Florida health care bills to keep an eye on in the 2022 legislative session

Florida legislators are continuing to file bills with just under two months until the start of the 2022 legislative session on Jan. 11. Here’s a look at some of the bills legislators filed this month. 

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SB 726 – Telehealth: SB726, sponsored by Sen. Loranne Ausley (D – Quincy), would prevent Medicaid managed care plans from working with providers who administer services solely through telehealth to help meet the needs of their beneficiaries. This bill would also ensure that health care policies continue to cover services administered through telehealth going forward. 

This bill would take effect on July 1, 2022 if passed. 

SB784 – Inmate Conditional Medical Release: SB784, a bill that’s co-sponsored by Sen. Keith Perry (R – Gainesville) and Sen. Jeff Brandes (R – St. Petersburg), would establish the conditional medical release program within the Department of Corrections. The program introduced by the bill would authorize the conditional medical release of inmates who have served less than 85% of their term in prison. Florida Statute 947.149, which outlines requirements for conditional medical releases, states that a conditional medical release will run for the remainder of the prisoner’s term, but doesn’t specify that this release can take place before 85% of their term is served. 

 The bill states: 

“The Legislature finds that such inmates’ terminal illnesses or permanently incapacitating conditions may be exacerbated by imprisonment due to the stresses linked to prison life.”

This bill would take effect on Oct. 1, 2022 if it passes. 

HB475 – Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Forms of Dementia Education and Public Awareness: HB475, sponsored by Rep. Michelle Salzman (R – Pensacola), would request the Florida Department of Health to instruct licensed health care providers on the detection of Alzheimer’s Disease and other similar conditions through community outreach programs. With a request to the Florida Health Department, the bill would also encourage various health care facilities to display signs throughout their departments that would inform patients of the health condition. This bill would take effect on July 1, 2022 should it pass. 

HB437 – Collaborative Practice of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists: HB437, sponsored by Rep. Bob Rommel (R – Marco Island), would permit any advanced practice registered nurse who is also certified as a registered nurse anesthetist to work jointly with a health care practitioner when caring for patients. This bill would take effect on July 1, 2022 should it pass. 

SB718 – Patient Care in Health Care Facilities: SB718, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Bradley (R – Macclenny), would give patients who are able to self-administer their own medications the ability to do so. The bill would also give an unlicensed person the ability to help administer medications, presuming the patient is medically stable and proper directions are followed for drug administration. The bill would also allow for the usage of advanced life support ambulances that must contain at least one person who’s a certified paramedic, and another who’s either a registered nurse or a licensed physician. If passed, this bill would take effect on July 1, 2022.