Proposed Bill May Allow Florida Pharmacists To Treat Flu

We all know that getting sick isn’t any fun and it’s no secret that waiting around in the ER waiting to be treated for a cold is even less fun. You’re probably also aware that it gets pretty expensive pretty quickly. Now the question is this, would you like the ability for non-emergency sickness to be diagnosed and treated without having to see a doctor? There’s a new bill for that in the upcoming session.

House Bill 111 - Testing for and Treatment of Influenza and Streptococcus: Requires specified licensed pharmacists to report certain information to DOH; authorizes pharmacists to test for and treat influenza and streptococcus and provides requirements relating thereto; requires that written protocol between pharmacist and supervising physician contain certain information, terms, and conditions; requires Board of Pharmacy to adopt rules; requires pharmacist to notify patient's primary care provider within specified period after providing testing or treatment.

If this passes, you can go to your usual pharmacy to be tested for the flu and strep. Once they’ve tested you, they would also be able to provide whatever treatment they recommend to deal with what ails you. It also means it would be a lot cheaper. Florida Tax Watch just reviewed this proposal and found that based on last year’s numbers, 333,326 Floridians would have benefited from this proposal and those patients would have saved $469 million. A quick calculation reveals that if you put those two numbers together it'll be a total of $1,407 of savings per patient. 

ER visits aren’t cheap and there tends to be a lot more unneeded testing that takes place. This bill means faster care and savings of more than $1,400, seems like a no-brainer right? This reform is one to keep an eye out for, I’ll continue doing so as the session picks up.

Photo by: Scott Olson/Getty Images

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