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20 days until Emergency Medicine Days! Register Today!!!

Emergency Medicine Days (EM Days) in Tallahassee is the premier advocacy event each year for The Florida College of Emergency Physicians.

Each spring, all FCEP members are invited to our state capital for face time with legislators. FCEP members gather with their colleagues lobbying for legislation to provide better access to quality care for our patients.

Registration is FREE for all FCEP members and special hotel rates are available for a limited reservation period.

Approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™



Hotel Information

Book your room today at Aloft Hotel, in the heart of the Capital City!

Aloft: 200 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee
Reservations: (850) 513-0313
Group code: FEC10A

The deadline for reservations and group discounts is Feb. 24.
Rooms are on a first come, first serve basis. Don't Delay!

March 3 & 4, 2014
March 20 & 21, 2014
Mid Florida Tech
2900 W Oak Ridge Road, Orlando, FL

The EMLRC has been a leader in lifesaving education throughout the United States for over 20 years and is both a CECBEMS and Florida Department of Health accredited provider of continuing education for the EMS community. EMLRC's EMT Refresher Course is for the practicing EMT wishing to recertify. It both meets and exceeds the Florida Department of Health Bureau of EMS' and the NREMT'S recertification requirements as it offers a maximum of 32 hours of continuing education. The course is based on Jones & Bartlett's EMT Transition Manual and includes topics on airway management, patient assessment, medical and trauma emergencies. Participants will also have the opportunity to recertify in CPR/BLS.



The Emergency Medicine Learning and Resource Center is an approved provider of continuing medical education by the FL DOH Bureau of EMS, Provider #50715. This course is approved by the FL Dept. of Health, Bureau of EMS, for 32 hours of continuing education credit which includes 2 hours of CPR training; Approval Code# 20-434083. Attendees should claim only hours for which he/she actually spent in the education activity. The following continuing education activity is approved by the Emergency Medicine Learning and Resource Center, a Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS) accredited organization, Provider #EMLRC0003. Activity #14-EMLRC-F1-0001 is approved for 32 hours of continuing education credit. You have participated in a continuing education program that has received CECBEMS approval for continuing education credit. If you have any comments regarding the quality of this program and/or your satisfaction with it, please contact CECBEMS at: 12200 Ford Road, Suite 478 Dallas, TX 75324, 972-247-4442 or

Dear FCEP Members,

FCEP Councilor Positions Available for the Upcoming ACEP Council

Interested members wishing to be considered as an FCEP Councilor for the ACEP Council are encouraged to submit letter (email) of interest.

Per FCEP Bylaws:

Candidates must meet the following criteria:
  1. Member of Chapter for at least two years prior to nomination.
  2. Active involvement in Chapter as evidenced by committee membership and/or attendance at the meetings of the Board of Directors.
  3. Plans to attend Councilor meetings for two-year term. Councilors will be elected for two-year term with term beginning immediately upon election.
Should a Councilor resign or be elected to office that is a designated Councilor, then the remaining Councilors will elect an Alternate Councilor to fill the unexpired term. If there are no Alternate Councilors available to be seated, then the Executive Committee shall have the right to name Alternate Councilors to be seated or designated as Councilors.

Please email no later than March 28, 2014.

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Legislative Committee week highlights
The Legislature met last week for another round of committee hearings leading into the start of the 2014 legislative session on March 4. The House Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Innovation spent several hours work-shopping its proposed committee bill (PCB), which would expand advance nurse practitioners' scope of practice. A revised PCB has been filed and will be voted on at next week's meeting.

In the Senate, the Health Policy Committee postponed for another week the vote on its proposed committee bill related to telemedicine. Senator Bean stated that legislative staff are reworking the bill, and he anticipates a vote will take place next week. The Senate has sought common ground with stakeholders on issues related to physician licensure and reimbursement.

Both the House and Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Committees heard presentations from the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability regarding its recently published Florida's Graduate Medical Education Program Study.

Stay tuned for more information on legislative action leading up to, and during the 2014 Session.

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Doctor groups win fight with Board of Nursing
Oral arguments on the procedural sedation issue took place on Jan. 22 at the 1st District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee. An appeals court last week backed the Florida Medical Association and other physician groups in a dispute about whether the Florida Board of Nursing overstepped its legal authority in approving a proposed rule about sedating patients. In a brief opinion Wednesday, the 1st District Court of Appeal upheld an order issued last year by Administrative Law Judge Lisa Shearer Nelson in a long-running dispute between physician and nursing groups. The proposed rule was aimed, at least in part, at restricting nurses from administering drugs such as propofol, a sedative used in procedures including colonoscopies. But the FMA and other physician groups argued that the Board of Nursing didn't have the legal authority to make such changes. "The Legislature defines the scope of practice of nurses, not the Board of Nursing," FMA General Counsel Jeff Scott said during oral arguments last month before a three-judge panel of the appeals court. The opinion Wednesday did not explain the court's reasoning.

