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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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2012 Legislation

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HB 171 - Osteopathic Physicians; Applicants seeking licensure who have not practiced for two years and it has been more than two years since completion of a resident internship, residency, or fellowship will have their application reviewed by the Board prior to licensure.  The Board will have the authority to deny or place conditions on the license.

HB 309 - Radiological Personnel; This bill adds a new type of radiological personnel certification called a "specialty technologist" and allows the Department of Health (DOH) to certify a radiologic technologist who holds an advanced, post-primary or specialty license from a department-recognized, national, radiologic technology organization.

HB 363 - Physician Assistants; This bill removes the requirement that a physician assistant apply for and obtain an additional license authorizing him or her to prescribe medication.  The bill authorizes DOH to issue to a physician assistant a prescriber number at initial licensure if the physician assistant provides course transcript and copy of course description for education in pharmacotherapy.

HB 413 - Chiropractic Medicine; Revises requirements for obtaining a chiropractic medicine faculty certificate, adds language regarding the denial of approval for continuing education courses, addresses the retention of patient funds, deletes a requirement for a qualifying chiropractic physician’s assistant course to exceed 24 months, and corrects an oversight to add Part IV and the physiotherapy examination to the educational licensure requirements for a chiropractor. The bill also clarifies the exceptions to proprietorship of a chiropractic practice by persons other than licensed chiropractic physicians. More information…

HB 479 - Pharmacy/Animal Control; This bill requires the Board of Pharmacy to adopt rules to increase the number of controlled substances and legend drugs available to euthanize injured, sick, or abandoned domestic animals or to chemically immobilize such animals; providing that only certain persons are authorized to possess and use these drugs while acting within the scope of their employment.  This bill also restricts the use on intracardial injection to an unconscious animal and prohibits delivery of a lethal solution or powder by adding it to food. This bill also requires that an animal control officer, a wildlife officer, and an animal disease diagnostic laboratory report knowledge of any animal bite, any diagnosis or suspicion of a clustering of animals having similar disease or any symptoms of syndrome that may indicate the presence of a threat to humans.

HB 509 - Pharmacy; Revises types of vaccines that pharmacists may administer; authorizes pharmacists to administer vaccine or epinephrine auto injection within framework of established protocol (s. 465.189, F.S.); revises continuing professional pharmaceutical educational requirements with respect to administering such vaccines or auto injection (s. 465.009, F.S.).

HB 653 - Health Care Fraud; Revises grounds under which DOH or corresponding board is required to refuse to admit candidate to examination & refuse to issue or renew license, certificate, or registration of health care practitioner (s. 456.0635, F.S.); provides exception; provides that all persons who were denied renewal of licensure, certification, or registration under s. 456.0635(3), F.S., may regain licensure, certification, or registration only by completing application process for initial licensure; provides exception (s. 456.036, F.S.).

HB 787 - Health Care Facilities; Adds into chapter 456, F.S., certain exemptions from standards of practice for the prescribing of controlled substances for the treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain. It would also make some technical changes and clarify certain terms through definitions added. The practice acts for medical doctors (ch. 458, F.S.) and osteopaths (ch. 459, F.S.) are amended to clarify certain pain clinic-related definitions and to exempt from registration as a pain clinic certain clinics wholly owned by board-approved specialists or by physicians who have received specified board-approved training. The bill would also expand the educational requirements for nursing home licensure examination from a major in health care administration to include a major in health services administration or some other major which is equivalent to either of those two majors.

HB 799 - Physical Therapy; Authorizes issuance of temporary permit to practice as physical therapist or physical therapist assistant; provides requirements for issuing temporary permit; provides for voiding of temporary permit; provides requirements for supervision of temporary permittees. 

HB 943 - Background Screening; Revises background screening requirements for persons working with vulnerable populations; creates the Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse under AHCA which provides for specified agencies to share results of criminal history checks; creates s. 456.0135, F.S. which allows DOH to retain fingerprints for those professions already required to undergo a criminal history check at initial licensure under chapters 458, 459, 460, 461, 464 and 465.022, F.S., and for applicants to bear those costs; adds DOH to the list of agencies who receive sealed and expunged criminal history information; the Board of Nursing is required to waive additional background screenings requirements for certified nursing assistants who have successfully completed the required screening pursuant to s. 400.215 or s. 408.809, F.S., within 90 days before applying for a certificate.

