Legislative Updates

Governor Signs Legislation Taking First Step to Improving Access to Biomarker Testing for Floridians

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB885 into law on June 18th, which expands patient access to biomarker testing, a key tool used by physicians to identify the most effective treatment of cancer and other diseases. In the case of a cancer diagnosis, biomarker testing allows doctors to develop a personalized treatment plan. It opens the door…

ASCO

Bipartisan, ASCO-Endorsed Prior Authorization Bill Reintroduced in Congress

Bipartisan members of the Unites States House of Representatives and Senate have reintroduced the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)-endorsed Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act (H.R.8702/S.4532) to streamline prior authorization within Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. The bill currently has 175 combined cosponsors (45 senators and 130 representatives). Last Congress, this legislation unanimously passed in…

Congress Passes Partial Funding Package for FY24

Congress passed a six-part spending bill that funds several government agencies, including the FDA, through Sept. 30, 2024—the end of the fiscal year. The legislative package also contains a 1.68% increase to the Medicare physician reimbursement rate until Dec. 31, 2024. The increase partially reduces the 3.37% reimbursement cut that went into effect on January…

2024 FMA Legislative Session Report

Healthcare workforce and innovation were front and center during the 2024 Legislative Session, which concluded on Friday, March 8. The FMA was an active participant in shaping the future of Florida’s healthcare landscape, which can be seen through the pro-physician victories outlined in our end-of-session report.

Florida Legislature Passes Bill Taking First Step to Expand Access to Biomarker Testing

The Florida legislature passed a bill late Tuesday that expands patient access to biomarker testing, a key tool used by physicians to identify the most effective treatment of cancer and other diseases. In the case of a cancer diagnosis, biomarker testing allows doctors to develop a personalized treatment plan so patients may not have to…

Judge Grants Biden Administration Motion to Dismiss Legal Challenge from PhRMA

On February 11, a federal judge dismissed a drug industry trade group’s legal challenge to halt Medicare drug price negotiations, ruling that it lacked standing. The complaint was filed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the Global Colon Cancer Association (GCCA), and the National Infusion Center Association (NICA) in June of last…

Session Midpoint Report: What Physicians Should Know

February 14, 2024 marked day 30 of the 60-day Florida Legislative Session, and the FMA remains hard at work to help physicians practice medicine. This midpoint report by FMA Assistant General Counsel Mary Thomas, Esq., summarizes some of the most notable bills that could affect you and your patients, where each one stands in the…

Medicine’s Big Win On Prior Authorization

In a big win for physicians and patients, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released a final prior authorization and interoperability rule that makes significant improvements to the prior authorization process — most importantly, shortening the timeframes for payors to make decisions on such requests. Set to take effect in 2026, these changes…

Congress Passes Bill to Fund Government into March

On Thursday evening, Congress passed another short-term spending bill, funding the federal government into early March. Unfortunately, the bill only extended healthcare-related policies that were included in the previous funding bill and does not include any new healthcare policies, such as an increase in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The previous spending bill funded a…

Tell Congress To Eliminate 3.37% Payment Cut

Time is running out for Congress to eliminate a 3.37% Medicare physician payment cut by passing H.R. 6683, the “Preserving Seniors’ Access to Physicians Act.” Please urge your Congress members to support including H.R. 6683 in the 2024 appropriations package by submitting this form letter. Further cuts in Medicare physician pay would undermine access to…

What President Biden’s Executive Order On AI Means For Healthcare

On Monday, Oct. 29, President Joe Biden signed an executive order prioritizing the establishment of new safety, security, and fairness standards for artificial intelligence (AI), especially within the domain of healthcare. This directive mandates that developers of AI systems, particularly those bearing potential risks to public health and safety, must share their training data with…

Tell Congress To Cancel The Cut!

As you well know, the flawed Medicare physician payment system is in desperate need of fixing and unfortunately things are about to get worse. Recently CMS announced final plans for payment schedules for physicians and spoiler alert, it’s not good! CMS approved a 3.4% reduction in Medicare’s physician payments for 2024. That means if Congress…

Janssen CarePathGeneral Resources

  • Katrina Williams
  • January 13, 2020
  • Advocacy
  • No Comments

https://www.janssencarepath.com/hcp/general-resources Access support to help navigate payer processes Know Your State Interactive Tool — Provides information on affordability options for your patients at the state level. Supporting Appropriate Payer Coverage Decisions Brochure — Helps you understand the information that payers may require for your patient’s coverage of medically necessary drug therapies. Prior Authorization Considerations Checklist — Presents general information…

2018 ASCO Advocacy Champions

  • FLASCO
  • October 3, 2018
  • Drugs
  • No Comments

At the 2018 ASCO Advocacy Summit this month, members of various categories of its 2018 Advocacy Champions were announced President’s Circle – ASCO advocates who regularly participate in more than one of these advocacy activities: virtual advocacy (sending ACT Network emails); in person advocacy (conducting visits on Capitol Hill, with agency officials or at home…

FMA 2018 Legislative Report

  • FLASCO
  • March 19, 2018
  • Advocacy
  • No Comments

The 2018 Florida Legislative Session concluded on Sunday, March 11, with only 200 bills passed by both chambers and sent to Gov. Rick Scott. The FMA succeeded in getting Direct Primary Care legislation passed, and we secured important changes in the opioid bill for the benefit of physicians and their patients who suffer from acute…

CMS Releases Proposed Medicare Payment Rules for 2018

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued two proposed rules to update payment policies and payment rates for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). CMS will be accepting comments on these rules until September 11, 2017. The final rules are expected…

Legislative Action: Support the Roe regulatory relief letter to HHS.

