Welcome to the Division of Medical Quality Assurance online service portal. The portal was established to provide healthcare practitioners 24 hours a day access to the division's licensing services, including the ability to apply for a license or permit online, check the status of your application, and manage your licensure record. You can also search for approved counterfeit-proof prescription pad vendors and request certification of your Florida license.
The Division of Medical Quality Assurance online service portal provides direct access to the division's online License Verification tool, which allows users to search the Division's database by licensee name or license number. You may also search disciplinary actions, view practitioner profiles, request public records, download data, file a complaint or report unlicensed activity.
The information contained in the Public Data Portal link is for organizations or individuals who want to obtain general license information about multiple practitioners under specific board regulation.
The Department of Health, Division of Medical Quality Assurance, will now review your continuing education records in the electronic tracking system at the time of renewal. It will happen automatically when you renew your license, but it is important that you understand how this simple change will affect the way you renew your license in the future. If the practitioner’s continuing education records are complete, they will be able to renew their license without interruption. If the practitioner’s continuing education records are not complete, they will be prompted to enter their remaining continuing education hours before proceeding with their license renewal.
The screened professions listed below require background screening at initial licensure and/or renewal of licensure. Fingerprints are required to be submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement electronically. Applicants/licensees are responsible for the screening costs and should be aware that fees vary by service provider. Each of these professions work in various health settings and provide services to Florida's health consumers.
The following professions are not subject to criminal background screening at initial and/or renewal of licensure unless applying for initial licensure as the spouse of an active member of the Armed Forces of the United States, pursuant to s. 456.024, F.S. Applicants applying for licensure under s. s. 456.024, F.S., must undergo a Level II, fingerprint-based background check.
Acupuncture ORI: EDOH4500Z
Clinical Laboratory Personnel ORI: EDOH4530Z
Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling ORI: EDOH4550Z
Do you need to speak with ELI about Background Screening? Click here.
Content provided by the Florida Department of Health presented herein is for informational purposes only. The Department has not screened each individual or organization that appears on this site or that is electronically linked to this site. The appearance of an individual or organization on this site is not intended as or in any manner serves as an endorsement of that individual or organization or any products or services identified on the individual’s or organization’s site. The Department disclaims any and all warranties with regard to the Website and Website information, including without limitation (A) Any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, infringement or title, (B) Any warranty of quality, functionality, operability, use or performance of the Website or Website information, (C) Any warranty of the accuracy completeness or validity of data or information communicated through the Website or included in the Website information, (D) Any warranty of the continuous availability of the Website or Website information, or that the Website or Website information will be uninterrupted or error-free, (E) Any warranty that the Website information or other files or data available for access or downloading will be free of infection, viruses, or other code manifesting harmful, contaminating, or destructive properties, or (F) Any warranties arising from course of dealing, trade usage, trade practice or otherwise. In addition, the Department does not represent or warrant that any defects in the Website or errors in the Website information will be corrected. In addition, the department does not warrant either expressly or by implication any individual, organization, product or service appearing on this site or that is electronically linked to this site. The department strongly urges all users of this site to conduct their own investigation of any individual, organization, product or service appearing on this site or that is electronically linked to this site.
Various clipart and image collections appearing on this site are used under license by the department or its web managers for this site. These images are for viewing purposes only. Any reproduction may be prohibited under federal/state copyright or trade secret laws.
For Pharmacists and Pharmacist Interns
If you are a licensed pharmacist or pharmacist intern and need your intern hours transferred to another state, please submit a written request to:
Department of Health
Florida Board of Pharmacy
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Military Occupational Licensure Effective Date: July 1, 2022 SB 562 (Full Text)
The bill amends section 456.024, Florida Statutes eliminating provisions for temporary licensure of military spouses while establishing expedited, full licensure for an active-duty military spouse that is licensed in another state. The bill eliminates all Department licensure fees for military spouses.
Department of Health Effective Date: July 1, 2022 SB 768 (Full Text)
Section 8: Designated Health Care Professionals – Information Required for Licensure
The bill requires health care professionals licensed under chapters 458, 459, 460, or 461, Florida Statutes, to provide specified information upon initial licensure or upon license renewal including the medical school attended and coursework completed; the name of each hospital where the applicant has privileges; the address of primary practice; any certification received from a specialty board; the year the applicant began practicing; any appointment to the faculty of a medical school; relevant professional qualifications; information regarding any criminal convictions; and any final disciplinary action. The bill requires submission of proof that applicants licensed under chapters 458, 459, or chapter 461, Florida Statutes, provide proof of payment of assessments to fund the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association required under section 766.314, Florida Statutes.
Section 9: Chiropractic Medicine – Initial Licensure Requirements
The bill clarifies the minimum licensure requirements for chiropractic medicine. Due to recent changes in accreditation nomenclature at the U.S. Department of Education, all accreditation references in this section were changed from “regionally” to “institutionally” accredited college or university.
Sections 10 and 11: Nursing – Licensure by Examination
The bill removes the requirement for graduates from an approved program who have not taken the licensure examination within 6 months of graduation to complete a board-approved licensure examination preparatory course.
Sections 12-16: Midwifery
The bill clarifies the definitions for “approved midwifery program”, “preceptor”, and “prelicensure course”. The bill clarifies approved midwifery program education standards and clinical training requirements and aligns midwifery program approval standards with accreditation and licensing standards for direct entry midwifery programs. The bill also refines requirements for licensing midwives by examination and endorsement and clarifies requirements for temporary certification of midwives in areas of critical need and expanded access to midwifery care in areas of critical need by designating additional practice settings in conformance with other licensed health care professions.
Section 17: Orthotists and Prosthetists
The bill clarifies the method for the collection and processing of applicant fingerprint records for the purpose of background screening. Due to recent changes in accreditation nomenclature at the U.S. Department of Education, all accreditation references in this section were changed from “regionally” to “institutionally” accredited college or university.
Section 18: Clinical Laboratory Personnel
Due to recent changes in accreditation nomenclature at the U.S. Department of Education, all accreditation references in this section were changed from “regionally” to “institutionally” accredited college or university.
Sections 19, 20, 21: Psychology
The bill clarifies the definitions and educational requirements for psychologists applying for licensure by examination or provisional licensure. The bill defines a “doctoral degree from an APA accredited program” as a Psy.D., an Ed.D. in psychology, or a Ph.D. in psychology from a psychology program at an educational institution that, at the time the applicant was enrolled and graduated had both an institutional accreditation from an agency recognized and approved by the U.S. Department of Education or was recognized as a member in good standing with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and had programmatic accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA).
The bill further defines “doctoral degree in psychology” as a Psy.D., an Ed.D. in psychology, or a Ph.D. in psychology from a psychology program at an educational institution that, at the time the applicant was enrolled and graduated, had institutional accreditation from an agency recognized and approved by the U.S. Department of Education or was recognized as a member in good standing with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. The bill requires psychologists applying for licensure to have obtained a doctoral degree from an APA accredited program or the equivalent of a degree from an APA-accredited program from a school or university located outside the United States which was officially recognized by the government of the country in which it is located as an institution or program to train students to practice professional psychology. Provisional licensure applicants must have earned a degree from an APA accredited program.
Section 22: Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling
The bill clarifies the method for registration, payment of fees, and completion of the national examination. Due to recent changes in accreditation nomenclature at the U.S. Department of Education, all accreditation references in this section were changed from “regionally” to “institutionally” accredited college or university.
The bill creates three pathways to licensure for applicants for a marriage and family therapy license to meet the minimum educational requirements by one of the following methods:
A minimum of a master’s degree from a Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE);
A minimum of a master's degree with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from a college or university that is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); or
A minimum of a master's degree with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy or a closely related field, with a degree conferred before September 1, 2027, from an institutionally accredited college or university.
The bill also updates the education requirements for marriage and family therapists by correcting an obsolete reference to accreditation by Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation (CORPA), which was dissolved in 1997. The bill replaces the CORPA with the CHEA or its successors.
Existing statutory language requires that beginning July 1, 2025, mental health therapy licensure by examination applicants must graduate from a CACREP-accredited program. The bill adds the accrediting body, “Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council,” or other equivalent accrediting body to the list of accepted programs.
