FL 2030 BenchmarksNews

‘Live Healthy’ Legislation Focused on Strengthening Florida’s Healthcare Workforce Headed to the Governor’s Desk

FL 2030 From the Capitol Update

Sarah Katherine Massey during the 2024 Florida Chamber Legislative Fly-In.

By: Sarah Katherine Massey, Director of Talent, Education & Quality of Life Policy, Florida Chamber of Commerce

With the Florida Chamber’s support, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo has spent this legislative session prioritizing how to address the current and anticipated future healthcare workforce shortages in Florida. Her healthcare package titled ‘Live Healthy’ is now headed to Governor Ron DeSantis for his signature after passing with overwhelming support.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce advocated for efforts to address Florida’s healthcare workforce needs as a robust talent pipeline advances the Florida 2030 Blueprint goal of positioning Florida as a top 5 state for overall well-being. In addition to benefitting current and future Floridians’ quality of life, a robust healthcare workforce capable of efficiently and effectively serving the needs of our growing and aging population will aid in the attraction and retention of the larger workforce necessary to continue Florida’s economic momentum towards becoming a top 10 global economy by 2030.

SB 7016, by Senator Colleen Burton and Representative Mike Grant, addresses Florida’s healthcare workforce shortages with new opportunities and funding for education, training, and retention. Additionally, the bill seeks to improve access to care by reducing barriers for providers, such as increasing reimbursement rates and incentivizing providers to continue practicing medicine in Florida.

In addition to addressing the workforce shortage, SB 7016 contains multiple measures aimed at decreasing some of the financial barriers Floridians face when trying to access care. For example, SB 7016 increases the eligibility threshold to allow more low-income Floridians to access care at free and charitable clinics from 200% of the Federal Poverty Level to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. The bill also extends liability protections to providers working in free clinics as an additional incentive to offering charitable care. SB 7016 also includes grants to incentivize nonprofit entities to increase access to no-cost screenings and health services.

SB 7016 invests $716 million into our healthcare and education systems to implement the bill. This is a much-needed investment to ensure Florida has a strong healthcare workforce able to meet existent and expected demand.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Chamber’s Healthcare Partnership will continue to advocate for policies that advance the objectives of quality, affordability, access, and transparency, and fight government policies that undermine Florida’s competitiveness. If you are interested in engaging in the Healthcare Partnership or learning more about this legislation, please reach out to me directly at smassey@flchamber.com.

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