Florida Senate - 2023                                     SB 894
       By Senator Torres
       25-01703-23                                            2023894__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to denial of health care services;
    3         creating s. 381.027, F.S.; providing a short title;
    4         defining terms; requiring a covered entity to adopt a
    5         policy relating to providing notice of its refused
    6         services by a specified date; providing requirements
    7         for such notice; requiring a covered entity to submit
    8         a complete list of refused services to the Department
    9         of Health by a specified date; requiring a covered
   10         entity to notify the department within a specified
   11         period after a change is made to such list; requiring
   12         a covered entity to submit the list, along with its
   13         application, if applying for certain state grants or
   14         contracts; providing a civil penalty; requiring the
   15         department to adopt rules; requiring the department to
   16         publish and maintain on its website a current list of
   17         covered entities and their refused services; requiring
   18         the department to develop and administer a certain
   19         public education and awareness program; providing
   20         construction; providing for severability; providing an
   21         effective date.
   23  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   25         Section 1. Section 381.027, Florida Statutes, is created to
   26  read:
   27         381.027Requirements for covered entities; notice of
   28  refused services; department duties.—
   29         (1)SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Health
   30  Care Transparency and Accessibility Act.”
   31         (2)DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   32         (a)“Covered entity” means any health care facility that
   33  uses, plans to use, or relies upon a denial of care provision to
   34  refuse to provide a health care service, or referral for a
   35  health care service, for any reason. The term does not include a
   36  health care practitioner.
   37         (b)“Denial of care provision” means any federal or state
   38  law that purports or is asserted to allow a health care facility
   39  to opt out of providing a health care service, or referral for a
   40  health care service, including, but not limited to, ss.
   41  381.0051(5), 390.0111(8), 483.918, and 765.1105; 42 U.S.C. ss.
   42  18023(b)(4) and 18113; 42 U.S.C. s. 300a-7; 42 U.S.C. s. 238n;
   43  42 U.S.C. s. 2000bb et seq.; s. 507(d) of the Departments of
   44  Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related
   45  Agencies Appropriations Act of 2019, Division B of Pub. L. No.
   46  115-245; and 45 C.F.R. part 88.
   47         (c)“Department” means the Department of Health.
   48         (d)“Health care facility” has the same meaning as in s.
   49  381.026(2).
   50         (e)“Health care practitioner” has the same meaning as in
   51  s. 456.001.
   52         (f)“Health care service” has the same meaning as in s.
   53  624.27(1).
   54         (g)“Referral” has the same meaning as in s. 456.053(3).
   55         (h) “Refused service” means a health care service that a
   56  covered entity chooses not to provide, or not to provide a
   57  referral for, based on one or more denial of care provisions.
   58  The term includes health care services that the covered entity
   59  selectively provides to some, but not all, patients based on
   60  their identity, objections to a health care service, or other
   61  nonmedical reasons.
   63         (a) By October 1, 2023, each covered entity shall adopt a
   64  policy for providing patients with a complete list of its
   65  refused services. A covered entity shall:
   66         1. Provide written notice to the patient or the patient’s
   67  representative which includes the complete list of its refused
   68  services before any health care service is initiated.
   69         a. In the case of an emergency, the covered entity must
   70  promptly provide written notice after the patient is capable of
   71  receiving such notice or when the patient’s representative is
   72  available.
   73         b. The patient or patient’s representative shall
   74  acknowledge receipt of the written notice of refused services.
   75         2. Retain all acknowledgements of receipt of the written
   76  notice of refused services for a period of at least 3 years.
   77         3. Provide a complete list of its refused services to any
   78  person upon request.
   79         (b) By October 1, 2023, a covered entity shall submit to
   80  the department a complete list of its refused services. If any
   81  change is made to the list, the covered entity must notify the
   82  department within 30 days after making the change.
   83         (c) If applying for any state grant or contract related to
   84  providing a health care service, a covered entity must submit,
   85  along with its application, a complete list of its refused
   86  services.
   87         (d) A covered entity that fails to comply with this
   88  subsection is subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000 for each
   89  day that the covered entity is not in compliance.
   90         (4) DEPARTMENT DUTIES.—
   91         (a) The department shall adopt rules to implement this
   92  section which must include a process for receiving and
   93  investigating complaints regarding covered entities that fail to
   94  comply with this section.
   95         (b) By January 1, 2024, the department shall publish and
   96  maintain on its website a current list of covered entities and
   97  the refused services for each covered entity.
   98         (c) The department shall develop and administer a public
   99  education and awareness program regarding the denial of health
  100  care services, including how the denial of health care services
  101  can negatively impact health care access and quality, how the
  102  denial of health care services may be avoided, and how the
  103  denial of health care services affects vulnerable people and
  104  communities.
  105         (5) CONSTRUCTION.—
  106         (a) This section does not authorize denials of health care
  107  services or discrimination in the provision of health care
  108  services.
  109         (b) This section does not limit any cause of action under
  110  state or federal law, or limit any remedy in law or equity,
  111  against a health care facility or health care practitioner.
  112         (c) Compliance with this section does not reduce or limit
  113  any potential liability for covered entities associated with the
  114  refused services or any violations of state or federal law.
  115         (d) Section 761.03 does not provide a claim relating to, or
  116  a defense to a claim under, this section, or provide a basis for
  117  challenging the application or enforcement of this section or
  118  the use of funds associated with the application or enforcement
  119  of this section.
  120         (6) SEVERABILITY.—If any provision of this section or its
  121  application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the
  122  invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of
  123  this section which can be given effect without the invalid
  124  provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this
  125  section are severable.
  126         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.