Medical malpractice bill advance

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A pair of bills that have become vehicles for major medical malpractice changes passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday following debate that again pitted trial attorneys against physicians on level of proof standards and arbitration, reports the News Service of Florida. The medical malpractice provisions have been tacked on to two bills, HB 1316 and HB 1506, that also contain provisions allowing optometrists to prescribe some oral medications. The bills represents a deal reached last week between the Florida Medical Association and the optometric industry over prescribing authority. Amendments adopted to both bills last week, would provide medical-malpractice legal restrictions that the FMA has made a top priority. In exchange, the FMA agreed to go along with allowing optometrists to prescribe some oral medications. Both bills passed along party lines with only two dissenting votes, Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, and Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens.

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