HB 1263 - Department of Health; Revises the purpose of the department; eliminates the Officer of Women's Health Strategy; revises divisions within the department; amends s. 20.435, F.S.; requiring the Department of Health to be responsible for the state public health system;  revising  duties and powers of the department; revising provisions relating to the department's responsibility for communicable disease prevention and control programs; clarifying the purposes and functions of the Children's Medical Services program; removing authority of the department to operate a licensed hospital to treat tuberculosis patients; requiring the department to develop a transition plan for the closure of A.G. Holley State Hospital; amends ss. 458.309 and 459.005, F.S.; requiring that a physician or osteopathic physician  who performs certain medical procedures in an office  setting register the office with the Department of  Health unless that office is licensed as a facility  under ch. 395, F.S., amends s. 462.19, F.S., relating to the renewal of licenses for  practitioners of naturopathy; requiring the Board of Nursing to deny a program application for new pre-licensure nursing education  program while the existing program is on probationary  status; revising the certification  requirements for certified nursing assistants; amends s. 1009.66, F.S.; reassigning responsibility for the Nursing Student Loan  Forgiveness Program from the Department of Health to the Department of Education; amends s. 1009.67, F.S.; reassigning responsibility for the nursing  scholarship program from the Department of Health to the Department of Education; requires the Division of Medical Quality Assurance to create a plan to improve efficiency of the function of the division.

HB 4163 - Repeals provisions relating to requirement for athletic trainers & massage therapists to complete continuing education on modes of transmission, infection control procedures, clinical management, & prevention of human immunodeficiency virus & acquired immune deficiency syndrome. For more information, please visit the Continuing Education pages for Athletic Trainers and Massage Therapists.

HB 7049 - Human Trafficking; Requires employee of massage establishment & any person performing massage therein to present, upon request of investigator, valid government identification; provides documentation requirements for operator of massage establishment (s. 480.0535, F.S.).

HB 7095 - Requires state agencies that issue business or professional licenses to obtain information relating to criminal convictions of licensees; revises provisions relating to suspension, revocation, & reinstatement of professional licenses due to convictions for certain criminal offenses; requires state agency to initiate immediate emergency suspension upon finding conviction for sale, trafficking in controlled substances.

HB 413 - DOH will now issue faculty certificates to persons performing research or teaching full-time or part-time in a program of chiropractic medicine at a publicly-funded state university, college or chiropractic college in Florida.  Individuals who have not passed the chiropractic examination for licensure may obtain a faculty certificate and treat patients in conjunction with research or a part-time position at a college and affiliated clinics.  The bill's requirement for review of all college-sponsored CE courses by the board will result in more chiropractic college-sponsored continuing education courses being reviewed and consequently, possibly denied by the board.  Additionally, any CE courses submitted by any sponsor and are found to contain materials specific to a company’s brand, product or service, will not be approved. The bill fixes a technical error in the law where part of the Chiropractic Medicine national exam had previously been omitted in the description.  The change would align statute with current requirements to complete part IV and the physiotherapy exam of the NBCE. The bill establishes a fund or property value threshold of $501 or greater for which a licensee can be disciplined for failing to preserve the identity of patient funds and property.  It also establishes that the maximum that a chiropractic physician may retain to be held in trust and apply to costs and expenses of examination or treatment in advance of examination or treatment, is $1,500.  Chiropractic physicians will now have to preserve the identity of patient funds and property in excess of $501 and hold in trust accounts any patient funds in excess of $1,500 received in advance of examination or treatment. The bill would also require indirect supervision of CCPAs to occur only at the supervising chiropractic physician’s address of record. This change eliminates the current law which allowed indirect supervision at any other place(s) of practice.  The bill also removes the unnecessarily restrictive requirement that CCPA education and training programs cover a period of 24 months.

HB 509 - This bill revises the types of vaccines that pharmacists are authorized to administer within the framework of an established protocol under a supervising physician licensed under chapter 458 or 459, Florida Statutes (F.S.). This bill permits a pharmacist to administer the influenza virus vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine to an adult in accordance with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This bill also permits a pharmacist to administer the shingles vaccine pursuant to a written or electronic prescription in accordance with the guidelines of the CDC. Within the framework of the protocol, pharmacists may administer epinephrine using an autoinjector to address any unforeseen allergic reactions. The bill modifies the protocol requirements to apply to the additional vaccines. Effective October 1, 2012, the bill requires pharmacists who are certified to administer vaccines or epinephrine autoinjection to complete a 3-hour continuing education course on the safe and effective administration of vaccines. The 3-hour course must be offered by a statewide professional association of physicians in this state and is considered part of the 30-hour continuing education requirement for biennial licensure renewal and recertification. If a pharmacist fails to take the 3-hour course, the authorization (certification) to administer vaccines or epinephrine autoinjection is revoked. Authorization to administer vaccines or epinephrine autoinjection may be restored upon completion of the continuing education requirements.

