by Javier Manjarres
The so-called ‘Pill-Mill’ bill presently circulating in the Florida House of Representatives is leaving a very bad taste in the mouths of many around the state, including yours truly. While the legislation was intended to curtail the growing problem prescription drug abuse, it also has the unintended effect of severely hindering small businesses to the point of closing them down. Many fear that this bill is simply Obamacare-inspired legislation masked with a anti-crime bow wrapped around it because of the mandates within the bill that control a provider’s practice.
The bill has within it some worthwhile safety measures, but the provisions within HB 7095 that impose mandates on physicians ultimately harm patient care even though on the surface they sound as if they are in the best interests of the patient. Some of the mandates in the bill are as follows:
s. 456.44, F.S.; providing definitions ;requiring certain physicians to designate themselves as controlled substance prescribing practitioners on their practitioner profiles; providing an effective date ;requiring registered physicians to meet certain standards of practice; requiring a physical examination; requiring a written protocol; requiring an assessment of risk for aberrant behavior; requiring a treatment plan; requiring specified informed consent; requiring consultation and referral in certain circumstances; requiring medical records meeting certain criteria; providing an exemption for physicians meeting certain criteria; amending s.458.3265, F.S., relating to regulation of pain-management clinics and medical doctors; amending the definition of a pain-management clinic; providing definitions; providing an exemption from registration for clinics owned and operated by physicians or medical specialists meeting certain criteria; allowing physician assistants and advanced registered nurse practitioners to perform medical examinations; requiring physicians in pain-management clinics to ensure compliance with certain requirements ;imposing facility and physical operations requirements; imposing infection control requirements; imposing health and safety requirements; imposing quality assurance requirements; imposing data collection and reporting requirements; amending rulemaking authority;
You get the gist of it. The bill is ironically loaded with mandates, the very kind that burden practitioners and have all sorts of unintended consequences.
Senate President Haridopolos told Newsmax that it would look ” very closely” at these charges when it considers the measure.
“What is most important and what, I think, we need to focus on in health care, is having a patient-centered health care and not . . . bureaucrat-centered health care,” said Haridopolos, who is running for U.S. Senate.-Newsmax
An unenviable conflict is looming on the horizon. On one hand, we have the Senate’s Health Care Freedom Act and its promise to nullify the implementation of Obamacare, and on the other hand we have this new House bill(and SB 2132, a bill on workers’ compensation that was an Alex Sink priority) that arguably encroaches on a patients’ rights- including the right to choose where he or she can receive prescription medication- hardly a mandate that is compatible with health care “freedom”. Will the Senate strike down the provisions that betray the promise of the HCFA? Or will the Senate compromise and vote for a lesser form of Obama-care- at least in regards to prescription drugs- or will it vote it down in order to stay in tow with their past legislation?