July 25, 2019
The 2019 session was an active one for the Florida Legislature. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know that affects your practice.
HB 19: Prescription Drug Importation Programs
Two new programs were created to establish a safe method of importing Rx drugs into the state. First, the Canadian Importation Program requires AHCA to contract with a vendor to identify compliant Canadian suppliers who have agreed to export particular drugs at prices that will save the state money. Among the excluded classes of drugs are controlled substances; biological products; infused drugs; IV drugs; inhalants; and parenterals.
The International Prescription Drug Importation Program requires foreign pharmacies to maintain active licenses in their home countries and to apply for an international export pharmacy permit. Both programs include bond requirements and are contingent upon federal approval. Fees are set under new section 465.0157(4).
HB 451: Nonopioid Alternatives
DOH will be required to create and host on its website a pamphlet providing information on alternatives to opioids for the management of pain, including the pros and cons of those alternatives. Additionally, you must now inform your patients before administering anesthesia or opioids (except in emergency situations) that opioid alternatives are available and must discuss the pros and cons with them, including their personal risk factors, and hand them a copy of the pamphlet. When that pamphlet is available, we’ll post an update here.
HB 851: Human Trafficking
If you hold your license under Florida Statutes chapter 457, 458, 459, 460, 461, 463, 465, 466, parts of 468, 480, or 486, you must now take a 1-hour continuing ed course on human trafficking.
If you are a massage therapist and own a clinic or establishment, you must appoint a manager to be responsible for compliance. DOH must now deny establishment licensing if the owner or manager has been convicted of a prostitution-related offense. There are a few other requirements relating specifically to massage therapists, so check it out here.
SB 182: Medical Marijuana
This bill contains a lot of important information; call us if you certify patients in your practice and need more detailed information. Perhaps most importantly, the term “medical use” now includes smoking. However, there are restrictions on where it can be smoked, and the consent form must include reference to the negative health risks of smoking marijuana. You are limited in the amount you can certify (no more than three 70-day supply limits or six 35-day supply limits in smokable form). You can request an exception if warranted.
SB 732: Surgery Centers
DOH must issue ESOs (emergency suspension or restriction orders) if probable cause is found that an office or physician is not compliant with office-surgery standards. With regard to liposuction, you must register your office if you conduct procedures in which more than 1,000 cc’s of supernatant fat is removed.
SB 1418: Mental Health
Mental health providers, listen up: If a patient communicates to you a specific threat to cause serious bodily injury or death to someone, and if you reasonably believe (or should reasonably believe) that the patient has the apparent intent and ability to carry out that threat, your clinical records must be released to the extent necessary to give law enforcement sufficient information to take action.