FHA Member Alert
Health Care Expenses legislation (HB 1413 by Tramont & SB 268 by Brodeur) is moving and will receive second committee hearings in both chambers next week. HB 1413 will be heard by the House Commerce Committee on Monday at 2 pm, and SB 268 will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Sub on Health & Human Services on Wednesday at 830 am. Please review the below summary, analysis, and talking points and we encourage you to reach out to FHA staff if you have any comments.
Of primary interest to hospitals, these bills amend s. 395.301 F.S. to require compliance with existing hospital pricing transparency provisions including posting of shoppable services, providing good faith estimates of charges to patients and insurers, and maintaining certain internal grievance processes. This language closely mirrors provisions of CMS transparency rules and the No Surprises Act from 2021, but does not contain the exact verbiage used by the federal government. Additionally, the bills would prohibit extraordinary debt collection actions by hospitals including selling a patient’s debt or withholding services due to a previously unpaid encounter until the hospital has made an effort to determine whether the patient qualifies for financial assistance. (Similar to HB 1527 – 2022)
FHA has worked with legislators on this issue for multiple years and continues to educate them on several misconceptions surrounding the bills. While hospitals appreciate legislative efforts to provide consumers with meaningful price information, FHA believes Florida should first be consistent with federal requirements that are still in their infancy. Additionally, the focus of these efforts should be related to out-of-pocket cost to the patient rather than a facility’s charges.
FHA staff are organizing meetings with the bill sponsors, legislative staff, and legislative leadership this week to share hospitals’ concerns. We are prepared to introduce language that would better align the bills with existing federal law or move to delete the section altogether.
- Hospitals are committed to providing access to quality, affordable health care services
- The transparency measures in Section 3 of the bills are intended to duplicate existing federal law but contain differences that could cause confusion
- Hospitals are concerned that the implementation of this legislation could create inconsistencies for patient’s as they seek to make health care decisions.
- Section 3 should be amended to read identically to federal law and include more specificity around charges to be posted and time-frames for notifications to the patient
- Hospitals are compliant with these federal rules and are continuing to build on these new transparency processes
- Hospitals, upon checking eligibility and coverage policies, provide estimates to insured patients of their potential out-of-pocket costs. For the insured population, the NSA requires hospitals to provide an estimate to the patient’s health insurer, who is required to generate an Advance Explanation of Benefits (AEOB). CMS has delayed this requirement due to the complex technical infrastructure that needs to be developed prior to implementation.
FHA staff will continue to monitor these bills through the legislative process and work with member hospital executives to understand their impact. As always, we encourage you to reach out to us with questions or concerns.
David Mica, Jr.
Executive Vice President of Public Affairs
Florida Hospital Association
306 East College Avenue
Tallahassee, Florida 32301