Sections 24 and 25: Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA)
The bill changes references from the “Department of Business and Professional Regulation” to the “Department of Health” as it relates to the payment of the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation by applicants and licensees. The bill makes the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association (“Association”) responsible for making all assessments required by the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan except for initial assessments of physicians licensed by the Department of Health and certain casualty insurers. The bill modifies the frequency for the Department of Health to provide the Association electronic reports of all physicians licensed under Chapters 458 and 459, Florida Statutes, to monthly. The bill authorizes the Association to file suit in circuit court to collect assessments under certain circumstances and requires the Association to notify the Department of Health and the applicable board of any unpaid final judgments against a physician within seven days after the entry of a final judgment.
Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Effective Date: July 1, 2022 HB 5 (Full Text)
The bill adds definitions of "fatal fetal abnormality" and "medical abortion," and revised the definition of “gestation” in section 390.011, Florida Statutes. The law prohibits an abortion after a gestational age of 15 weeks and provides an exception to the prohibition when a fetus has not achieved viability under section 390.01112, Florida Statutes, and two physicians certify in writing that the fetus has a fatal fetal abnormality based on reasonable medical judgment.
The bill clarifies the requirement for monthly reporting to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), on a form adopted by rule, of surgical and medical abortions by the director of a medical facility where abortions are performed. The bill also requires physicians who perform abortions outside of a medical facility to submit a monthly report to AHCA. The bill specifies that if a woman having the abortion provides evidence that she is a victim of human trafficking, this information is required to be included in the monthly report as the reason the abortion was performed. The bill also requires that the monthly report include the number of drug regimens dispensed or prescribed for a medical abortion.
The bill authorizes telehealth providers to prescribe controlled substances listed in Schedule III, Schedule IV, and Schedule V of section 893.03, Florida Statutes, without limitation. The bill also authorizes telehealth providers to prescribe controlled substances listed in Schedule II of section 893.03, Florida Statutes, when treating a psychiatric disorder, inpatient care at a hospital, a patient receiving hospice services, or a resident of a nursing home facility.
The bill added pharmacists as health care practitioners who are authorized to order and dispense an emergency opioid antagonist with an auto-injection delivery system or intranasal application delivery system for a patient or caregiver for use in accordance with section 381.887, Florida Statutes. The bill expanded the list of persons authorized to possess, store, and administer emergency opioid antagonists as clinically indicated and specified that they are immune from any civil liability or criminal liability as a result of administering an emergency opioid antagonist. In addition to existing provisions for emergency responders and crime laboratory personnel, the bill added personnel of a law enforcement agency or any other agency, while acting within the scope or course of employment, who come into contact with a controlled substance or persons at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose.
Mental Health Professional Licensure (491) Effective Date: Upon becoming law SB 566 (Full Text)
The bill amends the minimum educational requirements specified in section 491.004, Florida Statutes, for marriage and family therapy and mental health counseling licensure by examination. Marriage and family therapy applicants must graduate with a master’s degree from a Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) or a Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)accredited program or complete a master’s degree at any institutionally accredited college or university with a major emphasis in marriage and family therapy or a closely related field with a degree conferred date prior to September 1, 2027. After September 1, 2027, applicants must have graduated from a COAMFTE or CACREP accredited program.
Existing statutory language requires that beginning July 1, 2025, mental health therapy licensure by examination applicants must graduate from a CACREP-accredited program. The bill added the accrediting body, “Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council,” or other equivalent accrediting body to the list of accepted programs.
Public Records and Meetings/Professional Counselors Licensure Compact (491) Effective Date: Upon Enactment into Law HB 1523 (Full Text)
The bill provides an exemption from public records requirements for certain information held by the Department of Health or the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling pursuant to the Professional Counselors Licensure Compact. The bill creates a public meeting exemption for a meeting or a portion of a meeting of the Commission at which matters specifically exempted from disclosure by federal or state law are discussed. The bill also creates a public meeting exemption where sensitive matters listed in the statute are addressed.
Licensure Examinations for Dental Practitioners (Dentistry) Effective Date: Upon becoming law SB 926 (Full Text)
The bill authorizes dentist and dental hygienist examination candidates to demonstrate clinical skills on a manikin with typodont teeth, rather than a live patient, for licensure in Florida.
Removes medical malpractice insurance, arrangements for patients requiring follow-up care, and academic record risk reviews from dental school written plan protocols; and
Repeals the authority of the Board of Dentistry to require medical malpractice insurance from dental and dental hygienist examination applicants.
Nonemergent Patient Care (EMT/Paramedic, Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Pharmacy) Effective Date: July 1, 2022 SB 1222 (Full Text)
The bill expands the scope of Class III institutional pharmacies to authorize them to dispense, distribute, compound, and fill prescriptions for medicinal drugs for inpatient treatment to a patient receiving acute and post-acute hospital care at their residence through a program approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Agency for Health Care Administration. The bill authorizes paramedics to perform basic life support services and advanced life support services to patients receiving acute and post-acute hospital care at home under the supervision of a physician or standing orders as described in sections 401.265, 458.348, or 459.025, Florida Statutes. Physicians who supervise or provide medical direction to a paramedic are liable for any act or omission of the paramedic while acting under supervision or medical direction.
Professional Counselors Licensure Compact (491) Effective Date: July 1, 2022 HB 1521 (Full Text)
Effective upon enactment of the Professional Counselors Licensure Compact (compact) into law by 10 states, the bill enacts and authorizes Florida to join the compact.
The bill requires the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling to appoint an individual to serve on the compact Commission. Upon enactment of the compact, the bill authorizes eligible Florida licensed mental health counseling practitioners to apply for licensure to provide services to out-of-state patients through either telehealth or in-person across compact states. Likewise, out-of-state licensed professional counselors in compact states will be authorized to provide services to Florida patients through telehealth and in-person. The bill exempts out-of-state licensed practitioners who practice under the compact from the licensure requirements in this state.
Additionally, the bill requires the Department of Health to report any significant investigation information relating to mental health counselors practicing under the compact to the established data system and authorizes the Board to take adverse action against a mental health counselor’s authority to practice under the compact and impose disciplinary actions for violation of prohibited acts. The bill requires mental health counselors practicing under the compact to withdraw from all practice under the compact if the mental health counselor is in an impaired practitioner program.
The bill amends section 483.801, Florida Statutes, adding an exemption from licensure for a registered nurse performing alternate-site testing. Registered nurses who are determined by the clinical laboratory director to be qualified under 42 C.F.R. may be authorized to perform moderate-level or waiver-level clinical laboratory testing within the hospital or hospital-based off-campus emergency department with a separate federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) program clinical laboratory certification under 42 C.F.R. part 24 493.
Occupational Therapy; The bill amends the definitions of “occupational therapy” and the “practice of occupational therapy”. It creates the protected term “occupational therapist doctorate”, provides an exemption from licensure, and a registration process for individuals fulfilling an occupational therapy doctoral capstone experience.
Section 490.014(1)(b), Florida Statutes, and Section 491.014(2), Florida Statutes, were amended to add Occupational Therapy to a listing of exempted professions.
Administration of Vaccines (Pharmacy) Effective Date: July 1, 2022 HB 1209 (Full Text)
The bill authorizes a certified registered pharmacy technician to administer vaccines and immunizations to adults under the supervision of a certified pharmacist. To become certified by the Board of Pharmacy, a registered pharmacy technician must complete six hours of approved immunization-related training. As a renewal condition, an additional two hours of approved continuing education must be completed.
The bill updates the authorized immunizations or vaccines that may be administered as listed in the Adult Immunization Schedule by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommended by the CDC’s Health Information for International Travel, and those licensed or authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as of March 31, 2022.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Effective Date: July 1, 2016 Senate Bill 964 (Full Text)
Providing that certain acts of dispensing controlled substances in specified facilities are not required to be reported to the prescription drug monitoring program; authorizing the designee of a health care practitioner, pharmacist, pharmacy, prescriber, or dispenser or an impaired practitioner consultant to receive certain information from the prescription drug monitoring program.
Providing an exemption from public records requirements for the personal identifying and location information of certain non-sworn investigative personnel of the Department of Financial Services and the names and personal identifying and location information of the spouses and children of such personnel; providing an exemption from public records requirements for certain identifying and location information of current or former emergency medical technicians or paramedics certified under ch. 401, Florida Statutes, and the spouses and children of such emergency medical technicians or paramedics, under specified circumstances; providing for future review and repeal of the exemptions; providing statements of public necessity.
