In waning days of Session, lawmakers eye changes to home health care, emergency transportation laws – Florida Politics

The bill easily cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.

A Senate spending panel on Thursday advanced a health care bill that amends laws regarding home health care, assisted living facilities, and medical transportation. But the bill is structured in such a way that it could become a vehicle for any other health care issues in the final two weeks of Session.

Filed by Sen. Jennifer Bradley, the bill (SB 718) cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee without debate or fanfare. It is similar to HB 469, filed by Rep. Dana Trabulsy. That bill could be heard by the House as early as Thursday.

The measure ends the current home health care and assisted living facility statutes to establish a group of “other tasks” that certified nursing assistants and home health aides can help provide. The list of other tasks include assistance with glucometers; anti embolism stockings; oxygen cannulas; continuous positive airway pressure devices; and colostomy bags. Unlicensed personnel can also assist in taking vital signs.

Moreover, the bill adds nebulizers and prefilled insulin pens to the list of self-medication that can be provided, with documented requested and consent, to be administered by non-licensed personnel.

SB 718 also amends the state’s emergency medical transportation laws, specifically requirements for advanced life support interfacility transfers. The bill requires an ALS ambulance to be occupied by at least two persons during interfacility transfers. One person must be either a certified paramedic, a registered nurse or a licensed physician. The second person could be an emergency medical technician, a certified paramedic, a licensed physician or an ambulance driver.

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The person with the highest medical certification in the state is the person who is charged with the care of the patient during the interfacility transfer.

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Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.