BACKGROUND: FLASCO is concerned about the tremendous burden oncologists face in juggling the requirements of multiple Medicare quality improvement programs, often at the expense of time spent on patient care. The historic passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) would ease both the administrative and financial burdens of existing quality improvement programs. …

FLASCO supports Restoration of Department of Health Funding for the Mary Brogan Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

Mary Brogran Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (Sec. 381.93, F.S.) Florida Department of Health Current Year State Funding (FY 2016-17) – $2,100,00 ($300,000 recurring; $1,800,000 nonrecurring) House Position (Line Item 447) – $325,000 recurring Senate Position (Line Item 447) – $350,000 recurring Request – $2,100,00 in total funding Program Description – The Mary…

Support SB 528/ SB 530 by Senator Steube – FAIL FIRST/STEP THERAPY

While health insurance utilization management (restrictions on access) procedures such as fail first/step therapy may be appropriate measures to control costs, they have also been over-utilized under the cloak of confusion surrounding health care and to the detriment of numerous patients across Florida. Contact your legislator today to let them know, ultimately, healthcare professionals, not…

House Passes Medical Cures Bill – 21st Century Cures Act

The House on Wednesday passed a medical innovation bill aimed at curing diseases, with the measure securing bipartisan support after months of negotiations. The legislation, known as the 21st Century Cures Act, passed 392-26. It seeks to speed up the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of new drugs while investing new money in medical research. The package…

MedPAC Holds Meeting on Provider Consolidation

MedPAC Holds Meeting on Provider Consolidation On November 3, the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) hosted a meeting on provider consolidation and its effect on the Medicare system. The discussion primarily focused on the trends towards horizontal and vertical integration among providers – essentially hospitals buying physician practices and then billing the services through their…

New Health Affairs Report on Physician Consolidation Shows Rapid Movement from Small to Large Group Practices

A recent report in Health Affairs titled “Physician Consolidation: Rapid Movement from Small to Large Group Practices, 2013–15” identified an accelerating trend of physicians moving from small to large group practices, with more pronounced effects among primary care physicians. The authors used information from Medicare’s Physician Compare dataset to examine changes in the makeup of…

Physician Advocate Institute: Hospital Ownership of Physician Practices Increases Nearly 90 Percent in Three Years

  According to a new study by the Physician Advocate Institute (PAI) and Avalere Health, the number of physician practices owned by hospitals or health systems rose 86 percent between 2012 and 2015. To reach this conclusion, Avalere examined a database of payment information maintained by SK&A, a health care consultancy, to pinpoint practice ownership…

MedPAC Examines Physician Affiliation and Practice Size

On September 8, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) met to discuss the increase in physician practices that have been purchased by hospitals or health systems, including how increases in physician practice size impact Medicare payment policy. MedPAC reviewed a private-sector database of physician information and practice characteristics, and merged it with Medicare claims to…

The US Oncology Network Supports Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act

The US Oncology Network sent a letter to Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) expressing support for the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act (H.R. 5721), legislation that changes the process Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) use to make local coverage decisions that can limit or deny patients’ access to care. Specifically, the bill…

Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Launches New Website

On September 12, The Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform launched a new website (www.siteneutral.org) to better educate lawmakers, industry stakeholders, and the public about the many benefits of advancing site neutral payment reforms across America’s healthcare delivery system. The website houses research and other resources on the value of payment parity across sites of…

CMS Proposes New Medicare Physician Payment System (Source: US Oncology)

On April 27, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released much-anticipated proposed regulations that will govern implementation of the new Medicare physician payment system that replaces the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula repealed by Congress last year. The new system offers physicians two pathways for Medicare payment beginning in 2019: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment…

cancer experiment

Don’t forget: Contact Congress and ask them to Stop the Cancer Experiment!

The next two weeks are critical to stopping the misguided Medicare experiment on cancer care! Make your voice heard – call, email, Tweet, and send Facebook messages to your elected officials asking them to Stop the Medicare Experiment on Cancer Care. COA has set up the CancerExperiment.com website for easy advocacy action. Share the website…

COA

300+ National & State Organizations Ask Congress: Stop the CMS Drug Payment Proposal!

  • Amanda Bridges
  • March 17, 2016
  • Advocacy
  • No Comments

This morning an unprecedented 313 national and state health care organizations, including FLASCO sent a letter to Congress expressing strong concern with the proposed CMS Medicare Part B Drug Payment Model. The organizations request that Congress ask CMS to withdraw the proposed rule. Click here to read the latest letter. The letter notes that the organizations believe…

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