The past week was highlighted by some promising news on the Medicaid Reimbursement front, while storm clouds formed on several other fronts.
With regard to Medicaid, House Health Council Chair Aaron Bean intimated to us that his initial budget request would be for an additional $139 million for physician reimbursement. While not the $249millionneeded to bring Medicaid reimbursement to Medicare levels, the increase would be substantial. We plan on testifying at next Tuesday's Budget meeting on the need for increased physician reimbursement.
In less exciting news, the Pharmacist Immunization Bill (HB 543) will require a massive effort to defeat, despite the bill's lack of essential patient protections such as adequate emergency equipment and training, mandatory histories and physicals, and interaction with the patient's primary care physician. On the tort front, a bill to eliminate the Fabre Doctrine (which apportions damages to all those at fault, not just those named in the suit) has been filed by Representative Needelman (HB 733). If this bill were to pass, damages would be attributed only to named parties, allowing plaintiffs to not include more culpable (but less wealthy) co-defendants who enter into side agreements; the result would be a return to the days in which scores of doctors would be named in malpractice suits in the hope of finding one with "deep pockets" and the dismissing cases against more culpable but less wealthy defendants.
Committee weeks are scheduled until February 23, following a one-week hiatus the official Session will begin March 6, 2007.
Special thanks go to Legislative Chairman N. H. Tucker, III, M.D., FACP, for leading first time associates Lior Shamai, D.O., Cleveland Clinic Florida and Alexander Velazquez, M.D., Orlando Regional Medical Center through a busy schedule of legislative appointments.
Page updated: 2/15/07
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