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Lawmakers Shift Focus to Budgeting
Friday, 07 April 2017
Friday, April 7, 2017, Tallahassee - As the legislature’s annual 60-day session hit halftime this Wednesday, lawmakers in both the House and Senate devoted much of their time to committee work on both individual member bills and on the earliest versions of each chamber’s spending plans. Their goal is to devote two days next week, during a shortened week to observe both Passover and Easter, to finalize their budget proposals on the floor. Following that they should be in a posture to meet in conference committees during the session’s last three weeks as they work to resolve differences between the two plans.
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ABN Form CMS-R-131 Renewal
Tuesday, 04 April 2017
March 2017:  The ABN, Form CMS-R-131, and form instructions have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for renewal. While there are no changes to the form itself, providers should take note of the newly incorporated expiration date on the form.  With the 2016 PRA submission, a non-substantive change has been made to the ABN. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), the form has been revised to include language informing beneficiaries of their rights to CMS nondiscrimination practices and how to request the ABN in an alternative format if needed.  The effective date for use of this ABN form is 6/21/2017. Read more to download the form.
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Budget Proposals Unveiled as Session Nears Midpoint
Sunday, 02 April 2017
Friday, March 31, 2017, Tallahassee – State lawmakers are constitutionally bound to complete only one task during their annual session each spring: Passage of a balanced budget to fund state government spending for the next fiscal year. Both the House and Senate released their separate versions for the first time this week, a week otherwise full of committee meetings as bills wind their way through hearings on their path to final consideration to each chamber’s floor.

However with an over $2-billion gap between the two differing proposals – each topping over $80-billion each -- the coming weeks are likely to be rife with debate as negotiators work to hammer out the difference between the two spending plans. On the healthcare front, several issues of interest to the profession saw action this week as detailed below.
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Action Alert: House Unveils, Advances New PIP Repeal
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Your immediate action is needed to register your opposition to an unfavorable House bill likely to have its second public hearing this week.
 
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, Tallahassee – By a 12-to-2 vote the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee yesterday afternoon introduced and approved a new proposal seeking to replace Florida’s decades-old No-Fault/Personal Injury Protection insurance coverage requirement. The measure, Committee Substitute for House Bill 1063 (SC/HB1063), replaces a similar bill introduced earlier by Rep. Erin Grall (R-Vero Beach), who is also a trial attorney by profession.

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Committee Work Dominates Lawmaker’s Week
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Monday Morning, March 27, 2017, Tallahassee – Legislative committees were in full swing last week during the third week of the legislature’s annual nine week session. Individual member’s bills are now being heard at a time when proposed committee bills and substitute bills are also starting to rear their heads. With most bills receiving references to multiple committees, members are now scurrying to try to ensure their ideas navigate the committee system successfully before committee work begins to wind down in the latter part of the session.
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