Rep. Gallop Franklin’s (D-Tallahassee) legislation (CS/CS/HB 935) to increase the number of health care professionals prescribing home health care in Florida on Thursday unanimously passed the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill would pave the way for advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants to order medically necessary home health care services, ensuring better health outcomes for Floridians.
“U.S. Census data shows Florida is America’s fastest growing state and our aging population is set to rise dramatically,” said Representative Franklin. “As Floridians get older and live longer, our health care delivery system will face incredible stress. This legislation lays out a compassionate and fiscally responsible plan to prepare our state’s Home Health Care services to meet the increased health care demand we know is coming.”
In its state plan on aging, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs notes the state has the highest percentage of residents age 65 and older. The Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research projects the state’s senior population to rise from around 6 million in 2030 to 7.1 million in 2050.
Home health care promotes greater independence, reduces costly hospital stays, and helps maintain patient independence. Representative Franklin noted Florida’s expected growth, especially among seniors, requires the state to embrace innovative and cost-saving health care solutions.
Representative Franklin noted his bill is an important step in improving health care accessibility, ensuring patients receive the care they need in the comfort of their own homes, promoting both convenience and quality of life.
Health care services offered in the home may include:
- Doctor care;
- Nursing care;
- Physical, occupational, respiratory, or speech therapy;
- Home health aide services;
- Medical social services; and
- Homemaker/companion services.
Under Representative Franklin’s proposal, Medicaid – Florida’s safety net for low-income residents – is better aligned with Medicare and private insurers to pay for home health care services ordered by advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants.
The bill now advances for consideration by the entire Florida House for passage. The Senate Health Policy Committee this week unanimously passed the companion measure to Representative Franklin’s House Home Health Care proposal (CS/SB 1798) sponsored by Senator Jay Trumbull (R-Panama City).