State law, s. 406.11, F.S., requires medical examiners to determine and verify the cause of death in certain cases, generally in situations where death is unusual or there are suspicious circumstances.  Additionally, medical examiners must determine cause of death whenever a body is to be cremated, dissected, or buried at sea.  The purpose of s. 406.11 is to preserve evidence in the event that a body is necessary for forensic examination.  Many county medical examiners charge a cremation approval fee to cover the costs of the additional steps that are necessary to comply with the statute when a cremation is requested.  Currently, most county medical examiners charge a fee for the service, which vary by county or medical examiner district and range from $25.00 to $63.00 statewide (a handful of counties do not charge).  HB 301 by Rep. Spano and SB 584 Sen. Lee would prohibit a medical examiner or county from charging a user fee for an examination, investigation, or autopsy performed pursuant to s. 406.11.  Thus, county medical examiners would no longer be able to assess even a nominal fee for performing these statutorily mandated tasks.  FAC expects the HB 301 to be heard in the House Health Quality Subcommittee in February and will provide more information as it becomes available.  For more information, please contact Susan Harbin.