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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.

New York, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Delaware Become the latest States to Adopt Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners

While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly created many obstacles and hardships, it also created many opportunities to try doing things differently. This can be seen in the instant rise of remote work opportunities, telehealth visits, and virtual meetings. Many States took the challenges of the pandemic and turned them into an opportunity to adjust the regulations governing licensed professionals, including for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).

Explosive Growth in Pot of Gold Opportunity for Bank (and Other) Cannabis Lenders Driving Erosion of the Barriers

Our original article on bank lending to the cannabis industry anticipated that the convergence of interest between banks and the cannabis industry would draw more and larger banks to the industry. Banks were awash in liquidity with limited deployment options, while bankable cannabis businesses had rapidly growing needs for more and lower cost credit. Since then, the pot of gold opportunity for banks to lend into the cannabis industry has grown exponentially due to a combination of market constraints on equity causing a dramatic shift to debt and the ever-increasing capital needs of one of the country’s fastest growing industries. At the same time, hurdles to entry of new banks are being systematically cleared as the yellow brick road to the cannabis industry’s access to the financial markets is being paved, brick by brick, by the progressively increasing number and size of banks that are now entering the market.

2021 EEOC Charge Statistics: Retaliation & Impact of Remote Work

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its detailed information on workplace discrimination charges it received in 2021. Unsurprisingly, for the second year in a row, the total number of charges decreased as COVID-19 either shut down workplaces or disconnected employees from each other. In 2021, the agency received a total of approximately 61,000 workplace discrimination charges - the fewest in 25 years by a wide margin. For reference, the agency received over 67,000 charges in 2020, and averaged almost 90,000 charges per year over the previous 10 years.

Ohio’s Managed Care Overhaul Delayed – New Implementation Timeline

At the direction of Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) launched the Medicaid Managed Care Procurement process in 2019. ODM’s stated vision for the procurement was to focus on people and not just the business of managed care. This is the first structural change to Ohio’s managed care system since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) approval of Ohio’s Medicaid program in 2005. Initially, all of the new managed care programs were supposed to be implemented starting on July 1, 2022. However, ODM Director Maureen Corcoran recently confirmed that this date will be pushed back for several managed care-related programs.

Laboratory Specimen Collection Arrangements with Contract Hospitals - OIG Advisory Opinion 22-09

On April 28, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) published an Advisory Opinion[1] in which it evaluated a proposed arrangement where a network of clinical laboratories (the “Requestor”) would compensate hospitals (each a “Contract Hospital”) for specimen collection, processing, and handling services (“Collection Services”) for laboratory tests furnished by the Requestor (the “Proposed Arrangement”). The OIG concluded that the Proposed Arrangement would generate prohibited remuneration under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) if the requisite intent were present. This is due to both the possibility that the proposed per-patient-encounter fee would be used to induce or reward referrals to Requestor and the associated risk of improperly steering patients to Requestor.