Florida 2015 Legislature Weighs in on Key Issues

florida-legislature1The 2015 Florida legislative session was especially dynamic in terms of changes that will impact the state’s physicians and other healthcare professionals.  These changes include:

Vaccinations.  Expansion of vaccine administration by registered pharmacist interns who have completed at least 20 hours of coursework and who are directly supervised by a pharmacist (CS/HB 279);

Health care surrogates.  Clarification of the laws pertaining to healthcare surrogates, which includes expansion of their scope of authority, their authority to act on behalf of a minor, and great specificity as it relates to (a) specifying one’s primary physician in a durable power of attorney, and (b) authorizing a surrogate to act on behalf of a person who is not incapacitated (CS/CS/CSHB 889);

Experimental treatments for terminally ill patients.  Enactment of the “Right to Try Act.”  Allows for use of an “investigational drug, biological product, or device” by a terminally ill patient’s physician (confirmed by a second physician).  The licensure of physicians who follow the new is protected.  While the hold harmless issue (as between physician and patient) is not addressed, one would expect treating physicians concerned with liability to the patient to provide releases (CS/CS/HB 269);

Pharmacists right to clinical lab services.  Requires a clinical lab to make services available to consulting pharmacists and doctors of pharmacy (CS/CS/HB 655);

State HME licensure for selling/renting TENS units.  Exempting from the state HME licensure requirement M.D.s, D.O.s and chiropractors who sell or rent electrostim medical equipment or supplies to their patients (HB 1305).

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