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Senate committee passes series of cost-saving health care proposals

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The Senate Appropriations Committee approved Thursday several bills with some cost-saving measures for health providers. The bills now head to the Senate floor.

LobbyTools is reporting on SB 1686, sponsored by Fernandina Beach Republican Sen. Aaron Bean, which will allow Florida’s health care practitioners to provide telehealth services. The bill creates a task force under the Agency for Health Care Administration to study ways to implement telehealth. An amendment allows representatives of long-term-care services to become part of the task force.

SB 152, sponsored by Sebring Republican Sen. Denise Grimsley, combined with SB 946, seeks to allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants the ability to order controlled substances for patients in health facilities, hospitals and nursing homes.

“Nothing in this amendment authorizes prescribing outside of the hospital or the nursing home,” Grimsley told LobbyTools.

Another bill passed by the committee (SB 1496), this one from Fleming Island Republican Sen. Rob Bradley, would bring additional transparency to health care costs. The AHCA would be required to contract with a vendor for a consumer-friendly website which will show both cost and quality data. An amendment provides a competitive bidding process to choose the vendor.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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