Senate approves health bill sans telemedicine

MIAMI (AP) — The Florida Senate passed an omnibus health care bill stripped of two of its biggest provisions with minutes left in the Legislative session.

The House approved amendments late Friday, addressing everything from assisted living facilities and laser dermatology to HIV testing, orthotics and pneumonia vaccines. The changes came after the Senate killed proposals that would allow nurse practitioners to work without a doctor's supervision and promote the use of telemedicine.

The bill went through numerous changes as several provisions were tacked on, including ones addressing the management of trauma centers and pharmacists. Senators nixed the House's telemedicine provision, worried that allowing doctors to practice without a Florida license would compromise patient safety. The Florida Medical Association also opposed that provision.

Senators did support an amendment that keeps three trauma centers open.

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