What Issues Are Up for Debate in the Florida Healthcare Legislative Session Next Week?

Florida lawmakers are set to debate critical issues concerning healthcare this upcoming legislative session. These issues include abortion, physician-assisted death, telehealth, medical duties, prescription drug coverage and costs, advertising, mental health, transgender care, vaccination, and covered medical services. Abortion is a key issue for lawmakers to tackle this session and the current 15-week ban is being challenged in the Florida Supreme Court.

Physician-assisted death is another contentious issue, with Democratic Sen. Lauren Book proposing a Death with Dignity Act that would allow doctors to prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill patients. Telehealth is an area of focus as well, with proposed bills allowing for audio-only calls, genetic counselors, medical marijuana re-certification, and more prescriptions. Medical duties could be expanded to give Certified Nursing Assistants, physicians assistants, pharmacists, and home health aides more authority.

Prescription drug coverage and costs are also up for debate with bills that require health insurers to provide notice of formulary changes and require payments to be applied towards cost-sharing requirements. Advertising is another area of focus, with a proposed law laying out the titles and designations that healthcare providers may call themselves and display their license in a visible area. Mental health is another area of focus, with bills proposing Medicaid beneficiaries to bypass certain requirements and fund increases for community-based mental health services.

Transgender care is another area of focus, with proposed bills making it illegal for doctors to provide treatments such as puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender-affirming surgery to transgender minors. Vaccination is also on the agenda, with a proposed bill that prohibits Florida’s Department of Health from requiring enrollment in the state’s immunization registry. Finally, bills are being proposed to extend or require insurers to cover certain healthcare costs such as skin cancer screenings, biomarker testing, glucose monitoring, and transparency of coverage. All of these issues have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of Florida citizens and it is important to follow the progress of the legislative session.


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