Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Changes to Physician Assistant Statutes in Florida

In the last year, there have been many changes to the scope of practice and collaboration/supervision requirements for advanced practice providers such as APRNs and physician assistants in the state of Florida.  In a previous Client Alert we discussed House Bill 607, which expanded the autonomous practice of APRNs providing primary care services in Florida.

This Client Alert focuses on Florida House Bill 431 (the “Bill”), which went into effect on July 1, 2021 and amended Florida Statutes 458.347 and 459.022. The Bill essentially gives Florida PAs more autonomy in certain aspects of their practice, and changes the number of PAs that physicians are permitted to supervise from four (4) to ten (10).

The Florida Board of Medicine published the comprehensive list of all of the changes made, and among those, PAs are no longer required to notify patients that they have the right to see a physician before prescribing or dispensing prescriptions, and they are able to authenticate any document that may also be authenticated by physicians, with the exception of physician certifications (which includes, but is not limited to, death certificates, school physical exams, and medical examinations for workers’ compensation claims).

Additionally, PAs are no longer required to notify the Department of Health in writing when any changes are made to their supervising physician or within thirty (30) days of employment, and are permitted to supervise medical assistants.

As for changes in prescribing, PAs no longer need to include a prescribing number on prescriptions, but instead must include their name, address, and phone number, along with the name of each of their supervising physicians. Additionally, a formulary that lists prescriptions PAs are not allowed to prescribe will be published, and PAs can now prescribe 14-day supplies of Schedule II psychotropic drugs to minors, provided they are supervised by a pediatrician, family practice physician, internal medicine physician, or psychiatrist.

The Board of Medicine also noted the following changes from the Bill:

  • Amends provisions related to program approval for the education and training of PAs and allows trainees to perform medical services rendered within the scope of an approved program;
  • Amends the licensure requirements for PAs based on the date a PA graduated from an approved program as defined in the bill by specifying which PA education and training programs are approved for PA licensure;
  • Authorizes a PA to satisfy the continuing education requirement on controlled substance prescribing through a designated course; and
  • Removes the requirement that PA licensure applicants seeking prescribing authority provide course transcripts.

If you have any questions about any of the specific changes or additions to Florida Statutes 458.347 and 459.022, and how they are applicable to you and your practice, please contact Amanda Waesch at alwaesch@bmdllc.com.

Protections Under Federal and Ohio Law for Bona Fide Prospective Purchasers of Contaminated Property

Most industrial/commercial property developers are generally aware of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), often also referred to as “Superfund”. CERCLA, a United Stated federal law administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was created, in part, because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized that environmental cleanup could help promote reuse or redevelopment of contaminated, potentially contaminated, and formerly contaminated properties, helping revitalize communities that may have been adversely affected by the presence of the contaminated properties. Commercial property developers should be aware that CERCLA provides for some important liability limitations for landowners that own contaminated property impacted by materials hazardous to the environment. It can also assist with landowners concerned about the potential liabilities stemming from the presence of contamination to which they have not contributed. In particular, CERCLA provides important liability limitations for landowners that qualify as (1) bona fide prospective purchasers (BFPPS), (2) contiguous property owners, or (3) innocent landowners.

Puerto Rico Is Open For Business

Puerto Rico has the highest vaccination in the nation. More than 73% of the total population is fully vaccinated. The U.S. national average is just over 57%. The ports opened in June 2020 and San Juan held it first live concert this past summer. It is important to remember that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and there is no need for visas, the banking systems is almost identical to the mainland and the Island uses the U.S. postal service and U.S. dollar as its currency. There are thousands of flights from the U.S. to Puerto Rico daily and all main airlines fly to the Island.

Ohio Medical Board Changes Telemedicine Rules

A SCMS News Article by Scott Sandrock.

The Rising Threat from Insiders – Get Your House in Order

As its name implies, an ‘Insider Threat’ originates inside an organization. An ‘insider’ is any person who has or had authorized access to or knowledge of an organization’s resources, including personnel, facilities, information, equipment, networks, and systems. ‘Insider threat’ can manifest from malicious, complacent, negligent or unintentional acts that negatively affect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of the organization, its data, personnel, or facilities. Certainly, ‘Insider Threat’ can be an activity by a bad actor employee, but can also arise from an inadvertent or unknowing action inside an organization (such as an employee who unintentionally opens a phishing email or clicks on a malicious link).

In Cybersecurity– A Good Offense is the Best Defense

2021 has been a watershed moment for cybersecurity incidents as cybercrime has become a frequent headline and cyber criminals have thrived on unsuspecting and/or unprepared businesses and institutions. For example, the Solar Winds attack exposed sensitive data from top companies like Microsoft as well government agencies[1] and the Colonial Pipeline attack substantially disrupted the petroleum supply chain[2]. We have seen an almost 20% increase in data breaches and attacks since last year.