Licensees are required to maintain a current mailing address and a practice location with the Department. Since there is no clear distinction whether or not the mailing address may also be a home address, licensees must overtly request that their home address be exempted from public display. The burden to request this exemption is therefore solely at the discretion of the licensee or applicant.
Physical Therapy Effective Date: Upon becoming law Senate Bill 450 (Full Text)
Physical Therapy; Revising the definition of the term "practice of physical therapy"; providing that a licensed physical therapist who holds a specified doctoral degree may use specified letters in connection with her or his name or place of business; revising the terms and specified letters prohibited from being used by certain unlicensed persons.
Medical Assistant Certification Effective Date: July 1, 2016 Senate Bill 238 (Full Text)
Repealing provisions relating to certification of a medical assistant by the American Association of Medical Assistants or as a Registered Medical Assistant by the American Medical Technologists.
Requiring the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Health, and the Office of Insurance Regulation to collect certain information; creating the Telehealth Advisory Council within the agency for specified purposes; reenacting provisions relating to provider payment of managed medical assistance program participants.
Ordering of Medication Effective Date: July 1, 2016 House Bill 1241 (Full Text)
Providing that a pharmacist may dispense an emergency opioid antagonist pursuant to a non-patient-specific standing order for an autoinjection delivery system or intranasal application delivery system; revising the authority of a licensed physician assistant to order medication under the direction of a supervisory physician for a specified patient; revising the term "prescription" to exclude an order for drugs or medicinal supplies dispensed for administration; authorizing a licensed practitioner to authorize a licensed physician assistant or advanced registered nurse practitioner to order controlled substances for a specified patient under certain circumstances.
Transparency in Health Care (all health care practitioners) Effective Date: July 1, 2016 House Bill 1175 (Full Text)
During the 2016 Legislative Session, HB 1175 passed and became law on April 14, 2016, as Chapter 2016-234, Laws of Florida. Starting July 1, 2016, health care practitioners are required to provide a good faith estimate of anticipated charges to treat a condition if asked by the patient. The estimate must be provided to the patient or their proxy within 7 business days after receiving the request, however the practitioner is not required to adjust the estimate for any potential insurance coverage. Patients must contact their health insurer or health maintenance organization for any information relating to cost-sharing responsibilities.
While the estimate does not preclude actual charges from exceeding the estimate, failure to provide it within the required time without good cause will result in discipline against the practitioner. This includes a daily fine of $500 until the estimate is provided to the patient. Total fines may not exceed $5,000.
In addition, the new law states that every pharmacy must make health information disseminated by the Agency for Health Care Administration available on its website and notify customers in the store that this information is available online.
Public Records and Meetings Effective Date: December 31, 2018 or upon enactment of the Nurse Licensure Compact in to law by 26 states, whichever occurs first House Bill 1063 (Full Text)
Exempts from public records a nurse's personal identification information that DOH obtains from the nurse licensing compact coordinated licensure information system; exempts certain meetings of the Interstate Commission of Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators from public meeting requirements and provides an exemption for recordings, minutes, and records generated during the closed portion of such meetings.
Nurse Licensure Compact Effective Date: December 31, 2018 or upon enactment of the Nurse Licensure Compact in to law by 26 states, whichever occurs first House Bill 1061 (Full Text)
The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC or compact) is a multi-state agreement that establishes a mutual recognition system for the licensure of registered nurses and licensed practical or vocational nurses. Requires DOH to report certain investigative information to the coordinated licensure information system (CLIS). Requires IPN disclose certain information to DOH; requires a multistate nurse report participation in a treatment program to the DOH. Amends definition of an LPN and RN to include a multistate license. Requires the executive director of the Board of Nursing to serve as state administrator of the Nurse Licensure Compact. Establishes criteria for requesting a multistate license; requires a multistate license to be distinguished from a single-state license; exempts a person holding a multistate license in another state from license by exam or endorsement requirements in Florida.
Behavioral Health Workforce Effective Date: April 14, 2016 House Bill 977 (Full Text)
During the 2016 Legislative Session, HB 977 passed and became law on April 14th as Chapter 2016-231, Laws of Florida. The bill expands the behavioral health workforce and recognizes the critical need for psychiatric care throughout the state.
The new law allows a Psychiatric Nurse, as defined in Section 394.455, Florida Statutes, and working within the framework of an established protocol with a Psychiatrist, to prescribe psychotropic controlled substances for the treatment of mental disorders. Grounds for discipline or denial of a license for Psychiatric Nurses are described in Section 8 of the law. Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners are now authorized to seek certification as Psychiatric Nurses through the Board of Nursing. Existing ARNPs who hold this certification can add it to their license by writing the Board, along with a copy of the certification, at MQA.Nursing@FlHealth.gov. A revised protocol agreement with a supervising Psychiatrist will also be required unless the ARNP indicates he or she does not intend to prescribe controlled substances as indicated above. New applicants for ARNP certification will submit documentation as part of the initial licensure process.
In addition, the bill amends Chapter 893, Florida Statutes, by revising the term "practitioner" to include Psychiatric Nurses. The prescribing of medication on the premises of a pain-management clinic is still limited to a physician licensed under Chapter 458 or 459, Florida Statutes.
Any health care practitioner wishing to prescribe controlled substances must apply for a registration number from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Registration numbers are linked to state licenses and may be suspended or revoked upon any disciplinary action taken against a licensee. To apply for a registration number or for registration support, please visit the DEA Office of Diversion Control website at: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/index.html.
Department of Health Effective Date: July 1, 2016 House Bill 941 (Full Text)
Creating and revising reporting requirements for specified research programs; providing licensing requirements for military members and their spouses; revising provisions relating to regulatory activities of DOH and certain boards; revising education requirements for certain health professions to qualify for license renewal.
Human Trafficking Effective Date: October 1, 2016 House Bill 545 (Full Text)
Includes human trafficking as predicate offense for felony murder; prohibits permanently branding, or directing permanent branding, of victim of human trafficking; requires DOH to suspend license of massage therapist or massage establishment for specified violations in conjunction with establishment; provides that licensed massage therapist may not receive new or renewal license if applicant is convicted of certain prostitution offenses in conjunction with massage establishment; provides that licensed massage establishment may not receive new or renewal license if specified persons connected with establishment are convicted of certain prostitution offenses in conjunction with establishment; provides that minors may not be charged with specified prostitution offenses; requires person convicted of specified racketeering offenses to register as sexual predator or sexual offender; reenacts various provisions.
Access to Health Care Services Effective Date: April 14, 2016
(certain sections become effective January 1, 2017) House Bill 423 (Full Text)
Beginning January 1, 2017, Physician Assistants (PAs) and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) can prescribe controlled substances listed in Schedule II, Schedule III or Schedule IV as defined in s. 893.03 Florida Statutes. An ARNP may only prescribe or dispense a controlled substance as defined in s. 893.03 Florida Statutes if the ARNP graduated from a program with a master’s or doctoral degree in a clinical nursing specialty area with training in specialized practitioner skills. However, all ARNPs and PAs are required to complete at least three hours of continuing education on the safe and effective prescribing of controlled substances. The bill further addresses Schedule II prescribing privileges for both ARNPs and PAs.
Controlled Substances Formulary Committee:
In accordance with HB 423, the Florida Board of Nursing has established a committee to recommend a formulary of controlled substances that an ARNP may or may not prescribe for specific uses or in limited quantities. The Controlled Substances Formulary Committee must consist of three ARNPs recommended by the Board of Nursing; three physicians recommended by the Board of Medicine who are licensed under chapter 458 or 459, Florida Statutes, and have experience with ARNPs; and a pharmacist licensed under chapter 465, Florida Statutes, who holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and is recommended by the Board of Pharmacy.