Check out the oral arguments here:

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Clemens, Saunders file bills to legalize marijuana by statute
Two state legislators, predicting public passage of a constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana uses, introduced bills Monday to do it by statute — and get a one-month jump on the November elections.

"The constitutional amendment is very likely to pass," Rep. Joe Saunders, D-Orlando, said at a news conference. "We need to come up with a Florida way to do this and do it right."

If the pending amendment passes, he said the 2015 Legislature will have to pass implementing legislation specifying "how will we grow it, how will people who need it get access to it and how will those who are seeking to abuse it receive consequences."

"I don't know why we would wait to answer those questions," Saunders said. "There are patients, some of whom may be standing up here, who literally cannot wait."

Saunders and state Senator Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, called the news conference including critically ill patients and their family members who support their bills (SB 962 and HB 859) that would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for specified afflictions under tight state regulation. The idea has failed three years in a row, but the lawmakers said they are optimistic this year.

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Proposal would lift regulations on nurses
Florida nurse practitioners are pushing for a change in state law that would allow them to practice independently from a supervising physician.

One of their biggest supporters in their quest is an emergency room physician who started practicing medicine 31 years ago. Representative Cary Pigman, R-Sebring, is the House's point man on a proposal to grant advanced nurse practitioners more authority and free them from patient-treatment guidelines prescribed by a licensed physician.

Pigman on Monday briefed the House Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Innovation on a 155-page proposal that lifts many of the regulations governing how APNs do their work. APNs can prescribe antibiotics, perform physicals and order tests. The committee bill that is taking shape would:
  • Create a new registration category of "Independent Advanced Practice Registered Nurse" under the Board of Nursing;
  • Enable APNs to see and treat patients free from protocols prescribed by a physician;
  • Allow IAPRNs to practice independently regardless of specialty, and;
  • Give IAPRNS authority to sign, certify, verify or make any endorsement that a physician may provide.
"This bill seeks to accomplish three things," said Pigman, who said he has worked "side by side" with APNs in urban, rural and military hospitals. "Number one, the bill expands the scope of practice for Florida's advanced practice nurses, allows them to expend controlled substances, and sets standards for that practice and brings us in line with most other states in the country."

By reducing the number of uninsured residents, the Affordable Care Act is expected to put more stress on a health care system lacking an adequate number of doctors. The American Medical Colleges predicts the United States will be short more than 90,000 physicians by 2020. Florida ranks 42nd in the number of resident-physicians per 1,000 residents, needing another 2,700 physician residents to reach the national average.

The bill makes 102 changes to Florida statutes concerning what nurses are allowed to do and the Florida Medical Association objects to many of them.

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Committee delays vote on telemedicine bill
A Senate committee plans to vote on a telemedicine bill at its next meeting. Members of the Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday took testimony from doctors, hospitals and medical groups about a proposal to provide the regulatory framework for telemedicine in Florida but said more time is needed to get the proposal's "language right."

Two stumbling blocks remain to be cleared. A parity issue awaits a decision on whether reimbursement for a telemedicine visit will be the same as for a face-to-face consultation. And confusion remains concerning the nexus of licensing and interstate compacts.

Committee chairman, Senator Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, supports letting insurers and providers negotiate a fee schedule for telemedicine services. Senator Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, who sits on the committee, has filed SB 70 requiring the same payment for services regardless of how it is delivered.

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Mental health training program passes House committee
The House Healthy Families Subcommittee unanimously passed on Feb. 11 a plan to provide mental health training to teachers, among others.

The sponsor of HB 159, Representative Lori Berman, D-Palm Beach, said, "In terms of the money, we are going to work a little bit more on that as it gets into the appropriations committee." Healthy Families has a policy rather than budget focus.

Its next stop is the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.

A similar proposal in the Senate, SB 574, faces two appropriations panels before it would reach the chamber floor.

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Senator Aaron Bean files bacteria bill
Senator Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, filed SB 992, on Feb. 11 to help the state combat drug-resistant bacteria.

His proposal is identical to one filed by Representative Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, on Jan. 16.

The bill establishes a panel of experts and an interagency taskforce as they develop protocols for handling outbreaks, for so-called "nightmare bacteria."

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Fetal injury bill passes first House committee
On Feb. 12 the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee passed HB 59, a fetal injury proposal from Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, along partisan lines. The Democrats voted no.

Florida law forbids killing "an unborn quick child" by accidental or deliberate injury to the mother. The bill removes the word "quick," which is the point when a fetus is capable of living outside of the womb, making it a felony to kill an "unborn child."

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Bill to lift 5-year eligibility provision passes first committee
On Feb. 11 The House Health Innovation Subcommittee unanimously passed a proposal from Representative Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, to expand KidCare.

HB 7 repeals a provision denying children access to the state's insurance program if they had not been in the United States for five years.

Diaz described how the federal government has already created a pathway in 2009, and described the statute as "archaic."

