Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 375 • Jan. 12, 2018
Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing



Florida’s 2018 Legislative Session is underway and already life-saving legislation to curb the national opioid crisis passed a key House committee. This week, HB 21 unanimously passed the House Health Quality Subcommittee. The bill, sponsored by State Representative Jim Boyd, aims to stop opioid addiction before it begins.

This bill limits the initial prescription pill amounts for opioid-based painkillers in most acute pain cases. Limiting the length of time of an initial opioid prescription decreases the chances of addiction.

HB 21 also requires that medical professionals check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database before writing a script for a powerful painkiller. This step will help prevent doctor shopping, keeping deadly opioids off our streets.

It is still early in the legislative session, but I am encouraged by the passage of HB 21 this first week. The companion bill, sponsored by State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, was also workshopped in a committee meeting this week.

I want to personally thank Senator Benacquisto and Representative Boyd for sponsoring this life-saving legislation. I also want to thank each member of the House Health Quality Subcommittee for voting unanimously to pass HB 21.

Working together this Session, we can strengthen protection for patients and help save lives in Florida.

In the News
Florida lawmakers move closer to imposing opioid prescription limits, Bay News 9

Rep. Jim Boyd’s latest opioid-related bill passes through health committee, Bradenton Herald

Attorney General Bondi’s Statement on the State of the State, Capital Soup

Protecting Floridians

Dentist and Office Manager Arrested for More Than $50,000 in Medicaid Fraud

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Pembroke Pines Police Department arrested a dentist and office manager for defrauding the Medicaid program out of more than $50,000. According to the MFCU investigation, Maritza Lazcano, owner of Lazcano Family Dental, and Luis Garcia Fragoso, the office manager, fraudulently billed the Medicaid program for numerous dental procedures never performed. These procedures included cleanings, crowns, root canals, x-rays, etc.
More.













Attorney General Bondi’s Statement on the State of the State

Attorney General Bondi issued the following statement on Governor Rick Scott’s last State of the State:


“Under Governor Rick Scott’s leadership, the state of our state is stronger than it has ever been. On his last State of the State address, I want to congratulate the Governor and thank him for his leadership in creating jobs, supporting our law enforcement, battling the national opioid crisis and helping us make Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking. Although I am out of the country today continuing our efforts to eradicate human trafficking, I look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature this session to continue to make Florida the best state in our country.”







Attorney General Bondi Rewards Two Citizens for Help in Medicaid Fraud Case


Tania Medina-Carmenate and Brandi Bailey receiving
the reward from Attorney General Pam Bondi's Office


Attorney General Pam Bondi's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit rewarded two citizens with $20,000 each for reporting Medicaid fraud committed by Tranquility Healthcare Solutions. As a Florida Medicaid provider operating out of the Raleigh, NC, Tranquility targeted homeless adults, offering free hotel rooms and cell phones, in exchange for billing the homeless adults’ Medicaid numbers for psychosocial rehabilitation services. Both citizens provided information vital to the investigation and instrumental in the arrests of numerous Tranquility employees. More.












Events

This week Attorney General Pam Bondi recognized National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Attorney General Bondi thanks all the brave law enforcement officers across the country who risk their lives every day to keep their communities safe.





In recognition of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day this week, Attorney General Bondi encouraged Floridians to learn the signs of human trafficking by visiting YouCanStopHT.com.