A House plan backers say will reduce costs in no-fault automobile insurance passed a House panel Friday after it was substantially amended to partially accommodate the concerns of private physicians while maintaining caps on attorney fees, reports the News Service of Florida. Following more than an hour of testimony and debate, the House Economic Affairs Committee passed HB 119, the chamber’s attempt to reform personal injury protection. The measure, which passed along largely party lines, would require that “true emergencies” be treated at emergency rooms or hospital-run clinics by restricting reimbursement to $1,500 unless the patients goes to an ER for treatment. In a concession to physicians, the measure dropped an earlier restriction that prevented patients from visiting a physician of their own choosing. The proposal would require patients to seek medical attention within 72 hours. The bill also faces caps on attorney fees, a restriction not included the Senate proposal, a more limited response that targets fraud but does not restrict physician access or caps fees.
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.