensing again will be an issue of concern. Action on tort reform appears to be limited, although "loser pays" legislation may be considered. In another positive note, it truly appears that increased physician reimbursement for Medicaid is an issue on which the legislators agree in principle and which may become a reality.
As on the federal level, EMR issues will emerge, with legislators asking for ways in which physicians may be "incentivized" to invest in EMR. Ina related issue, the electronic prescription database and Florida Health Information Network bills will both resurface.
Finally, it has often been said that politics make for strange bedfellows and that today's opponent is tomorrow's ally. In the wake of the Westside EKG case, which gives physicians an independent cause of action to enforce the Prompt Pay Statutes, the health insurance industry is likely to seek legislation nullifying that victory. We have already been lobbying against any such legislation, as has the Trial Bar, which relishes a new cause of action against managed care.
2007 promises to be another exciting legislative session, and I look forward to working with you to making it the most successful yet.
Page updated: 1/18/07
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