by Steven Carr



Key Story – Workplace Violence Passes Florida House, Set for Final Senate Hearing

FHA is pleased to report that HB 825 Assault or Battery on Hospital Personnel has passed the Florida House of Representatives. We thank Representative Kim Berfield for her dedicated work throughout session to see this product over the finish line. We are proud to stand alongside Rep. Berfield to advocate for enhanced penalties against individuals who assault or batter a nurse.

Additionally, SB 568 by Senator Rodriguez passed unanimously out of its third and final committee reference in the Senate. Senator Rodriguez has been working on this issue with FHA for many years and her dedication to our workforce is greatly appreciated. We will continue to work together with both our legislative sponsors to ensure final passage of the bill and signature by the Governor.


State Budget Update

The formal announcement of allocations and budget conferencing came over the weekend as lawmakers began conferencing at 9:00 a.m. today. See the joint memo from legislative leaders. FHA has been actively involved in the lead-up discussions by promoting key funding initiatives such as Rural Hospital Capital Improvement and continuing to understand the budget adjustments in the Medicaid program. Additionally, we continue to analyze and communicate with members about the impact of the new DRG group version 40.

The initial Senate Offer maintained its position on the Children’s Hospital Rate increase for the Level 3 and 4 pediatric Inpatient rates. Additionally, the Senate Offer includes $10 million in non-recurring General Revenue and $23 million in recurring General Revenue for the Rural Hospital Capital improvement fund.

FHA is pleased to see the Senate Offer to support the critical infrastructure needs of our state’s rural hospitals. This has been a priority of the Association for many years, and we are encouraged to see this recognition of the critical infrastructure needs for these hospitals and the patients they serve. FHA expects negotiations to continue on this funding offer and will let you know as those negotiations progress.

FHA will continue to timely communicate with members related to any key health care budget offers, and we encourage you to reach out to us with feedback or questions.

PBM Legislation Passes Florida Senate and Final House Committee

The Florida Senate approved SB 1550 Prescription Drugs by Senator Brodeur by unanimous vote last Wednesday. SB 1550 protects hospitals from harmful insurer white-bagging practices along with various provisions dealing with Pharmacy Benefits Manager’s pricing offenses. FHA has been communicating closely with legislative leaders and the Governor’s Office to ensure these white-bagging provisions were successfully passed by the Senate.

There have been ongoing discussions about the status of the House companion bill (HB 1509) moving forward. It was reported favorably by the House Health and Human Services Committee today and will now head to the floor . Representative Fine did explicitly express concerns about the white-bagging section of the bill and his belief that these changes will increase costs to private healthcare insurers and the state’s Medicaid plan.

FHA is pleased to see that through the amendatory process, the provisions relating to clinician-administered drugs/white bagging have largely stayed consistent in the bill. FHA will continue to advocate on your behalf for appropriate regulations on PBMs and laws which provide a more level playing field for providers in their negotiations with insurers.


Immigration (SB 1718 / HB 1617)

This legislation requires hospitals and health systems to ask for patient immigration status upon admission or a hospital visit. FHA has explored an amendment that would use the term “emergency visit” to ensure that patients receiving routine lab work or radiology at a hospital are not captured in the law.

Additionally, some hospitals raised concerns regarding human smuggling and emergency medical transportation provision. FHA worked with member organizations and legislators to address these concerns, which are reflected in the most recent amendment.

This afternoon, SB 1718 will be heard by the Fiscal Policy Committee, and HB 1617 is up in the Commerce Committee. FHA will continue to monitor this legislation and keep you updated on any changes.

COVID Mandates (SB 252 / HB 1013)

Under these proposals, hospitals may not interfere with a provider’s choice to use alternative treatments and must develop facial covering policies to share with the Agency for Health Care Administration. SB 252 by Senator Burton was approved by its final committee of reference on Thursday, while HB 1013 will be heard this afternoon in the Commerce Committee. FHA will continue to closely monitor these bills and keep members informed of their progress.

Medical Conscience (SB 1580 / HB 1403)

Provides health care providers and payers the right to opt out of participation or payment for a given health care service based on a conscience objection. Clarifying amendments to the Senate bill will prevent any unintended conflict with EMTALA or other preexisting laws, and FHA prefers this version of the bill. Both bills are in posture for floor votes in the final weeks of session.

Health Care Expenses (SB 268 / HB 1413)

The House version of the bill, HB 1413, passed Health & Human Services, its final committee stop in the House. It will likely pass the House later this week. Senator Brodeur once again postponed this bill during the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health & Human Services last week. The Senate version of the bill still has two remaining committees and with the Senate finishing its committee work today, it is unlikely that the Senate version of the bill will pass the chamber.

FHA continues to monitor for any negotiations between the House and Senate that could change this result. While we appreciate efforts to provide consumers with meaningful pricing information, the bills are duplicative of existing federal rules that are still in their infancy.

