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Senator Mayfield, District 17 — Press Release


February 5, 2019

CONTACT: Adrienne Cronebaugh, (321) 409-2025

Senator Debbie Mayfield Files Legislation to Strengthen Basic Patient Protections

Tallahassee, FL —

Senator Debbie Mayfield has filed Senate Bill (SB) 650, titled Health Insurer Authorization, to ensure Florida’s patients receive the right medicine at the right time.

In many cases, Florida patients are unable to obtain medications ordered by their physicians because their healthcare coverage requires numerous approvals from insurers and bureaucratic steps to obtaining medication, including trying and failing on inferior medicines first.

This legislation will allow healthcare professionals to have access to a full range of therapeutic options to use as they see fit for their patients. SB 650 strengthens patient protections in Florida, specifically in the areas of streamlining step therapy and fail first protocols, simplifying prior authorization and ensuring continuity of care for patients.

More than 20 states have already adopted laws that reform prior authorization by standardizing the process, and implementing overrides for fail first and step therapy protocols.

Senator Debbie Mayfield (R-Melbourne) said, “This legislation will work to ensure our physicians make the determination on the best course of treatment and medications for their patient, rather than an insurance company. This bill will ensure there is a balance of power between all parties.

Representative Ralph Massullo, MD (R-Beverly Hills) has filed similar legislation in the House, HB 559. "Florida’s patients need the right medication at the right time,” said Representative Massullo, MD. “As a physician, I know all too well the impacts this policy can have on our patients. We must work to ensure physicians have access to a full range of options and keep that decision between the patient and their physician—not an insurance bureaucrat.”

Russell Silverman, Interim President & CEO for the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation said, "Senator Mayfield and Representative Massullo, MD are helping to preserve the patient/physician relationship for Florida’s patients by putting the decision back into the hands of the patient and physician. This legislation would be a major win for Florida."