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2 health care bills pass final committee, next stop House floor

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Two health care-related bills had final hearings Wednesday, with each passing the House Health & Human Services Committee before heading to the full chamber floor.

As reported by LobbyTools, HB 37 seeks to define agreements for services between patients and health providers, cutting out insurers. That bill unanimously passed after two amendments added by Rep. Fred Costello, the Ormond Beach Republican sponsoring the bill.

One change will shorten advance written notice to terminate an agreement from 60 to 30 days. The other “removes the statement that by combining a primary care agreement with a catastrophic comprehensive care policy it would satisfy the individual mandate of PPACA [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act],” Costello told LobbyTools. “There are no federal regulations, yet so we are not in a position where we can actually state that.”

Costello added that the amended bill has now reverted to its original form.

The second bill passed by Health & Human Services (HB 1061) will help recruit out-of-state nurses, by allowing Florida to join a multi-state agreement whereby participating states mutually recognize the licenses of nurses. If passed, the Sunshine State joins 25 other states in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).

To receive or continue a license in Florida, LobbyTools notes that the bill would require nurses to meet minimums set by the NLC, as well as other requirements determined by the Florida Board of Nursing within the Department of Health.

The Senate companion bill, SB 1316 from Sebring Republican Sen. Denise Grimsley, has not yet been heard in committee.

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 His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, 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 and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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