3.28.2017

On Monday, March 27, the Florida Legislature unanimously passed two bills that would expand patient protections to some of the most vulnerable patients in Florida.

House Bill 877, sponsored by Rep. Shawn Harrison, and Senate Bill 530, sponsored by Sen. Greg Steube, would increase and strengthen Florida’s patient protections, representing a significant step toward ending patient discrimination. Both bills would work to protect against discriminatory plan designs, provide continuity of care for stable patients, simplify prior authorization and offer an appeals process for medical exceptions. The passage of these bills would change and improve the lives of many who are chronically ill.

While two different bills, both are very similar in nature.

House Bill 877: “Revises criteria for prior authorization forms; requires health insurers to provide manner, requirements, restrictions, & any changes to obtaining prior authorizations & protocol exceptions on its website & in writing; provides timeframe, conditions & notification requirements for health insurers to make determination for protocol exception requests.”

Senate Bill 530’s summary is nearly identical.

Among many patient advocacy groups involved in Florida’s  effort, Patient Access for Florida and the Chronic Disease Coalition will continue to fight patient discrimination and advocate for patient protections – particularly for those with chronic and life-threatening conditions.

All patients deserve access to lifesaving medical treatment. It’s a fundamental right. And as health insurers continue to find new ways to discriminate against patients and limit access to vital care, we must ensure that all patients – no matter the disease – are able to receive necessary and appropriate care when needed.

Each state faces its own battle with health insurers and, as we moved forward, the Chronic Disease Coalition will keep you informed and updated on simple ways that you can join the fight and take a stand to protect the rights of the most vulnerable patients.