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Saint Peters Blog: Right place, right time or wrong bill at any time? SB784 likely to spur doctors v. health plans battle

It’s being called “The Right Place, The Right Time” bill by its supporters.

Opponents think the measure, SB 784, is the wrong bill at the wrong time.

Either way, it will be one of the most contested health care battles of the session and pits — once again — Florida’s largest physicians association against some of the state’s largest health plans and HMOs.

Filed by former Senate President Don Gaetz, the bill would prohibit HMOs and prepaid health plans from establishing prior authorization requirements, step therapy requirements, treatment protocols or other utilization management tool unless they are supported by “sufficient clinical evidence.”

Additionally, managed-care plans with prescribed drug formularies or preferred drugs lists would be required to offer a broad range of options for the treatment of diseases and, if feasible, must include at least two products in each therapeutic class.

“Too often insurance companies are inserting themselves into the middle of the patient/physician relationship and making medical decisions,” Florida Medical Association Executive Vice President Tim Stapleton said. “This bill will allow patients to get the medicine recommended by their personal physician. The bottom line is insurance companies have too much power and this bill brings much needed balance.”

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