Appointed members include:
Doreen Cassarino, DNP, FNP-BC, BC-ADM, FAANP from Naples (who will serve as chair of the committee)
Vicky Stone-Gale, DNP, FNP-C, MSN from Plantation
Jim Quinlan, DNP, ARNP from Williston
Bernardo B. Fernandez, Jr., MD, MBA, FACP from Coral Gables
Joshua D. Lenchus, DO, RPh, FACP, SFHM from Davie
Eduardo C. Oliveira, MD, MBA, FCCP from Orlando
Jeffrey Mesaros, PharmD, JD from Orlando
"I am confident in the committee members' ability to carefully analyze the important issues associated with implementing full prescriptive authority for ARNPs. The Board looks forward to receiving the committee's recommendations," stated Jody B. Newman, EdD, EdS, Board Chair.
The Board must adopt, by rule, the committee's initial recommendations no later than October 31, 2016.
Physician Assistants Effective Date: July 1, 2016 House Bill 375 (Full Text)
During the 2016 Legislative Session, House Bill 375 was passed and became law on March 28, 2016, as Chapter 2016-125, Laws of Florida. The bill relates to physician assistant (PA) applicants and licensees and includes the following changes to the law:
At renewal, a PA must acknowledge that he/she has completed a minimum of ten (10) hours of continuing medical education in the specialty practice in which the PA has prescriptive privileges. A signed affidavit is no longer required.
A PA may perform services delegated by the supervising physician in the PA's practice in accordance with his/her education and training unless expressly prohibited under Chapter 458, Florida Statutes, or the rules adopted by the Board of Medicine, or Chapter 459, Florida Statutes, or the rules adopted by the Board of Osteopathic Medicine.
Prescriptions may be written in paper or electronic form but must comply with sections 456.0392(1) and 456.42(1), Florida Statutes.
Changes to requirements for licensure:
No longer need two letters of recommendation
No longer required to submit a sworn, notarized statement regarding criminal history
Deletes obsolete provisions related to administering a licensure examination for certain foreign-trained PA applicants
These changes affect PA licensees who practice with allopathic physicians and osteopathic physicians.
During the 2016 Legislative Session, House Bill 373, and companion Senate Bill 12, were passed into law. These bills establish an expiration date for mental health professional intern registrations and update current statutory language. Effective July 1, 2016, the new law:
Limits the length of time an intern may practice in the fields of clinical social work, marriage and family therapy and mental health counseling. A registration issued on or before March 31, 2017, may not be renewed or reissued and will expire on March 31, 2022. Current registered interns will receive updated licenses with the new expiration date printed, beginning July 1, 2016. Any registration issued after March 31, 2017, will now expire after five years. No subsequent intern registration may be issued unless the intern has passed the theory and practice examination.
Prohibits a person who has held a provisional license issued by the board from applying for an intern registration in the same profession.
Clarifies certain supervision requirements detailed in Chapter 491, Florida Statutes. A licensed mental health professional must be on the premises when clinical services are provided by a registered intern in a private practice setting.
Medical Use of Cannabis/Low-THC Cannabis for Medical Use Effective Date: Upon becoming law House Bill 307 (Full Text) House Bill 1313 (Full Text)
HB 307 passed during the 2016 Legislative Session, and became law on March 25, 2016, as Section 381.986, Florida Statute. The new law permits Florida’s approved dispensing organizations to cultivate, process and dispense both low-THC cannabis and the higher potency medical cannabis. Physicians are also now permitted to order full potency, medical cannabis for patients suffering from a terminal condition attested to by two physicians.
The law also expanded the Department’s enforcement authority over medical cannabis regulations. The law grants the Department fining authority for non-compliance with statutory requirements for such matters as security, hygiene, packaging and storage. The law requires the Department to issue rules on appropriate pesticides for use on medical cannabis after consulting with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The law also creates a requirement for dispensing organizations to contract with a third party lab to audit dispensing organization testing protocols and to report their findings to the department.
Finally, the new law requires the Department to approve three additional dispensing organizations should the active patient population in Florida reach 250,000.
Health Care Services (all health care practitioners) Effective Date: July 1, 2016 House Bill 221 (Full Text)
Prohibits providers from balance biller members of a PPO or EPO for emergency services, or for nonemergency services, when the nonemergency services are provided in a network hospital and the patient had no ability or opportunity to choose a network provider. Consumers who have PPO or EPO coverage would therefore only be responsible for billing differences in circumstances where they knowingly opted to receive out-of-network care. Hospitals are exempt from the balance billing prohibition. Under the bill, the protections for members of HMOs would remain unchanged. Participating and non-participating providers are those defined in s. 627.419, Florida Statutes and s. 627.6471, Florida Statutes.
Medical Faculty Certificates Effective Date: July 1, 2016 House Bill 173 (Full Text)
This bill revises the list of schools at which certain faculty members are eligible to receive medical faculty certificate to include Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Florida Atlantic University.
Human Trafficking Effective Date: October 1, 2017 Senate Bill 852 (Full Text)
The bill directs the Florida Board of Nursing to require two (2) hours of continuing education on human trafficking.
The course must be completed by nursing licensees for biennial renewals on or after January 1, 2019. All nurses are required to comply, including those who qualify for the existing exemption from continuing education in the Nurse Practice Act.
Medical Use of Marijuana Effective Date: June 23, 2017 Senate Bill 8-A (Full Text)
Providing an exemption from the state tax on sales, use, and other transactions for marijuana and marijuana delivery devices used for medical purposes. Providing qualifying medical conditions for a patient to be eligible to receive marijuana or a marijuana delivery device. Providing for the establishment of medical marijuana testing laboratories. Establishing the Coalition for Medical Marijuana Research and Education within the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Inc.,
Direct Support Organization of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Effective Date: July 1, 2017 House Bill 7097 (Full Text)
Allows the Department of Health to establish a direct-support organization that has a board consisting of at least five members to provide assistance, funding, and promotional support for the activities authorized for the program. In addition, the bill provides for the future repeal of provisions relating to the organization.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Effective Date: July 1, 2017 HB5203 (Full text link)
This bill amends Section 893.055, Florida Statutes, authorizing the use of state funds for administration of the program; and deleting a requirement that implementation of the program is contingent on non-state funding.
Funds provided – directly or indirectly – by prescription drug manufacturers cannot be used to implement the program.
Physician Assistant Workforce Surveys Effective Date: June 23, 2017 HB1307 (Full text link)
Mandates that the physician assistant license renewal process include the submission of a completed workforce survey within 90 days of renewal. Physician assistants found to be delinquent will be subject to a Department of Health-issued non-disciplinary citation, to include notification that the survey be completed under threat of license renewal denial for any subsequent renewal period.
The Department of Health is required to report the data collected from such surveys to the boards biennially.
Child Welfare Effective Date: July 1, 2017 HB1121 (Full text link)
HB 1121 permits hospitals licensed under Ch. 395, F.S. and physicians' offices to release patient records to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) for investigative purposes. DCF agents or representatives can now obtain records without written permission from the patient, but only when the information will be used to investigate cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that impact children and/or vulnerable adults.
The bill also requires mental health receiving facilities to initiate an involuntary examination of a minor admitted under the Baker Act; this examination must take place within 12 hours of arrival at the facility.
Controlled Substance Prescribing Effective Date: July 1, 2017 HB557 (Full text link)
Revises requirements for reporting the dispensing of controlled substances; limits an exception to reporting requirements for certain facilities that dispense controlled substances; authorizes certain employees of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs access to certain information in the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database; and specifies when a revised reporting requirement takes effect.
Regulation of Health Care Practitioners Effective Date: June 23, 2017 HB543 (Full text link)
This bill amends various practice acts related to health professions and occupations. Its implementation, in part, entails certain measures addressing Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) protocols; the disclosure of nursing education programs’ probationary status and circumstances warranting termination; completion of a specified course in orthotics and prosthetics for licensure and licensure renewal; and requirements for certain physical therapist assistant licensure applicants.
In addition, the bill also creates Section 465.1893, Florida Statutes, initiating the following:
Authorization of a pharmacist to administer specified medication by injection under certain circumstances
Requirement of a pharmacist who administers such injections to complete a specified course
Providing of requirements for the course
Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act Effective Date: July 1, 2017 HB505 (Full text link)
The bill amends Florida’s controlled substance schedules to provide that ioflupane I 123, a radiopharmaceutical used in the diagnosis of Parkinsonian syndromes, is not a Schedule II controlled substance. Without this change, ioflupane I 123 would be a Schedule II controlled substance because it is derived from cocaine via ecgonine, both of which are Schedule II controlled substances. The bill also provides that cross-references throughout the Florida Statutes to the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act (ch. 893, F.S.), or any portion thereof, include all subsequent amendments to the act.
