Florida Medical Association | FMA News Dec 2019

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Proposed price transparency rule: We want your feedback

On Nov. 15, the Trump Administration announced two rules aimed at increasing price transparency in the healthcare system: the 2020 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) & Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Price Transparency Requirements for Hospitals to Make Standard Charges Public Final Rule and the highly controversial Transparency in Coverage Proposed Rule, which is currently open for comment may undergo revisions before a final rule is issued. Click here to learn more about the proposed rule and how to share your concerns with the FMA. We are closely evaluating this proposal and encourage all FMA members to send us feedback about its potential effects on physicians

State-mandated CME live event: Earn 4 credits for free

Take free mandatory CME, including Florida’s newly required human trafficking course, live at the Hilton Orlando or via livestream on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. Click here to register so that you can earn up to 4 credits during this event covering state-mandated topics for MDs and DOs.

  • Prevention of Medical Errors, 2 credits (10 a.m.-noon)*
  • Florida Laws, Rules & Ethics, 1 credit (1:15-2:15 p.m.)
  • Human Trafficking, 1 credit (2:30-3:30 p.m.)*

To fulfill the human trafficking course requirement now, take this approved online course from the FMA. It’s free with your membership! Questions? Contact our Education Department at education@FLmedical.org or (800) 762-0233.

*Denotes mandatory topics for MDs. All topics are mandatory for DOs.


Walmart to accept only e-prescriptions for controlled substances as of Jan. 1

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, Walmart will only accept electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS), a plan that has elicited strong warnings from the AMA and contradicts federal law, as well as state legislation that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law in June. Florida’s electronic prescribing law (see attached article) has a variable effective date, with the latest date being July 1, 2021, and federal law will impose the e-prescribing requirement on Jan. 1, 2021. In a letter to Walmart’s chief medical and analytics officer, AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James Madara, MD, said the company’s pending e-prescribing policy could severely disrupt patient care, “given the fact that only about 44 percent of physicians currently have the technology, hardware and certifications required for EPCS. (If) Walmart does not delay implementation, patients in every state will likely suffer negative consequences from not having their necessary medications dispensed.”

Act now to prevent health insurer price-fixing

While the FMA believes that patients should not be held responsible for “surprise bills” (i.e., insurance companies’ failures to fully pay for treatment) from out-of-network providers, any legislative solution to this problem must protect the practice of medicine and hold insurers accountable. Unfortunately, provisions in several proposals that have gained traction in Congress would hand disproportionate power to the insurance lobby at the expense of physicians and their patients.

Specifically, under these proposals, Congress risks setting a terrible precedent by establishing government-mandated rates for out-of-network physicians’ services. Government rate-setting in the private insurance market would give health insurers all the power and remove any incentive for them to negotiate reasonable rates with physicians — both in-network and those who provide out-of-network care. Undermining physicians in negotiating fair and adequate rates with insurers will jeopardize their ability to stay in business and deliver patient care.

Fortunately, surprise billing can be resolved by an Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process to settle payment disagreements between insurers and physicians without increasing premiums or undervaluing care.

Given the urgency of this issue, we are asking you to help us educate Congress about the need for a responsible legislative solution.

Please cut and paste this letter and email it to your local congressional representatives (See instructions below). Also consider calling your Congress members. Feedback from Florida’s congressional delegation indicates that your calls, emails and letters make a difference!

Click here to find your congressional representative.
Click here for detailed instructions on sending the letter, and how to contact Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott.

Please note: Sen. Rubio’s online submission form has a character limit, so refer to the instructions above for a work-around.​


Florida Medical Association
1430 Piedmont Drive East
Tallahassee, FL 32308

800.762.0233 (p) | 850-224-6627 (f)

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