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Florida legislative session ends without action on workers comp bills

Florida legislative session ends without action on workers comp bills

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Florida legislators failed to take action last week on a pair of bills that attempted to limit escalating prices for physician-dispensed medications in the state's workers compensation system.

Florida's legislative session ended Friday without a final vote on H.B. 511 and S.B. 668. The Senate bill was to be considered by a budget committee, while the House bill was scheduled for a second read from the full Florida House of Representatives.

H.B. 511 would have limited workers comp drug pricing in Florida to a medication's average wholesale price set by the original manufacturer, plus a $4.18 dispensing fee.

S.B. 668 did not set AWP limits, but would have required providers to issue a $15 credit to insurers for each repackaged or relabeled prescription that costs more than $25.

Business and insurance industry advocates backed the Legislature's efforts to curb drug pricing in Florida. The Florida Chamber of Commerce estimated that the House bill would have saved employers $62 million.

Boca Raton, Fla.-based NCCI Holdings Inc. planned to ask the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation for an immediate 2.5% decrease in workers comp rates if the House bill were signed into law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the ratings and research organization said this month.

NCCI said it believed the Senate bill would have resulted in a 1.4% increase in Florida workers comp system costs if passed, partly because it did not cap average wholesale pricing.

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