Health Care Practitioner Licensure Effective Date: May 31, 2017 HB229 (Full text link)
The bill amends various provisions related to Department of Health impaired practitioner programs.
Section 456.076 (9) (a), Florida Statutes, requires the referral of a practitioner to the consultant operating an impaired practitioner program if the Department receives a legally sufficient complaint alleging an impairment and no other complaint exists.
Such an impairment will not be considered grounds for discipline if the practitioner:
Acknowledges the impairment;
Becomes a participant in an impaired practitioner program and successfully completes the participant contract;
Voluntarily withdraws for practice or limits the scope of his or her practice, if required by the consultant;
Provides to the consultant, or authorizes the consultant to obtain, all records and information relating to the impairment; and
Authorizes the consultant, in the event of the practitioner’s termination from the impaired practitioner program, to report the termination to the Department and provide all information in the consultant’s possession relating to the practitioner
Medical Faculty & Medical Assistant Certification Effective Date: July 1, 2017 HB209 (Full text link)
This bill amends Section 456.013, Florida Statutes, allowing the Department of Health to process an application to obtain a temporary certificate for medical privileges – for instructional purposes – by a physician who has a unique personal identification number but no social security number.
In addition, the bill’s provisions:
Allow the holder of a medical faculty certificate to practice at a specialty-licensed children’s hospital in accordance with Chapter 395, F.S..
Extend the required annual review of certificate recipients to out-of-state medical schools and allows provision of medical care or treatment to physicians providing both in-state and out-of-state education.
Provide a requirement to earn a certified medical assistant credential and revises medical assistant qualifications.
Add John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg to the statutory list of institutions where a full-time faculty member may qualify for a medical faculty certificate.
Certificates of Nonviable Births Effective Date: July 1, 2017 HB101 (Full text link)
Cited as the Grieving Families Act. Amends Section 382.002, Florida Statutes, providing a definition of “nonviable birth.” Amends 382.008, Florida Statutes, authorizing the State Registrar of the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health to electronically receive a certificate of nonviable birth.
In addition, certain health care practitioners and facilities are authorized to electronically file a registration of nonviable birth within a specified timeframe. The Department of Health is required to issue a certificate of nonviable birth within a specified timeframe upon the request of a parent, who is to be advised that the certificate is a public record with certain information exempt from disclosure.
Health Care Facility Regulation Effective Date: July 1, 2018 Senate Bill 622 (Full Text)
Amends section 456.054, Florida Statutes, which provides that a designated facility owned or operated by a public health trust and located within the boundaries of a municipality is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the county creating the public health trust. Eliminates state licensure requirements for clinical laboratories, and requires a birth center to be federally certified and to meet specified requirements to perform certain laboratory tests.
Reporting of Adverse Incidents in Planned Out-of-Hospital Births Effective Date: Upon becoming law. Senate Bill 510 (Full Text)
Creates section 456.0495, Florida Statutes, which requires physicians, osteopathic physicians, nurse midwives, and licensed midwives who attended an attempted or completed non-hospital birth to report certain adverse incidents to the Department of Health (DOH). DOH is required to review the incident report and determine if the incident involves conduct that is subject to disciplinary action; then, if disciplinary action is necessary, DOH must refer the matter to the appropriate board, or to the department if there is no regulatory board. Requires the Department to adopt rules implementing this section and develop a form for reporting adverse incidents.
Optometry Effective Date: Upon becoming law. HB 7059 (Full Text)
Amends section 463.006, Florida Statutes, to require the Department to license an applicant for licensure and certification as an optometrist when the applicant meets specified requirements, and creates language relative to the time-period a national examination score can be accepted. Repeals language relating to the content of the licensure examination.
Nursing Effective Date: October 1, 2018 HB 1337 (Full Text)
Amends the title of an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) to Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and makes conforming changes throughout the Florida Statutes. APRNs would be licensed instead of certified. Changes the title of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) to an APRN.
Pharmacies Effective Date: July 1, 2018 HB 675 (Full Text)
Expands the eligibility for a membership seat on the Board of Pharmacy. Establishes and provides requirements for Class III institutional pharmacies and adds these pharmacies to those authorized to dispense prepackaged drug products.
Distributing Pharmaceutical Drugs and Devices Effective Date: July 1, 2018 HB 513 (Full Text)
Revises an exception to pharmacy regulations (Chapter 465, Florida Statutes) for certain manufacturers and distributers of dialysis drugs or supplies.
Donation and Transfer of Human Tissue Effective Date: July 1, 2018 HB 429 (Full Text)
Amends section 381.0421(12), Florida Statutes, to require the Department of Health to develop and publish on its website an educational pamphlet relating to certain tissue transplants. It also requires the educational pamphlet to include specified information relating to risks and benefits of human cells, tissue, and cellular and tissue-based product transplants.
Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency Effective Date: July 1, 2018 HB 351 (Full Text)
Amends section 465.0244, Florida Statutes, providing requirements for pharmacists to inform customers of certain generically equivalent drug products and whether cost sharing obligations to such customers exceed the retail price of a prescription. Creates sections 624.490, 627.64741, 627.6572 and 641.314, Florida Statutes, establishing definitions, registration and duties involving prescription benefit managers and associated contracts. Repeals section 465.1862, Florida Statutes, regarding pharmacy benefits manager contracts.
Military and Veterans Affairs Effective Date: July 1, 2018 HB 29 (Full Text)
Cited as the Don Hahnfeldt Veteran and Military Family Opportunity Act. Amends section 456.024, Florida Statutes, revising expedited licensure requirements for active duty military spouses to practice dentistry and eliminates the supervision level requirement for a temporary professional license for dentistry.
Authorizes licensing boards to recognize certain military-issued credentials earned by active duty military members and their spouses for purposes of issuing a license in a health care profession, and designates March 25th of each year as “Medal of Honor Day.”
Creates section 456.0301, Florida Statutes, requiring practitioners to complete a specified board-approved continuing education course to prescribe controlled substances. The bill defines “acute pain” and establishes prescribing guidelines and grounds for disciplinary action if not followed. It limits opioid prescriptions for the treatment of acute pain to a specified period under certain circumstances and requires health care practitioners to check the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) database prior to prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance.
Additionally, the bill requires pain management clinics with an exemption from registration under section 458.3265 or 459.0137, Florida Statutes, to register their exemption with the Department of Health with no fee, and specifies a new certificate is required if a change of address occurs.
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.
In accordance with Section 381.003, Florida Statutes, effective January 1, 2021, all health care practitioners licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, or chapter 464 in this state who administer vaccinations or causes vaccinations to be administered to children from birth through 17 years of age is required to report vaccination data to the immunization registry, Florida SHOTS, unless a parent or guardian of a child has refused to have the child included in the immunization registry by meeting the requirements identified in 381.003(e)2., F.S. In addition, practitioners who administer vaccinations or causes vaccinations to be administered to college or university students from 18 years of age through 23 years of age at a college or university student health center or clinic is required to report vaccination data to the immunization registry, Florida SHOTS, unless the student has refused to be included in the immunization registry by meeting the requirements in 381.003(e)3., F.S. Please see Section 381.003 for all statutory changes.
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.
Medical Use of Marijuana Effective Date: March 18, 2019 Senate Bill 182 (Full Text)
The law allows a qualified physician to determine that smoking is an appropriate route of administration for medical marijuana. This website addresses information regarding certifying of patients under the age of 18, availability, supply limits, consent form requirements, required documentation, and more.
Human Trafficking Effective Date: July 1, 2019 HB 851 (Full Text)
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.
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.
Health Care Effective Date: July 1, 2019 HB 843 (Full Text)
The law establishes the Dental Student Loan Repayment Program to support dentists who practice in public health programs in underserved areas and requires the Department to establish the Donated Dental Services Program to provide comprehensive dental care to certain eligible individuals.
Controlled Substances Effective Date: Upon becoming a law HB 7107 (Full Text)
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)
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.
Permit and Inspection Fees Effective Date: July 1, 2019 HB 7073 (Full Text)
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.
Prescription Drug Importation Programs Effective Date: July 1, 2019 HB 19 (Full Text)
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.
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.
