Update Provided by Amy J. Young, FSP Legislative Consultant
We have been busy at work in Tallahassee in preparation for the 2018 Session which convenes on January 9, 2018. Legislators have been holding committee hearings since September and we have four more weeks in Tallahassee even before Session begins.
Clinical laboratory deregulation, telehealth, and pathology reimbursement legislation are issues we are watching closely, however we will see over 3,000 more bills filed as the end of the year approaches. As the saying goes..............if you're not at the table you're on the menu! We are proud of our FSP Accomplishments in Tallahassee. When we unite we are stronger!
Have you ever wondered - WHAT YOUR FSP DUES ACTUALLY BUY YOU?!
Whether you realize it our not, FSP dues are what have allowed us to survive in the political and legislative arena. We have had some interesting, even fierce battles over the last many years that have saved the practice of pathology from the attempted “sunset” of the clinical laboratory Act where we fought the hospital associations as well as the Florida Medical Association to keep our exemplary standards for our clinical laboratories in place.......to the four-year battle to keep clinical laboratory director’s as M.D.’s or PhDs. We have had podiatrists, chiropractors and even lab technicians proposing legislation to allow them to be designated as clinical laboratory directors. We have also defeated attempts by optometrists and midwives to be able to supervise testing in clinical laboratories.
We have also had many wars over professional component billing at the legislative level as well as in the Courts. Our successes in this area (as listed below) have been cited in our many lawsuits against Health Options and others as well as in the most recent favorable decisions in Westside EKG and the Merkle case.
In summary, some of the many legislative accomplishments made possible by FSP dues include the following:
Passed legislation amending Chapter 483 to define a “clinical laboratory examination” as a procedure which includes “oversight or interpretation”.
Passed legislation to redefine the definition of “comprehensive healthcare services” to include “technical and professional clinical laboratory services” in Chapter 641, the Florida statutes that govern HMO’s.
Passed legislation authorizing current administrative Rule 59A-7.037 as follows:
Rebates Prohibited - Penalties.
(1) No owner, director, administrator, physician, surgeon, consultant, employee, organization, agency, representative, or person either directly or indirectly, shall pay or receive any commission, bonus, kickback, rebate or gratuity or engage in any split fee arrangement in any form whatsoever for the referral of a patient. Any violation of Rule 59A-7.037, F.A.C., by a clinical laboratory or administrator, physician, surgeon, consultant, employee, organization, agency, representative, or person acting on behalf of the clinical laboratory will result in action by the agency under Section 483.221, F.S., up to and including revocation of the license of the clinical laboratory. In the case of any party or individual not licensed by the agency acting in violation of this Rule, a fine not exceeding $1,000 shall be levied and, as applicable, the agency shall recommend that disciplinary action be taken (2) No licensed practitioner of the healing arts or licensed facility is permitted to add to the price charged by any laboratory except for a service or handling charge representing a cost actually incurred as an item of expense. However, the licensed practitioner or licensed facility is entitled to fair compensation for all professional services rendered. The amount of the service or handling charge, if any, shall be set forth clearly in the bill to the patient. (3) Each licensed laboratory shall develop a fee schedule for laboratory services which shall be available to the patient, the authorized person requesting the test or agency upon request and shall be subject to subsection 59A-7.037(2), F.A.C.
Defeated legislation which would have assessed clinical laboratories a fee based on the number of specimens received and reviewed annually;
Defeated repeated legislative attempts to tie pathologist and physician reimbursement to a Medicare percentage;
Defeated legislation that would have mandated the clinical laboratory to include a calculated estimate of the patient’s GFR rate in every report of a creatine level;
Defeated attempts by the Governor and Florida Legislature to adjust Medicaid rates for pathology services across the board to an RBRVS methodology;
Passed legislation mandating that clinical laboratory directors must be MDs or PhDs holding a doctoral degree in chemistry, physical or biological science;
Defeated attempts by the trial lawyers to remove the ability of a pathologist to self-insure for professional liability coverage;
Defeated legislation allowing psychologist’s to order and interpret laboratory tests.
Passed legislation to repeal mandatory billing of the $2 co-payment of Medicaid patients;
Defeated legislation which would have required patients to be advised in writing of the qualifications and precise functions of pathologists involved in each medical procedure.
Your investment in the FSP helps us accomplish great work and do more!