Senate rejects nurse, telemedicine proposals

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The Senate took up a House omnibus health-care bill Thursday and stripped out proposals dealing with the powers of nurse practitioners and telemedicine.

Senate President Don Gaetz and other senators have long said they oppose a House proposal to allow nurse practitioners to provide primary care without the supervision of physicians. The Senate deleted that proposal from HB 7113 during a flurry of amendmentsThursday.

Also, senators have objected to a broad House proposal aimed at increasing the use of telemedicine. Those objections, at least in part, have centered on part of the House proposal that would allow out-of-state doctors to use telemedicine to provide care to Florida patients without getting licensed in Florida. Senators passed an amendment deleting the House’s telemedicine proposal.

In another high-profile issue, the Senate also approved an amendment to revamp part of the bill that would ensure three disputed trauma centers can remain open in Manatee, Pasco and Marion counties. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill Friday. If approved, the measure then would go back to the House.

Today is the final day of the annual legislative session.