Payer Accountability – Florida Kidcare Eligibility

Following the House Bill’s passage in week 6, SB 246 by Senator Calatayud was approved by the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee and will head to the Senate floor. The bill increases the income eligibility threshold for Florida KidCare coverage – especially crucial given the ongoing Medicaid redeterminations. This initiative has been led by House Speaker Paul Renner so that “no family has to choose between a pay raise and their health insurance.” FHA looks forward to the final passage of this important coverage bill before the end of session.

Hemp Legislation Deletes Dosage Provisions

Legislation regulating hemp extract products has been moving throughout session – the bill as originally filed would reduce the dosage per item and per package as sold to the consumer. The dosage provisions were recently removed from the Senate version of the bill as it was amended and passed by the Fiscal Policy Committee. Encouragingly, the bill still requires amended packaging that would reduce instances of children incidentally consuming hemp products. The House version is awaiting placement on the Special Order Calendar, and FHA will keep members informed of both bills’ progress.

Gender Clinical Interventions Passes Legislature

SB 254 Treatments for Sex Reassignment was amended and passed by the Florida House last week. The bill will now bounce back to the full Senate floor to hear the amended product. FHA continues to monitor this legislation that would prohibit physicians from performing gender clinical interventions on minors and require informed consent for adults.

6-Week Ban On Termination Of Pregnancies Goes Into Effect

Governor DeSantis has signed SB 300 Pregnancy and Parenting Support which prohibits physicians from performing termination of pregnancies beyond the 6-week gestational age of the fetus.


Cybersecurity Webinar: Is This Thing On? Using Backup Communications Systems to Ensure Mission Readiness

Join the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency’s (CISA) Emergency Communications Division for a webinar on collaborative planning approaches and best practices for establishing and testing interoperable backup capabilities. During this webinar, learn about actions your organization can take to implement the National Emergency Communications Plan and improve the resiliency of your backup systems.
April 26, 2023, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET.

Learn more here.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) Releases Statement on Examining Existing Federal Programs to Build a Stronger Healthcare Workforce

On April 19, the AHA submitted a statement to the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. In the statement, the AHA emphasized the importance of supporting and enhancing federal policies that will help to rebuild and strengthen the healthcare workforce. Congress is encouraged to consider policies that address the following:

  • Address nursing shortages by investing in nursing education and faculty.
  • Provide ongoing scholarships and loan repayment through programs such as Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development (Nurse Corps) and the CARES Act.
  • Reauthorize and increase funding for the National Health Service Corps
  • Increase the number of GME slots
  • Support foreign-trained health care workers
  • Support legislation to provide grants to state and regional nursing workforce centers such as The National Nursing Workforce Center Act of 2023 (H.R. 2411).
  • Investigate travel nurse agency practices

Commitment forms for FHA Health Plan Accountability Initiative Due April 21

FHA is launching a survey to capture data on health plan performance in partnership with the Ohio Hospital Association. Those participating will contribute to our ability to measure health plan payment delays, denials, and other challenges. There is no cost to participate but we are asking hospitals to complete a commitment form, which includes contact information for those that will be providing the data. So far, we have received a great response from hospitals and health systems across the state. For those participating, we will be setting up training and will start collecting data in early June. If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Kim Streit.

Hospital Cyber Resiliency Report

The Healthcare Sector Coordinating Council and the Department of Health and Human Services released a report benchmarking best practices and opportunities for improvement in hospital cyber resiliency. The report assesses hospitals’ current cybersecurity capabilities and readiness and may inform future federal policy decisions on how to improve their resiliency.


FHA Attends Department of Education’s Apprenticeship Accelerator Event

On April 19th, FHA staff participated in the Department of Education’s (DOE) Apprenticeship Accelerator event at Lively Technical College. This event hosted more than 100 attendees from the business community, Career Source, education institutions, the Florida Center for Nursing, and many other partners. This was the seventeenth regional accelerator event to expand the partnership with employers as a workforce development strategy as these programs are employer-designed and driven.

There are three more Accelerators taking place over the next few months. Each will have a healthcare component and all events take a deeper dive into available funding opportunities.

UF Gainesville – Free Employer Workshop on the Benefits of Apprenticeships
April 27, 2023, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Register Here

Heathrow – Free Employer Workshop on the Benefits of Apprenticeships
May 3, 2023, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Register Here

Sarasota – Free Employer Workshop on the Benefits of Apprenticeships
June 15, 2023, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Register Here


FHA Webinar: Responding to a Crisis: An Overview of Lee Health’s Response to Hurricane Ian

Thank you for your participation in the FHA webinar “Responding to a Crisis: An Overview of Lee Health’s Response to Hurricane Ian” on April 17. FHA would like to express our appreciation to Dr. Larry Antonucci and his exemplary team at Lee Health for documenting the challenges and successes during this unprecedented event. In sharing the experience and lessons learned, hospitals and health partners may expand their emergency response knowledge and incorporate the takeaways into their overall preparedness.

