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Legislative Update

Insight 4th quarter 2016
Legislative Report

Hurray!!! The 2016 election cycle is finally completed and I thank those of you who valued our profession enough to step up your level of engagement and OD-EYEPAC contributions. Without OD-EYEPAC, we would be unable to support our friends in the Florida Legislature and in turn, our collective voice and message could go unheard. AND, most importantly, our ability to be heard in the Florida Legislature could not be more paramount to the success or failure of our profession than in this very moment in time where:

  •  1-800 Contacts and Opternative have joined forces to circumvent the doctor patient relationship.
  • Kiosks designed to provide refraction-only eye care loom in the immediate future.
  • Large corporate practices are preparing trials to determine patient acceptance of remote examinations delivered by technicians.
  •  Simple Contacts, an "online contact lens Rx analysis vendor" has an ophthalmologist sign off to renew expired contact lens prescriptions, without performing a comprehensive, dilated eye exam, FOR - $10.00.
  •  The future of medical marijuana and its use by physicians will soon be decided.
  •  Certain eyewear vendors have decided to abandon their support of the profession of optometry and instead place profits in front of proper patient eye health care.
  •  Florida Medicaid expansion continues with managed care companies and ACO's in the geographic access mix to capture more market share. 
  •  AND last but not least, Telemedicine as a whole is about to enter the final rulemaking process - where do you fit in???

I can assure you the 2017 legislative session will be a pivotal point in the future of Florida Optometry. For those of you who have been brave enough to stay engaged and financially focused with OD-EYEPAC- I salute you. For those of you that decided to not help - but instead sit and watch - please do not complain to me if your future mode of practice ends up described as "not what you wanted it to be or "non-existent" - also known as - "extinct."

AND please remember that it is not too late to take control of your profession’s future by joining OD-EYEPAC today.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Kenneth W. Lawson OD

FOA Legislative Chair

(In closing, many of you have asked about the telehealth MQA survey that must be completed prior to renewing your license next year. I have included the following excerpt to explain the legislative intent and process of the survey.)

 

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During the 2016 Legislative Session, House Bill 7087 was passed and became law on April 14, 2016, as Chapter 2016-240, Laws of Florida. This bill creates the Telehealth Advisory Council and also requires the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) to survey health care facilities, health care practitioners, insurers, and health maintenance organizations regarding the use of telehealth in Florida. The Telehealth Advisory Council is tasked with reviewing the survey and research findings and making recommendations to increase the use and accessibility of telehealth in Florida.

Effective July 1, 2016, DOH will survey all health care practitioners, as defined by section 456.001, Florida Statutes, upon and as a condition of license renewal. The telehealth survey conducted by DOH during licensure renewal is required, and the Department may assess fines for non-compliance with the survey request.

AHCA has launched a dedicated web page for House Bill 7087, which includes information regarding the Telehealth Advisory Council, telehealth resources and links, telehealth industry surveys, and frequently asked questions. For more information and to sign up for Telehealth Advisory Council updates, visit http://www.ahca.myflorida.com/SCHS/telehealth.

To view a full list of bill summaries from the 2016 Legislative Session, please visit www.FLHealthSource.gov/2016-bills. Once there, you will be able to view summaries, effective dates, and a link to the final enrolled text.

 

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