Alternative Treatment Options for Veterans Effective Date: July 1, 2019 HB 501 (Full Text)
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.
Telehealth Effective Date: July 1, 2019 HB 23 (Full Text)
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.
Continuing Education for Dentists Effective Date: July 1, 2019 HB 549 (Full Text)
Amends section 466.0135, Florida Statutes, requiring a minimum of 2 hours of continuing education on prescribing of controlled substances for Dentists.
Home Medical Equipment Providers Effective Date: July 1, 2020 Senate Bill 1742 (Full Text)
The bill exempts medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, and chiropractic physicians from the requirement to be licensed as a home medical equipment provider in order to sell or rent electrostimulation medical equipment and supplies to their own patients in the course of their practice.
Emotional Support Animals Effective Date: July 1, 2020 Senate Bill 1084 (Full Text)
The bill amends Florida’s Fair Housing Act by prohibiting a housing provider, to the extent required by federal law, rule, or regulation, to deny housing to a person with a disability or a disability-related need who has an animal that is required as support. It defines emotional support animal as an animal that is not required to be trained to assist a person with a disability but, by virtue of its presence, provides support to alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.
Written documentation that reasonably supports that a person has a disability may be provided by any federal, state, or local government agency, specified health care practitioners, telehealth providers, or out-of-state practitioners who have provided in-person care or services to the tenant on at least one occasion. The bill prohibits a housing provider to request information that discloses the diagnosis or severity of a person’s disability or any medical records relating to the disability.
The bill creates a new cause for disciplinary action against a health care practitioner’s license for providing supporting information for an emotional support animal, without personal knowledge of the patient’s disability or disability-related need. It also creates the misdemeanor crime of providing false or fraudulent emotional support animal information or documentation and requires a convicted person to perform 30 hours of community service for an organization serving persons with disabilities, or another entity or organization the court determines appropriate.
Reproductive Health Effective Date: July 1, 2020 Senate Bill 698 (Full Text)
The bill requires the Department of Health (DOH), the Board of Medicine, or the Board of Osteopathic Medicine may take disciplinary action against the health care practitioner’s license if he or she intentionally transfers an embryo or reproductive material into a recipient without the recipient’s consent. Additionally, the DOH may issue an emergency order suspending the practitioner’s license if he or she is found guilty of committing the felony of reproductive battery, which is discussed below.
The bill also requires a health care practitioner, a medical student, or any other student who is receiving training as a health care practitioner to obtain the written consent of a patient or a patient’s representative before performing a pelvic exam. Written consent for the pelvic exam is not required if a court orders the exam to collect evidence or if the exam is necessary to avert a serious risk of irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the patient.
The bill creates the crime of reproductive battery. It is a third-degree felony for a health care practitioner to intentionally transfer human reproductive material into the body of a recipient or implant a human embryo of a donor, knowing that the recipient has not consented to the use of the reproductive material or embryo from that donor. If the health care practitioner is the donor of the reproductive material, the penalty is increased to a second-degree felony.
The statute of limitations for prosecuting the crime of reproductive battery does not begin to run until the date that the violation is discovered and reported to a law enforcement agency or any other governmental agency. Additionally, it is not a defense to the crime that the recipient consented to the use of an anonymous donor.
The bill prohibits a physician from performing an abortion on a minor unless the physician has received a notarized, written consent statement signed by the minor and her mother, father, or legal guardian and the physician has been presented with proof of identification and proof of parentage or guardianship by the parent or legal guardian. However, the consent requirement does not apply if:
Notice is not required under specified exceptions to the parental notice requirement;
The abortion is performed during a medical emergency when there is insufficient time to obtain consent;
The parent or guardian has waived the right to consent; or
The minor petitions the circuit court where she resides and receives a judicial waiver of parental consent.
The bill also authorizes a third-degree felony penalty for a physician who recklessly or intentionally performs, or attempts to perform, an abortion on an unemancipated minor without the required consent. The bill also increases the penalty for violating requirements established for infants born alive in section 390.0111(12), Florida Statutes, from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.
This bill requires an athletic trainer to work within his or her scope of practice as defined by the Board of Athletic Training and revises the educational and internship requirements for licensure.
Licensure Requirement for Osteopathic Physicians Effective Date: Upon becoming a law (not signed yet) Senate Bill 218 (Full Text)
The bill revises section 459.0055(1)(l), Florida Statutes, to update the organizations which accredit residency programs for Osteopathic Physicians, allowing applicants who completed programs accredited by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to be licensed.
Health Access Dental Licenses Effective Date: Upon becoming a law HB 1461 (Full Text)
This bill reestablishes the licensure, renewal, and revocation of health access dental licenses.
Deregulation of Professions and Occupations Effective Date: July 1, 2020 HB 1193 (Full Text)
The bill amends section 468.505, Florida Statutes, providing that certain unlicensed persons are not prohibited or restricted from his or her practice, services, or activities in dietetics and nutrition under certain circumstances.
The bill revises the requirements for certain health care practitioners providing an opioid drug listed as a Schedule II controlled substance to inform the patient about possible nonopioid alternatives, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of nonopioid alternatives, and provide the pamphlet as required in section 456.44, Florida Statutes by:
Requiring that the pamphlet provided to the patient be printed;
Authorizing a health care practitioner to discuss non-opioid alternatives with, and provide the pamphlet to, the patient’s representative rather than the patient;
Specifying that only those health care practitioners ordering or prescribing or providing care that requires the administration of anesthesia using an opioid must meet the requirements and removing the requirement to address non-opioid alternatives when a drug is dispensed or administered; and
Exempting health care practitioners providing hospice services and providing care in a hospital critical care unit or emergency department from the requirement to discuss non-opioid alternatives with a patient or the patient’s representative and provide a printed copy of the pamphlet.
Department of Health Effective Date: July 1, 2020 HB 713 (Full Text)
The bill amends numerous practice acts to streamline regulation and increase efficiency. The bill makes numerous updates and changes to programs and health care professions regulated under the boards and Department of Health (DOH):
The bill grants rulemaking authority to DOH for responsibilities relating to maximizing the use of existing programs and coordinating stakeholders and resources to develop a state strategic plan, including the process of selecting physicians under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program, and to encourage qualified physicians to relocate to Florida and practice in medically underserved and rural areas;
Requires an applicant for a health care professional license to provide his or her date of birth on the application;
Revises the DOH’s health care practitioner licensing provisions to permit the DOH to issue a temporary license, that expires in 60 days instead of 30 days, to a non-resident or non-citizen physician who has accepted a residency, internship, or fellowship in Florida and has not yet received a social security number;
Creates an exception to the 15-percent cap for self-referral for diagnostic imaging services normally imposed on solo or group practice settings for group practice entities that own an accountable care organization or an entity operating under an advanced alternative payment model, according to federal regulations, if such entity provides diagnostic imaging services and has more than 30,000 patients enrolled per year;
Repeals a health care practitioner’s failure to repay student loans as grounds for discipline by the DOH;
Authorizes the DOH to issue medical faculty certificates to certain full-time faculty members of Nova Southeastern University and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine;
Repeals the requirement that the Board of Medicine (BOM) conduct a triennial review of organizations that board-certify physicians in dermatology;
Revises the composition of the Council on Physician Assistants, under the BOM, from four physicians and one physician assistant, to two physicians and three physician assistants;
Revises the requirements for osteopathic internships and residencies to include those accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education;
Deregulates registered chiropractic assistants;
Effective upon the bill becoming a law, allows a nursing education program seeking accreditation to apply to the Board of Nursing (BON) for a single extension of not more than two years if the program meets specific criteria and grants the BON rulemaking authority on criteria to qualify for the extension;
Grants rulemaking authority to the BON to establish standards of practice, including discipline, for certified nursing assistants (CNA);
Recognizes CNA certification in a U.S. territory or the District of Columbia for certification in Florida and eliminates the element of intent for violations of the practice act by CNAs;
Defines the supplemental general dentistry education required for dental licensure applicants who have not graduated from a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation to exclude education in an advanced dental specialty;
Repeals the requirement that dental and dental hygienist licensure examinations must be graded by Florida-licensed dentists and dental hygienists;
Effective upon the bill becoming a law and applying retroactively to January 1, 2020, revives, reenacts, and amends statutory provisions relating to health access dental licenses, notwithstanding their sunset on January 1, 2020;
Requires dentists and dental hygienists to report adverse incidents to the Board of Dentistry (BOD) and gives the BOD rulemaking authority;
Authorizes an employee or independent contractor of a dental laboratory to engage in onsite consultation with a licensed dentist during a dental procedure and requires a dental laboratory to be inspected at least biennially;
Requires an athletic trainer to work within his or her scope of practice as defined by the Board of Athletic Training and revises the educational and internship requirements for licensure;
Requires the DOH to issue a single prosthetist-orthotist license to qualified applicants and establishes the educational requirements for duel registration;
Revises massage therapy licensure requirements to:
Repeal Board of Massage Therapy (BMT) departmental examinations and require a BMT-specified national examination;
Eliminate massage apprenticeships as a path to licensure by 2023; and
Revise the definition of a massage therapy “apprentice” to include only those persons approved by the BMT to study colonic irrigation under a licensed massage therapist;
Updates the name of the accreditation body for psychology programs and revises the requirements for psychology licensure;
Limits the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Mental Health Counseling to the issuance of only one additional internship registration;
Revises the education, clinical, and licensure requirements for marriage and family therapists and licensed mental health counselors, including updating the program accrediting agencies;
Direct Care Workers and Autonomous APRNs Effective Date: Upon Becoming a Law (March 11,2020) and July 1, 2020 HB 607 (Full Text)
The Board of Nursing voted to initiate rulemaking on various aspects of HB 607 during its meetings on June 5, 2020. You can access the minutes of the full board and long-range policy planning discussions from the “meetings” link on the Board website.