HB 787 - Definitions in chapter 456 are revised: "Physiatrist" is replaced with "psychiatrist" in the types of medical specialists to whom consultation or referral is required in management of pain patients with a history of substance abuse or comorbid psychiatric disorder. Board certification or subcertification in pain medicine is added to the definition of "Board-certified pain management physician" and the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is added as one of the recognized specialty boards. "Board eligible" is defined to mean successful completion of an anesthesia, physical medicine and rehabilitation, rheumatology, or neurology residency program that is approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), for a period of six years from successful completion of such residency program. Rheumatoid arthritis is removed from the definition of "chronic nonmalignant pain." The bill requires physicians to register with DOH who prescribe controlled substances listed in Schedules II, III, or IV of s. 893.03, F.S., for the treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain. The bill also adds specified "board-eligible" specialists to the types of physicians exempted from the statutorily required standards of practice for the prescribing of controlled substances for the treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain set forth in subsection 456.44(3), F.S.  The bill also adds board-eligible and board-certified rheumatologists, board certified or board eligible specialists certified in pain medicine by the American Board of Pain Medicine (ABPM) and physicians who prescribe medically necessary controlled substances for a patient during an inpatient stay in a hospital licensed under chapter 395, F.S. It removes "rheumatoid arthritis" from the definition of "chronic nonmalignant pain" in s. 458.3265, F.S. (medical doctors) and in s. 458.0137, F.S. (osteopaths) and adds a definition for "board eligible" in both of those statutory practice act sections. It provides new exemptions from registration for clinics wholly-owned by one or more Board of Medicine-eligible or Board of Osteopathic Medicine specialists and board-eligible or board-certified rheumatologists. The bill also makes changes to both the Board of Medicine practice act (Ch. 458, F.S.) and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine practice act (ch. 459, F.S.) to exempt from registration a clinic wholly owned and operated by a physician specialty practice where one or more board-eligible or board-certified medical specialists in pain medicine have completed an ACGME approved pain medicine fellowship or who were board-certified in pain medicine by ABPM or a board approved by AMBS, American Association of Physician Specialists (AAPS) or AOA and perform interventional pain procedures of the type routinely billed using surgical codes. The bill also expands the educational requirements for nursing home administrator licensure examination from an academic major in health care administration to include a major in health services administration, or some other major which is equivalent to either of those two majors. The Board of Medicine and the Board of Nursing Home Administrators are working on implementing this legislation.

HB 799 - This bill allows United States CAPTE graduates to request a temporary permit. The Board is unable to consider requests for temporary permits prior to the effective date of the legislation, June 1, 2012, as the legislation does not provide for retroactive approval. At this time, an application for a temporary permit is not available. A temporary permit is not renewable and is valid until a license is granted by the Board. The permit is void if a passing score on the national examination is not obtained within six months after the date of graduation. However, the permit is not automatically void upon an unsuccessful attempt on the NPTE exam. An applicant for a temporary permit may not work as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant until a temporary permit is issued by the Board. A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant practicing under a temporary permit must do so under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. A supervising physical therapist shall supervise only one permittee at any given time and must have been licensed for a minimum of six months before the supervision period begins and must cosign all patient records produced by the temporary permit holder. Applicants for the temporary permit will be required to pass the Florida Laws and Rules exam prior to issuance of the temporary permit but the Prevention of Medical Errors course will only be required prior to full licensure.

The Legislation provides that the Board shall issue a temporary permit to physical therapist and physical therapist assistant applicants who meet the following requirements:
  • Completes an application on a form approved by the Department of Health (DOH)
  • Graduates from an approved United States physical therapy educational program or a physical therapy assistant program as applicable and meets all the eligibility requirements for licensure under chapter 456, s. 486.031(1)-(3)(a) FS, for physical therapists and chapter 456, s. 486.102(1)-(3)(a) FS, for physical therapist assistants, and related rules, except passage of a national examination
  • Submits an application for licensure under s. 486.041, FS, for physical therapists and s. 486.103, FS, for physical therapist assistants
  • Demonstrates proof of possessing malpractice insurance; and Submits documentation, under rules adopted by the Board, verifying the applicant will practice under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
The Board of Physical Therapy is working on implementing this legislation.

HB 7049 - As of July 1 2012, the massage statute has been amended. Section 480.0535, Florida  Statutes (F.S.), now requires that any person employed by a licensed massage establishment and any person performing a massage in a massage establishment must immediately present, upon request of a Department of Health inspector/investigator or law enforcement, a valid government identification while in the establishment. Valid government identification means one of the following:
  • Current driver’s license,
  • Current identification card issued by a state, territory, or district of the United States (U.S.)
  • Valid passport issued by the, U.S.
  • Naturalization certificate issued by the U.S.,
  • Valid alien registration receipt card (green card), or
  • Valid employment authorization card issued by the U.S.
This section requires any person operating a licensed massage establishment to immediately present, upon the request of an investigator of the department or law enforcement officer, one of the forms of valid government identifications listed above. Also, any person, firm, or corporation operating a licensed massage establishment must maintain a valid work authorization document on the premises for each employee who is not a United States citizen. This section makes it a criminal offense for a violation of any part of section 480.0535, F.S. The first violation is a second degree misdemeanor; the second violation is a first degree misdemeanor; and the third violation and any subsequent offense is a third degree felony.