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Florida HB 607 - APRNs Can Now Admit, Care, Discharge Patients without Physician Oversight

Earlier this month, lawmakers in both chambers of the Florida legislature passed House Bill 607 — legislation which would allow advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs, to single-handedly admit, care for, and discharge patients from medical facilities.  This would effectively eliminate the need for physician oversight, a costly expense for independent nurse practitioners.

Proponents of House Bill 607 believe that allowing APRNs greater autonomy, as this legislation will do, has the power to fill the gap of much-needed health care services in rural Florida communities.

Although the new law will eliminate the need for an attending physician’s approval and, as such, may arguably increase the potential for treatment mishaps, the bill provides for numerous safety measures to ensure minimal complications including clear education requirements and experience thresholds for APRNs to qualify.

Under the standards, a “qualified nurse practitioner” will have at least 3,000 hours of experience under the supervision of a physician before he/she can qualify to provide services including family medicine, general pediatrics, and general internal medicine.

House Bill 307 also includes a $5 million budget for a loan repayment program for APRNs who work in primary-care health professional shortage areas or county health departments, community health centers, migrant health centers or any other publicly funded health care programs designated by the state.

The legislation, which was signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, will go into effect on July 1, 2020.

For more information, please contact Amanda Waesch at alwaesch@bmdllc.com, or any of the Healthcare & Hospital Law Practice Attorneys at BMD.

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.

Ohio Senate Bill 49 – Ohio Expands Lien Rights for Design Professionals

Effective September 30, 2021, Ohio granted limited lien rights to design professionals, including architects, landscape architects, engineers, and surveyors. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 49 into law on July 1, 2021. This new law established a statutory right to lien commercial real estate by Ohio design professionals who, until now, could not file a lien for non-payment of professional services. Senator Vernon Sykes, a primary sponsor of Senate Bill 49, stated that the “legislation ensures that architects, engineers and other designers will get paid for their work, regardless of the outcome of their projects . . . It will support hardworking Ohioans by protecting the value of their labor . . ..”

Primary Care Practice Officially Defined in Florida for APRNs Practicing Autonomously

As many providers in Florida are aware, House Bill 607 (the “Bill”), which was passed in February of last year, gives certain APRNs in Florida the ability to practice autonomously. The only catch is that they must work in primary practice. When the Bill was initially passed, there was question as to what was exactly considered primary care, absent a definition from the Florida Board of Nursing. However, as of February 25, 2021, “primary care practice” has officially been defined.

Part II of the No Surprises Act

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published Part II of the No Surprises Act on September 30, 2021, which will take effect on January 1, 2022. The new guidance, in large part, focuses on the independent dispute resolution process that was briefly mentioned in Part I of the Act. In addition, there is now guidance on good faith estimate requirements, the patient-provider dispute resolution processes, and added external review provisions.

Safer Federal Workforce Task Force - Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force has issued its Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors (Guidance). Note that the Guidance applies only to “covered contracts,” which are contracts that include the clause (Clause) set forth in Sec. 2(a) of Executive Order 14042 (Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors). The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FARC) is to conduct rulemaking and take related action to ensure that the Clause is incorporated into federal contracts. Until that happens, federal contractors likely will not see the Clause in its contracts. Following is a broad summary of the Guidance.