New year, new rules

Happy 2020! For those considering that the transition from 2019 to 2020 is just like any other year I regret to inform you that it is certainly not so.

For example, the State of Florida, under Governor Ron Desantis has already passed a few laws that will definitively change the healthcare landscape.

Office Surgery
Effective Date: January 1, 2020
Senate Bill 732 (Full Text)

Summary: The law authorizes the Department to register and regulate office surgery centers. The law requires the Department to issue an emergency order suspending or restricting the registration of certain facilities when the office is found not in compliance with the standards of practice for office surgery. The law requires the registration of offices in which more than 1,000 cubic centimeters of supernatant fat is removed, level II office surgery, or a level III office surgery must register with the department unless the office is licensed as a facility under Chapter 395, Florida Statutes. Additionally, the law requires the designation of physicians for the registered office’s compliance. The law permits the inspection, suspension, revocation, and penalty of surgery centers.

Effective Date: July 1, 2019
HB 23 (Full Text)

 Summary: Creates section 456.47, Florida Statutes, establishing standards of practice for telehealth providers, registration of out-of-state providers, venue requirements and exemptions. Additionally, effective July 1, 2020, the Department shall annually review the amount of any fees collected under section 456.47, Florida Statutes, to determine whether such fees are sufficient for the Department and Boards to implement the section.

Electronic Prescribing
Effective Date: January 1, 2020
HB 831 (Full Text)

 Summary: The law relocates language regarding electronic prescribing from existing section 456.43, Florida Statutes, to section 456.42, Florida Statutes, and repeals section 456.43, Florida Statutes, on January 1, 2021. The law requires prescribers to generate and transmit all prescription electronically, except when electronic prescribing is unavailable due to a temporary electrical or technological failure. In such instances, written prescriptions may be used, which must meet the requirements under current section 456.43, Florida Statutes.

Human Trafficking
Effective Date: July 1, 2019
HB 851 (Full Text)

 Summary: Creates section 456.0341, Florida Statutes, requiring persons licensed or certified under Chapter 457, 458, 459, 460, 461, 463, 465, 466, part II, III, V or part X of 468, 480, or 486 to complete a board or department approved 1-hour continuing education course on human trafficking. Licensees or certificate holders must post a sign with relevant portions of the reporting procedure by January 1, 2020. Requiring a massage establishment to designate an establishment manager to be responsible for operational rules compliance. Requiring the Department of Health (DOH) to deny an application for massage establishment license if an establishment owner or designated establishment manager has been convicted of a prostitution offense. Authorizing DOH to revoke or suspend a massage establishment’s license if certain employees or owners have convictions or disciplinary action for prostitution. Prohibiting a massage establishment owner or designated establishment manager whose license is revoked from reapplying for a license or, for an owner, transferring the license.

Alternative Treatment Options for Veterans
Effective Date: July 1, 2019
HB 501 (Full Text)

Summary: Creates section 295.156, Florida Statutes, that requires alternative treatment services for veterans who have been certified by the Department of Veteran Affairs as having Traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder to be provided under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician, osteopathic physician, chiropractic physician, nurse, psychologist, or a clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist or mental health counselor.

Permit and Inspection Fees
Effective Date: July 1, 2019
HB 7073 (Full Text)

Summary: Creates section 465,0157 (4), Florida Statutes, to set the fee for an initial international export pharmacy permit and biennial renewal of the permit to be set by board rule under section 465.022(14), Florida Statutes.

Nonopioid Alternatives
Effective Date: July 1, 2019
HB 451 (Full Text)

Summary: Creates section 456.44 (7), Florida Statutes, requiring the Department to develop and publish on its website an education pamphlet regarding the use of nonopioid alternatives for the treatment of pain.

Prescription Drug Importation Programs
Effective Date: July 1, 2019
HB 19 (Full Text)

Summary: The law establishes two programs to safely import FDA-approved prescription drugs into Florida: The Canadian Importation Program and the International Drug Importation Program. The Department is responsible for the creation of and inspection of new permits for an international export pharmacy. Additionally, the law creates eligibility criteria for the types of prescription drugs to be imported, the importation process, safety standards, distribution requirements, and penalties for violations of the established program. Federal approval is required before the programs may begin.

Controlled Substances
Effective Date: Upon becoming a law
HB 7107 (Full Text)

Summary: Creates section 893.03 (5) (d), Florida Statutes, to make Epidolex (CBD) a Schedule V drug and mirror the federal law.

Carrying of Firearms by Tactical Medical Professionals
Effective Date: July 1, 2019
HB 487 (Full Text)

Summary: The law creates section 790.25 (q), Florida Statutes, for tactical medical professionals to be appointed by law enforcement tactical teams to possess firearms and actively operate in direct support of a tactical operation by a law enforcement agency. The law establishes that a “tactical medical professional” must be a paramedic under section 401.23, a physician, under section 458.305, or an osteopathic physician, under section 459.003, who is appointed to provide direct support to a tactical law enforcement unit.

Mental Health
Effective Date: July 1, 2019
Senate Bill 1418 (Full Text)

Summary: Requires a psychiatrist to disclose patient communications to the extent necessary to warn law enforcement of a threat of serious bodily injury or death made by a patient or client. Requires law enforcement to notify potential victims of the threat and provides that such disclosure of confidential communications may not be the basis of legal action or any civil or criminal liability against the psychiatrist or psychologist.