Florida Renal Association 2022 End-of-Session Summary
Congratulations FRA and the patients of Florida, the Living Organ Donor Protection Act is awaiting the Governor’s approval!! The CS/HB 1099, sponsored by Rep. Chris Latvala (R-Clearwater) and Sen. Janet Cruz (D-Tampa) passed all its committees and both the Senate and House floors with only one no vote during the entire legislative process! If Governor DeSantis approves, Florida will become the 21st state to ensure living organ donors are not discriminated against in life, disability, and long-term care insurance. Let’s celebrate this victory together as passing a bill all the way through the process is not an easy thing to accomplish.
The FRA would like to thank its many partners; including our bill sponsors above and co-sponsors Rep. Webster Barnaby (R-Orange City), Rep. David Smith (R-Winter Springs) and Sen. Gayle Harrell (R-Stuart); the National Kidney Foundation Florida; the Florida Society of Nephrology; the Office of Insurance Consumer Advocate; Louis Betts with More Transplants More Lives; and Missy Timmins. The FRA had an incredibly successful session which was truly a team effort. We hope it leads to more transplants and more lives being saved!
The 2022 Legislative Session ended on Monday March 14 after going into overtime to complete the record setting $112 billion budget. The Florida Constitution requires a 72 hour “cooling off” period before a final budget vote, which was the reason for the delay. However, all other bills died at midnight on Friday March 11, the regularly scheduled end of session. Unfortunately, our Dialysis Facility Emergency Planning bill was one of those that died this session. Those bills (HB 1329 and SB 1026) would have required dialysis facilities power and water to be restored on par with hospitals, would have authorized ambulances to deliver patients directly to our clinics under an emergency declaration and would have emergency coordinated care and coverage requirements.
A World Kidney Day Resolution (HR 8017) was introduced read on the House floor on March 10th, declaring March 2022 as “Kidney Disease Awareness Month” and declared March 10th as “World Kidney Day”. Additionally, having the FRA Kidney Day in person during the November committee weeks was a major benefit to our legislative accomplishments.
The 2022 session was dominated by the once a decade reapportionment process but was also filled with many controversial (“red meat”) bills passing. Some of these included a 15-week abortion ban, an immigration bill, a bill opponents dupped “don’t say gay” in schools, and a critical race theory teaching ban bill. Both the state House and Senate redistricting maps were approved and have already cleared Supreme Court review so they will be in place for the 2022 elections. However, the Congressional maps are still in flux, as Governor DeSantis has threatened to veto the maps passed by the legislature. There are rumors of a possible special session for the Congressional maps and possibly one for property insurance.
Living Organ Donor Protection Act Summary
The CS/HB 1099 creates new law to prevent the below listed insurance companies from discriminating against living organ donors. It applies to the following policies:
- Individual or group life insurance,
- Industrial life insurance,
- Credit life or disability insurance,
- Long-term care insurance,
The bill prohibits the above mentioned polices from:
- Declining or limiting coverage of a person based solely on the persons status as a living donor.
- Precluding an insured or subscriber from donating all or part of an organ as a condition to continuing to receive the policy, and
- Discriminating in the offering, issuance, cancellation, coverage, premium, or any other condition of the policy for a person without any additional actuarial risk and based solely on the person’s status as a living donor.
Some other 2022 bills of interest:
- The FRA was able to update the budget proviso language that directs us to educate the Medicaid Managed Care plans on the use of all home modalities, instead of the previous language which was limited to peritoneal dialysis (PD).
- A Telehealth bill (SB 312) passed that will allow prescriptions under schedules III, IV and V to be renewed via telehealth. This was allowed under the pandemic emergency but went away when that declaration ended.
- A “Free-Speech” for healthcare practitioners bill (HB 1184) died which would have stopped disciplinary boards and specialty boards from punishing practitioners for their public statements.
- A bill dealing with medical specialties and allowed disclosures (HB 861) died after being amended to require all healthcare practitioners to wear name badges.
- A bill reshaping the Medicaid Managed Care (SB 1950) plans re-procurement process passed after much debate. It changes the state from 11 to 9 Medicaid Managed Care regions, addressed how plans and providers contract and other issues.
The next legislative session doesn’t begin until March of 2023. We look forward to another successful session next year, but we will need your on-going help to be successful. Please maintain your FRA membership and tell all your friends what we do.