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Changes to Physician Assistant Statutes in Florida

Client Alert

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.


The Ohio State University Launches Its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

In response to Ohio’s nursing shortage, The Ohio State University College of Nursing is accepting applications for its new Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (aBSN). Created for students with a bachelor’s degree in non-nursing fields, the aBSN allows such students to obtain their nursing degree within 18 months. All aBSN students will participate in high-quality coursework and gain valuable clinical experience. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to take the State Board, National Council of Licensure Exam for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN).

Another Transparency Obligation: The FinCEN Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements

Many physician practices and healthcare businesses are facing a new set of federal transparency requirements that require action now. The U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements (the “Rule”), which was promulgated pursuant to the 2021 bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act, is intended to help curb illegal finance and other impermissible activity in the United States.

“In for a Penny, in for a Pound” is No Longer the Case for Florida Lawyers

On April 1, 2024, newly adopted Rule 1.041 to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedures goes into effect which creates a procedure for an attorney to appear in a limited manner in civil proceedings.  Currently, when a Florida attorney appears in a civil proceeding, he or she is reasonable for handling all aspects of the case for their client.  This new rule authorizes an attorney to file a notice limiting the attorney’s appearance to particular proceedings or specified matters prior to any appearance before the court.  For example, an attorney can now appear for the limited purpose of filing and arguing a motion to dismiss.  Once the motion to dismiss is heard by the court, the attorney may file a notice of termination of limited appearance and will have no further obligations in the case.

Enhancing Privacy Protections for Substance Use Disorder Patient Records

On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) finalized updated rules to 42 CFR Part 2 (“Part 2”) for the protection of Substance Use Disorder (“SUD”) patient records. The updated rules reflect the requirement that the Part 2 rules be more closely aligned with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) privacy, breach notification, and enforcement rules as mandated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020.

Columbus, Ohio Ordinance Prohibits Employers from Inquiries into an Applicant’s Salary History

Effective March 1, 2024, Columbus employers are prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history. Specifically, the ordinance provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice to: