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2017 Legislation

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Summaries of the enrolled bills from the 2017 legislative session that affect Florida's health care professions. Click on hyperlinks to view a brief summary, effective date and a link to the final enrolled text.

House Bills

  • 101 Certificates of Nonviable Births
  • 209 Medical Faculty & Medical Assistant Certification
  • 229 Health Care Practitioner Licensure
  • 543 Regulation of Health Care Practitioners
  • 557 Controlled Substance Prescribing
  • 1121 Child Welfare
  • 1307 Physician Assistant Workforce Surveys
  • 5203 Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
  • 7907 Direct Support Organization of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Certificates of Nonviable Births
Effective Date: July 1, 2017
House Bill 101 (Full Text)

Summary:
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.

Medical Faculty & Medical Assistant Certification
Effective Date: July 1, 2017
House Bill 209 (Full Text)

Summary:
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.

Health Care Practitioner Licensure
Effective Date: May 31, 2017
House Bill 229 (Full Text)

Summary:
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

Regulation of Health Care Practitioners
Effective Date: June 23, 2017
House Bill 543 (Full Text)

Summary:

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

Controlled Substance Prescribing
Effective Date: July 1, 2017
House Bill 557 (Full Text)

Summary:

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.

Child Welfare
Effective Date: July 1, 2017
House Bill 1121 (Full Text)

Summary:

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.

Physician Assistant Workforce Surveys
Effective Date: June 23, 2017
House Bill 1307 (Full Text)

Summary:

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.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Effective Date: July 1, 2017
House Bill 5203 (Full Text)

Summary:
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.

Direct Support Organization of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Effective Date: July 1, 2017
House Bill 7097 (Full Text)

Summary:
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.

Senate Bills

  • 852 Human Trafficking
  • 8-A Medical Use of Marijuana

Medical Assistant Certification
Effective Date: October 1, 2017
Senate Bill 852 (Full Text)

Summary:
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)

Summary:
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.,