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Florida TaxWatch Report Shows That Point Of Care Testing Is Cost Effective And Efficient

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s premier, independent government watchdog of forty years, Florida TaxWatch, has released an independent analysis about the point-of-care testing and treatment of influenza and streptococcus. Legislation has been proposed that would permit pharmacists to diagnose and treat influenza and strep at community pharmacies, using point-of-care tests that have approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This has the potential to allow better patient experiences, improve the quality of care, and most importantly, encourage patients to take greater control of their medical conditions.

In 2017, Floridians made more than 8.9 million Emergency Department visits, at a total cost of more than $54.6 billion. The Agency for Health Care Administration reported 250,197 emergency room visits for streptococcus & 83,129 emergency room visits for influenza during fiscal year 2017-18. When you consider that point-of-care test kits range from $18 to $24.50, $46.9 million would have been saved for every 10 percent that were tested and treated at a pharmacy instead of an emergency room.

“Permitting point of care testing in pharmacies will not only save Floridians money, but it will also save the state money when you factor in insurance coverage for state employees,” said Florida TaxWatch President & CEO Dominic M. Calabro. “This is a real opportunity to save hardworking taxpayers millions, and that is why Florida TaxWatch believes this is worthy of consideration.”

Studies have highlighted the public’s readiness to access point-of-care services in community pharmacies, as well as the ability of pharmacists to expedite the management of treatment of patients with influenza and Group-A Streptococcus. Many of the patients tested and treated had no primary care physician and many visited the pharmacy outside of normal clinic office hours.

“Point of care testing is cost effective and provides results quickly,” said House bill sponsor Representative Rene Plasencia. “Thank you, Florida TaxWatch for taking on this imperative issue. This independent analysis will help tremendously in furthering the discussion with fellow policymakers this upcoming legislative session.”

“The 2017-18 influenza season was one of the deadliest in more than four decades,” said Senate bill sponsor Senator Jeff Brandes. “Making point of care testing cost effective and easily accessible will get Floridians the help they need as soon as possible. This will be an important topic this Legislative Session, and I appreciate Florida TaxWatch’s work as we educate our colleagues on this issue.”

Read the full report with Florida TaxWatch findings here.

 

About Florida TaxWatch

As an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog & taxpayer research institute for forty years, the trusted eyes and ears of Florida taxpayers, Florida TaxWatch, works to improve the productivity and accountability of Florida government. Its research recommends productivity enhancements and explains the statewide impact of fiscal and economic policies and practices on citizens and businesses.

Florida TaxWatch is supported by voluntary, tax-deductible donations and private grants, and does not accept government funding. Donations provide a solid, lasting foundation that has enabled Florida TaxWatch to bring about a more effective, responsive government that is more accountable to, and productive for, the citizens it serves since 1979. For more information, please visit http://www.floridataxwatch.org.

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