Compromise possible on long-running fight over workers comp drugs

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A Senate committee Tuesday is expected to take up a proposal that could resolve a long-running fight about the costs of drugs dispensed by doctors to workers-compensation insurance patients.

Sen. Alan Hays has filed an amendment to SB 662 that spells out a potential compromise. Business groups have complained in recent years that high costs for doctor-dispensed drugs increase workers compensation insurance premiums. But their past attempts to limit the costs have run into opposition from physicians and a South Florida company, Automated HealthCare Solutions, that supplies dispensing-related technology to doctors.

Physicians contend that dispensing medications in their offices is more convenient for patients and helps ensure that prescriptions get filled and taken. The proposed amendment, which is slated to go before the Senate Appropriations Committee, would create new fee limits for doctors who dispense the medications — but those limits would be higher than what pharmacies are allowed to charge.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.