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FOS Delegation Secures Key Support during FMA Annual Meeting

Wednesday, August 24, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Diane Berg
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The Florida Orthopaedic Society would like to thank our team of  volunteer delegates who delivered key support from the Florida Medical Association House of Delegates for a number of our legislative priorities during 2017.  The FMA Annual Meeting was held in Orlando on July 29-31.   In addition to passing key resolutions, the delegation interacted with a number of key legislative officials including Senator Marco Rubio and incoming Senate President, Joe Negron.    
The FOS Delegation included the following members:
George Canizares, M.D.
David Chandler, M.D.
Douglas Dew,M.D.
Jeffrey Linder,M.D.
Steve Lucie,M.D.
John Nordt,M.D.

  
 
Fighting for Workers Compensation Reform
 
Two resolutions successfully passed by the FOS Delegation address long running concerns that orthopaedic surgeons have with the Workers Compensation system.   Specifically, Resolution 16-304 requests the FMA to support legislation to be filed by the Florida Orthopaedic Society that would increase the statutory fee for Expert Witness Testimony in Workers Compensation.   The $200 fee was set back in 1997 and if indexed to inflation should be over $300 today.  The FOS provided evidence of the average witness fees across the nation and how Florida trails significantly behind.
 
The second resolution, 16-305, asks the FMA to get on board legislation that the FOS will file that requires Workers Compensation Insurers to approve or deny requests for treatment within three business days.   Florida law currently requires carriers to respond to a request for authorization within three business days.  However, the Workers Compensation insurers have interpreted the statute to allow them to just acknowledge receipt of the request and not take definitive action.   We have documented cases of injured workers waiting weeks and months for treatment authorization.  We strongly believe the intent of the statutes is to expedite return to work and plan to file legislation to ensure definitive action is taken by carriers within the statutory timeframes.
 
Protecting Student Athletes
 
The FOS also championed Resolution 16-306, which requires high schools operating athletic programs to invest a small amount of resources in protecting student athlete safety.  Specifically the resolution calls upon public and private schools to have at least one certified and licensed athletic trainer on campus.   Data was presented that the cost of a trainer is about $40,000 a year and that many schools across the state currently do not have adequate medical staff on campus for a majority of sporting competitions and practices.   While recognizing the financial implications of the proposal, the FOS looks forward to working with our elected officials at a state and local level to prioritize student safety.  The resolution received a significant amount support from the House of Delegates but ultimately it was Referred to the FMA Board of Governors for Action.  That means the FOS will be participating in the October FMA Board Meeting seeking formal support of the resolution.  

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