The registration application for autonomous APRNs will be available after it has been adopted by rule, which is anticipated to take approximately 90 days. The Board voted to approve the application and move forward with rulemaking at its June 5th meeting. The Board also voted to define “primary care practice” to include “health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counselling, patient education, and diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of healthcare settings”. This definition will also move through the rulemaking adoption process prior to becoming effective.
The Board determined that an equivalency to the required graduate level coursework required for registration would be 45 CE hours in each of the required subject areas. These hours must be offered by a Board-approved provider or a national organization empowered to accredit nursing CE. The courses must have been taken within the 5 years preceding the registration application. Submitted courses must have documentation of differential diagnosis and pharmacology in the course description and objectives.
Appointments to the Council on APRN Autonomous Practice will be finalized by the end of June 2020 and then a meeting of the Council will be scheduled and announced. The Council is charged with developing “standards of practice” to recommend to the Board for adoption by rule.
Additional discussions on HB 607 will take place during the Board’s August 6-7, 2020, meeting.
Governor DeSantis signed HB 607 into law on March 11, 2020.
Separate portions of HB 607, now referred to as Chapter 2020-9, Laws of Florida, impact Board of Nursing licensees. Please see below for highlights of the new legislation:
Sections 12-14 – went into effect on 3/11/20
An authorized RN may delegate tasks to CNAs or home health aides if the RN determines that the CNA or home health aide is competent to perform these tasks, that the tasks are delegable under applicable Federal law, and the tasks meet certain criteria designated in the law. The RN is not authorized to delegate the administration of Schedule II-IV controlled substances. The Board is directed to adopt rules implementing the new law in consultation with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). We anticipate the rulemaking will commence following the Board’s June 2020 meeting.
Training coursework is required in order for a CNA to administer medication under an RN’s delegation. CNAs will also be required to have 2 hours of in-service training in medication administration and medical error prevention on a yearly basis.
The Board, along with AHCA, will also create standards and procedures for CNAs to follow when administering medication in a home health setting.
Sections 22-26 – go into effect on 7/1/20
APRNs will have an opportunity to register for autonomous practice, which will remove the requirement to provide patient care within the framework of an established protocol with a supervising physician or dentist. Registration eligibility requirements are established in the legislation and include: no discipline within 5 years of applying for the registration; completion of 3,000 clinical practice hours as an APRN under the supervision of physician within the 5 years immediately preceding the registration request; and, within the past 5 years, completion of graduate-level semester hours, or the equivalent, in differential diagnosis and pharmacology (3 hours in each subject). The registration application will be available after July 1, 2020.
Financial responsibility requirements are established in the new law for APRN autonomous practice. Practice requirements are also in the legislation and will be interpreted by the Board during its June 2020 meeting as part of the implementation of the bill.
A Council on APRN Autonomous Practice is created within the Department of Health and will recommend standards of practice to the Board.
Additional continuing education (CE) requirements are put in place for autonomous practice. Ten hours of CE, approved by the Board, must be completed at each renewal in addition to completing the 30 hours of CE already in place, even if the APRN is exempt from existing CE requirements due to his or her national certification.
Autonomous APRNs must also now report adverse incidents as outlined in the legislation and additional disciplinary actions are added to the Nurse Practice Act.
Updates on the implementation of this law will be added to the website.
The bill revises requirements and responsibilities of a consultant pharmacist by authorizing a consultant pharmacist to enter into a written collaborative practice agreement to provide medication management services with a health care facility medical director or Florida-licensed allopathic physician, osteopathic physician, podiatric physician, or dentist to:
Order and evaluate laboratory and clinical testing;
Conduct patient assessments;
Administer medications; and
Modify or discontinue medicinal drugs pursuant to a patient-specific order or treatment protocol.
A consultant pharmacist may only provide services to the patients of the health care practitioner with whom the consultant pharmacist has a written collaborative practice agreement. The bill requires both the consultant pharmacist and health care practitioner to maintain a copy of the collaborative agreement and make it available upon request or during an inspection. The bill also requires the consultant pharmacist to maintain all drug, patient care, and quality assurance records.
The bill authorizes a consultant pharmacist to provide services to patients in an ambulatory surgical center, hospital, alcohol or chemical dependency treatment center, inpatient hospice, or ambulatory care center, in addition to those authorized in current law (nursing home and home health agency patients). The bill clarifies that a consultant pharmacist is not authorized to diagnose any disease or condition, and authorizes the Board of Pharmacy to establish additional education requirements for licensure as a consultant pharmacist.
The bill also authorizes a pharmacist to make recommendations regarding the patient’s health care status with the patient’s prescribing health care practitioner or others specifically authorized by the patient.
Institutional Formularies Established by Nursing Home Facilities Effective Date: July 1, 2020 HB 559 (Full Text)
The bill authorizes a nursing home to establish an institutional formulary by which a pharmacist may use therapeutic substitution, without obtaining a new prescription, to replace a resident’s prescribed drug with a chemically different drug listed in the formulary that is expected to have the same clinical effect.
The bill requires a nursing home to obtain a prescriber’s authorization to use an institutional formulary for each of the prescriber’s patients in the nursing home and allows a prescriber to opt out of the institutional formulary for a specific drug or a class of drugs. The nursing home must notify the prescriber prior to each therapeutic substitution and document the resident’s medical record when a substitution occurs. The bill requires a nursing home to obtain informed consent from a resident or a resident’s representative to use the institutional formulary for the resident.
The bill prohibits a nursing home from taking adverse action against a prescriber or resident who refuses to use the institutional formulary.
Physical Therapy Practice Effective Date: July 1, 2020 HB 467 (Full Text)
This bill modernizes the definitions of “physical therapy assessment” and the “practice of physical therapy” to reflect current practice and authorizes the Board of Physical Therapy Practice to adopt rules related to the standards of practice for physical therapists (PT) to perform dry needling. The bill establishes minimum experience, education, and training requirements for PTs who perform dry needling.
Practice of Pharmacy Effective Date: July 1, 2020 HB 389 (Full Text)
The bill authorizes a pharmacist to enter into a collaborative pharmacy practice agreement (CPPA) with a physician to manage chronic health conditions if the pharmacist meets certain qualifications. A CPPA must meet certain terms and specify the health conditions, treatments, and tests governed by the CPPA. The bill prohibits a collaborating pharmacist from modifying or discontinuing any medication that is prescribed by a health care practitioner with whom he or she does not enter into a CPPA and from initiating or prescribing a controlled substance.
