FRSA Legislative Report- Workers' Compensation
Workers’ Compensation – There are four workers’ compensation related bills making progress this year. Right now, it looks like they will all pass. Here they are with a little description and status report.
Drug Repackaging – HB 605 by Matt Hudson (R-Naples) and SB 662 by Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) are this year’s companion bills. The legislation moved very well until their last committee stops and that signaled negotiation hour – we all knew that would be the case.
While we have the strongest case for closing the existing loophole, the other side, having given a truckload of cash for campaign contributions, has the attention of political leaders. Because of that, they not only have the leverage to stop the entire business community, but they may even have what it takes to make things worse. The risk of that puts us in a position of needing (more than wanting) to find a compromise to get something on the books to protect us from unacceptable rate increases.
The “compromise” is this:
- For repackaged drugs dispensed by a doctor, reimbursement will be 112.5% of average wholesale price (AWP) and the dispensing fee will be $8.00 (compared to $4.18 for drugs dispensed by a pharmacy)
- An insurer may contract directly with a doctor for a lower fee (same is true for pharmacies)
The savings estimated by NCCI for this is about a $20 million decrease factored into the future rate calculation (but some believe this amount will not be a savings over time). This legislation is ready to pass the Senate. The House bill is lagging, but it has passed two committees and should allow for the Senate bill to pass the House.
Workers’ Compensation Administration – CS/CS/HB 553 by Bill Hager (R-Boca Raton) and CS/SB 860 by Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) propose changes relating to governance of the workers’ compensation system. One of the changes of interest is to allow for electronic filing for an exemption. This is proposed mostly for the benefit of the Division of Workers’ Compensation and to allow more real time information for insurers and others. The Senate bill is ready to pass the Senate and the House bill has already passed the House and could be passed by the Senate (possibly this week).
Money Services Businesses – CS/HB 217 by Travis Cummings (R-Orange Park) and SB 410 by Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) propose some increased requirements to better track and monitor check cashing companies. This is considered a continuation of the efforts of the workgroup (that included our participation) two years ago. The House bill is close to passing the House, and the Senate bill is ready to move to the Senate floor.
Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602