Additionally, Lee Health produced a brief documentary illustrating its response to Hurricane Ian. To view the documentary:

Please join us for the upcoming emergency preparedness webinars:

FHA Webinar – AHCA’s eTools for Emergencies: E-PLUS and HFRS
April 26, 2023, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

FHA Statewide Call – Hurricane Season Preparedness with Florida’s State Agency Leads
May 24, 2023

FHA Hosts Webinar on What Hospitals Need to Know as the PHE Ends Next Month

On April 18th, FHA hosted a statewide webinar to discuss key Medicare and Medicaid items that hospitals need to be prepared for as the Public Health Emergency (PHE) is coming to an end on May 11th. FHA also provided a county-by-county analysis of Medicaid enrollment growth from March 2020 to March 2023. Below is the recording, slides, and other resources shared during the event.

FHA Hosts Webinar on QAPI Surveyor Guidance – May 4

On March 9, CMS released changes to its interpretive guidance for the Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program, specifying that hospitals’ governing bodies are responsible for oversight of the QAPI program and should conduct periodic reviews of: the hospital’s plan for QAPI; its selection of improvement projects; and its progress in achieving better performance. FHA will host a webinar on May 4, 2023, 10:00-11:00 a.m. ET where the AHCA survey team will review the updated guidance and what it means for hospitals. While surveyors gave flexibility as it relates to the QAPI program, effective May 11, when the public health emergency ends, these will no longer be waived. Register for the webinar here.

FHA Infection Prevention Virtual Six-Part Training Series for the Novice Infection Preventionist

FHA hosted their semi-annual Infection Prevention virtual six-part educational series for the novice infection preventionist. We extend our congratulations to the 152 registered participants representing 84 hospitals and health systems in Florida who completed the program.

The series included an overview of the role of the infection preventionist in an acute care setting, the elements of an effective infection prevention program, antibiotic stewardship, microbiology for the IP, accreditation and regulatory compliance, quality finance, best practice strategies for reducing hospital-acquired infections (HAI), a comprehensive overview of infection prevention in construction and renovation, data submission, reporting, and analysis.

All recordings, presentations and resources are available on the FHA Fundamentals for the Novice Infection Preventionist Virtual Training Series webpage here.

FHA Quality Conference June 22-23, 2023 – Registration is Open!

FHA is pleased to announce the first annual FHA Quality Conference is confirmed for June 22-23, 2023! The registration portal is now open, and we encourage FHA hospital and health care system members as well as non-member health care providers to register for this important event.

Attendees will hear from esteemed subject matter experts and distinguished colleagues, including two special national speakers for the conference opening and closing keynote sessions.

  • Informative presentations from hospitals and other providers will include:
  • Improving Care Transitions/Reducing Readmissions
  • Reducing Sepsis Mortality
  • Measuring and Implementing Programs to Create a Safety Culture and High Reliability
  • Reducing Maternal Mortality, C-sections, and Improving Care for Mothers and Babies
  • Approaches to Improve Medication Safety
  • Addressing harm across the board through a comprehensive approach to performance improvement

The conference will take place at The Westin Lake Mary, 2974 International Pkwy, Lake Mary, FL, 32746. Please click here to reserve your room in the FHA room block! The deadline to reserve a room is Tuesday, May 30, 2023. For questions about the conference, please contact FHA Education at 850-222-9800 or [email protected].


FHA Medicare 101 Course – Register now!

Updated for 2023, this FHA member training provides a high-level overview of the Medicare program, how it is organized, and how it impacts hospitals and health systems. It will focus on the sources of supplemental coverage, the funding of the program, a payment system overview, and discuss the basics of the Medicare Advantage plan. The goal of this training is to give attendees the fundamental framework to understand how Medicare reimburses for hospital-related services and will include a discussion of recent policy developments. Please join us for the two-hour training on.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET.


Infection Prevention Hot Topics – Antibiotic Stewardship and What We Can Learn from Antibiograms

May 17, 2023, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Infection Prevention Hot Topics – Ventilator-associated Events

June 20, 2023, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET


HFMA | Healthcare 2023: Dancing to a Different Beat

May 14–17, 2023

HAI Prevention Program | IP Assessment Tools in Long-term Care and Skilled Nursing Facilities

Please join the HAI Prevention Program for two training sessions hosted by the University of Florida. Both sessions will focus on infection prevention and control assessment tools in long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, with an emphasis on HAI-related tasks. Session 1 was Friday, April 21. Session 2 will focus on IPC assessment toolkit trainings for cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, new product evaluation, PPE, and surveillance plan
April 28, 2023 12-1:30 p.m. ET

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