The bill authorizes a pharmacist, who meets certain qualifications, to test or screen for and treat minor, nonchronic health conditions within the framework of a written protocol with a supervising physician. The conditions are limited to influenza, streptococcus, lice, skin conditions, and minor, uncomplicated infections. The protocol must specify the patients that may be seen, instructions for obtaining a patient’s medical history, instructions for treatment, and a process and schedule for the pharmacist to provide patient information to the supervising physician and the supervising physician to review the pharmacist’s actions under the protocol.
The bill requires the Board of Pharmacy to adopt, by rule, a formulary of medicinal drugs that an authorized pharmacist may prescribe to treat minor, non-chronic health conditions. A pharmacist may not prescribe any controlled substance; however, the Board-developed formulary may include any non-controlled substance, including those that typically need a prescription to dispense, such as antibiotics, and over-the-counter medications. The bill authorizes a pharmacist to use certain laboratory or clinical tests, as well as any established screening procedures for which no test is available.
A pharmacy in which a pharmacist provides services for minor, non-chronic health conditions must prominently display a sign advising a patient receiving such services to seek follow-up care from a physician. The Board of Pharmacy shall adopt guidelines for the circumstances under which the information required under this subsection shall be provided.
Keep Our Graduates Working Act Effective Date: July 1, 2020 HB 115 (Full Text)
The bill prohibits the Department of Health (DOH) from denying the issuance of, refusing to renew, suspending, or revoking a professional license based solely on the licensee being delinquent on a payment of or defaulting on his or her student loans. The bill removes the specific provision allowing DOH to discipline a health care practitioner for failing to repay a student loan and the associated mandatory discipline. The bill repeals the requirement that DOH must issue an emergency order suspending a health care practitioner’s license for a student loan default, absent timely proof of a new repayment plan. Additionally, the bill repeals the requirement that DOH must obtain a monthly list from the United States Health and Human Services (USHHS) of the health care practitioners who have defaulted on their student loans.
Health Care for Children Effective Date: July 1, 2020 HB 81 (Full Text)
The bill creates section 456.0496, Florida Statutes, requiring certain health care practitioners to ensure that the informational pamphlet on the screening for, and treatment of, preventable infant and childhood eye and vision disorders is provided to parents after a planned out-of-hospital birth.
Automated Pharmacy Systems Effective Date: July 1, 2020 HB 59 (Full Text)
The bill expands current law to authorize a community pharmacy to provide outpatient dispensing through the use of an automated pharmacy system. The bill establishes criteria for such systems and a community pharmacy’s responsibilities when employing such a system.
Health Care Practitioner Discipline Effective Date: July 1, 2021 Senate Bill 1934 (Full Text)
The bill requires certain offenses be included in grounds for discipline for health care practitioners. It requires the Department of Health to issue an Emergency Order suspending the license of any health care practitioner who is arrested for committing or attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit any act that would constitute a violation of certain offenses in this state or similar offenses in another jurisdiction.
The bill creates a licensed and regulated profession, genetic counseling, within the Department of Health, Division of Medical Quality Assurance, in part III of chapter 483, Florida Statutes, and authorizes the new practice act to be cited as the “Genetic Counseling Workforce Act.”
The bill provides
Legislative intent and findings to establish a new profession;
Definitions for genetic counselor;
Scope of practice for genetic counseling;
Requirements for initial licensure, renewal, and continuing education;
Grounds for disciplinary action and penalties; and
Exemptions from genetic counseling regulation for:
Commissioned medical officers of the United States Armed Forces or Public Health Service while on active duty; and
Health care practitioners as defined in section 456.001, Florida Statutes, other than genetic counselors, who are practicing within the scope of their education, training, and licensure.
The bill also amends sections 456.001 and 20.43, Florida Statutes, to include genetic counselors in the definition of a health care practitioner.
Administration of Vaccines Effective Date: July 1, 2021 Senate Bill 768 (Full Text)
The bill authorizes certified pharmacists and registered pharmacy interns under the supervision of a pharmacist to administer immunizations or vaccines as of April 30, 2021, as listed in the Adult Immunization Schedule by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommended by the CDC for International Travel or licensed for use in the United States, or authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The bill also authorizes certified pharmacists to administer influenza vaccines to individuals seven years of age or older through an established protocol with a supervising physician.
Consent for Pelvic Examinations Effective Date: July 1, 2021 Senate Bill 716 (Full Text)
The bill amends section 456.51, Florida Statutes, relating to informed consent for pelvic examinations. The bill excludes visual assessment, imaging, and diagnostic medical or surgical procedures from the definition of pelvic examination, requires informed verbal consent of conscious patients in addition to written consent, prescribes those circumstances when consent is not required, and limits the need for informed consent to the initial pelvic examination of a pregnant woman under certain circumstances.
Nonopioid Alternatives Effective Date: July 1, 2021 Senate Bill 530 (Full Text)
The bill allows prescribing health care practitioners, who are required to provide information about nonopioid alternatives, to provide health care patients (or their representatives under certain circumstances) the required educational pamphlet electronically in lieu of providing a printed copy.
Dispensing Medicinal Drugs Effective Date: July 1, 2021 Senate Bill 262 (Full Text)
The bill authorizes medicinal drugs to be dispensed by a hospital that operates a Class II or Class Ill institutional pharmacy to any inpatient upon discharge or patient discharged from an emergency department if the prescribing practitioner determines that the medicinal drug is warranted and community pharmacy services are not readily accessible to the patient. The drug may be dispensed up to a 48-hour supply or through the end of the next business day.
During a declared state of emergency, a 72-hour supply may be dispensed by a hospital located in an area affected by the emergency.
Practice of Physician Assistants Effective Date: July 1, 2021 HB 431 (Full Text)
The bill amends sections 458.347 and 459.022, Florida Statutes, regarding the practice of physician assistants (PAs) under the supervision of allopathic and osteopathic physicians.
Increases the number of PAs a physician may supervise from four to 10;
Removes the requirement that a PA notify a patient of the right to see a physician prior to the PA prescribing or dispensing a prescription;
Authorizes a PA to procure medications and medical devices, with exceptions;
Repeals authorization for the Department of Health (Department) to issue prescriber numbers to PAs and eliminates the need for PA prescriber numbers on prescriptions;
Authorizes a PA under the supervision of certain practitioners to prescribe up to a 14-day supply of Schedule II psychotropic drugs to a minors;
Except for a physician certification, authorizes a PA to authenticate any document if the document may also be so authenticated by a physician;
Authorizes a PA to supervise medical assistants;
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;
Removes the requirement that PA licensure applicants seeking prescribing authority provide course transcripts; and
Removes the requirement for a licensed PA to notify the Department in writing within 30 days of employment or after any change in supervising physician.
The bill expands the scope of practice for massage therapy by requiring a massage therapist to perform an assessment to determine the course of massage therapy treatment. The bill also makes conforming changes to statutory citations and terminology throughout the statutes.
Parents’ Bill of Rights Effective Date: July 1, 2021 HB 241 (Full Text)
The bill creates the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” which states that licensed health care providers and facilities cannot provide services, prescribe medicine, or perform any procedure without first obtaining written parental consent unless otherwise authorized by law.
The bill requires a health care practitioner, or his or her employees, to obtain parental consent before performing health care services on a minor child and subjects health care practitioners and health care facilities to disciplinary action for violation of these parental consent requirements in certain instances. The bill includes criminal penalties as well as providing grounds for disciplinary action.
Podiatric Medicine Effective Date: July 1, 2021 HB 17 (Full Text)
The bill authorizes the supervision of medical assistants by podiatric physicians and specifies governance by section 458.3485, Florida Statutes.
The bill authorizes the Board of Podiatric Medicine to require podiatric physicians to complete an approved two-hour continuing education course on safe and effective prescribing of controlled substances as a part of the 40 hours of continuing professional education required for biennial licensure renewal.
The bill amended section 624.27, Florida Statutes, to authorize podiatric physicians to enter into a direct care agreement with patients.
Scheduling of Drug Products Containing Cannabidiol Effective Date: July 1, 2021 HB 6095 (Full Text)
This bill amends section 893.03(5), Florida Statutes, removing Epidiolex as a Schedule V controlled substance, mirroring the federal Controlled Substance Act, and makes conforming changes to the definition of cannabis in section 893.02(3), Florida Statutes.
The Florida Department of Health has changed the license renewal process. You are now required to report your continuing education/continuing medical education (CE/CME) course completions prior to license renewal.