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Follow @FCEP and @FCEPprez on Twitter

FCEP has been working to grow our social media reach using popular channels; one of those is Twitter,

We intend to use Twitter as a means of communication; most tweets will be done in conjunction with the latest news regarding FCEP's legislative hot topics and to let you know of any changes happening around here.

Connect with FCEP:          

'The Gravity of Gravity — Senior Falls Prevention' online education course is now available

The Emergency Medicine Learning and Resource Center (EMLRC) is proud to provide this online educational portal (EMLRC Online) for the Emergency Medical Services Community.

This 6-Hour course discusses and demonstrates statistics, in-home hazards, risk factors, management of fall victims, model fall prevention programs and a case review.

To learn more about the course and to register, please visit

This course is made possible by an educational grant from The Winter Park Health Foundation.

Save the date!
March 4, 2014 First day of Legislative Session
March 10-13, 2014 Emergency Medicine Days
March 11, 2014 FCEP Board of Directors Meeting
April 8, 2014 FCEP Board Conference Call
May 7, 2014 FCEP Committee Meeting
May 8, 2014 FCEP Board Meeting at FCEP
May 18-21, 2014 ACEP Leadership and Advocacy Conference
June 10, 2014 FCEP Board Conference Call
June 16, 2014 FCEP Board Conference Call
July 17-20, 2014 ClinCon
Aug. 7-10, 2014 Symposium by the Sea
Aug. 7, 2014 FCEP Board of Directors Meeting

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July 17-20, 2014

Saint Luke's Health System is sponsoring their 7th Annual Forensic Investigations Conference, May 14-16, in Kansas City, MO! ACEP is trying to improve the availability of specific medical-forensic content for ACEP members (sexual assault, domestic violence, elderly and child abuse), as well as our forensic colleagues in nursing, criminal justice and advocacy. Last year we had over 480 participants who came to KC for forensic education, fun and great BBQ!

ACEP will offer a specific Pre-Conference, an "Advanced Sexual Assault Medical-Forensic Course for Physicians," on May 12 & 13. This ACEP Category I CME approved course has been well received by physicians, residents and program directors across the country and it concentrates not only on up-to date necessary clinical forensic skills, but important sexual assault program medical director, court room and legal issues. This intense 2-day presentation is taught by physician colleagues with over 50 years of experience in these medical-forensic areas.

Please click on the below link to access the full conference brochure details and registration.


Few Americans get recommended emergency stroke care
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Although most Americans live relatively close to a hospital that can give emergency stroke treatment, few actually receive the recommended therapies, a new study suggests. People suffering a stroke caused by a blood clot — which most strokes are — can be treated with a medication called tissue plasminogen activator. As long as the drug is given within three hours of the first stroke symptoms, it can break up the blood clot and help limit brain damage from the stroke.
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Florida moves to manage healthcare for foster children
Miami Herald and Kaiser Health News
Difficulties are not unusual for the nation's nearly 400,000 foster children, whose healthcare can be complicated by cycling from one placement to another, undiagnosed childhood trauma and a failure to receive preventive care, according to experts. They face an array of problems. According to the National Institute for Health Care Management, nearly 60 percent have at least one chronic disease, and nearly 70 percent have moderate to severe mental health disorders. Florida is creating a special Medicaid plan to closely manage the care of this population, beginning in May.
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Rethinking the emergency department
Healthcare Design Magazine
Emergency departments across the nation are constantly faced with increasing and unpredictable patient volumes. At the same time, there's the constant need to improve quality and efficiency while enhancing the value of medical care provided to emergency patients. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg, a community hospital in Bethlehem, Pa., was in this very predicament, challenged by a growing patient volume that exceeded its ED capacity.
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Enrollment surges in Florida
Health News Florida
Despite state officials' opposition to the Affordable Care Act and the relative scarcity of helpers available, Floridians are finding their way to and signing up for plans even beyond the growth in most states. By the end of January, nearly 300,000 Floridians had enrolled in a new health plan through Obamacare — a surge that left most other states in the dust.
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Top 5 list to improve emergency medicine
Curbing the number of potentially needless medical treatments is a key part of improving health care. The emergency department is one place to achieve cost-savings and better care of patients. A group of emergency physicians and other medical professionals has developed a list of five emergency procedures that, based on new research, they advise some patients with mild head trauma, back pain and other seemingly less severe problems to go without.
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Volusia led the state, Florida led the world in shark attacks in 2013
The Daytona Beach News-Journal
In a ranking no one wants to lead, Volusia County maintained its unofficial title as shark bite capital of the world last year, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File. A recent report showed there were 23 unprovoked shark attacks in Florida last year — the most in the U.S. and more than any other country — and Volusia County led the state with eight nips. None of the bites in Volusia County were fatal, and no one has ever been killed by a shark in Volusia's surf. The county's only recorded shark-related fatality was in 1981 and occurred well offshore.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Lisa Smith, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2644  
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Priscilla Lauture, FCEP Communications Specialist, 407.281.7396, ext. 232  
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