In the last year, there have been many changes to the scope of practice and collaboration/supervision requirements for advanced practice providers such as APRNs and physician assistants in the state of Florida. In a previous Client Alert we discussed House Bill 607, which expanded the autonomous practice of APRNs providing primary care services in Florida.
This Client Alert focuses on Florida House Bill 431 (the "Bill"), which went into effect on July 1, 2021 and amended Florida Statutes 458.347 and 459.022. The Bill essentially gives Florida PAs more autonomy in certain aspects of their practice, and changes the number of PAs that physicians are permitted to supervise from four (4) to ten (10).
The Florida Board of Medicine published the comprehensive list of all of the changes made, and among those, PAs are no longer required to notify patients that they have the right to see a physician before prescribing or dispensing prescriptions, and they are able to authenticate any document that may also be authenticated by physicians, with the exception of physician certifications (which includes, but is not limited to, death certificates, school physical exams, and medical examinations for workers' compensation claims).
Additionally, PAs are no longer required to notify the Department of Health in writing when any changes are made to their supervising physician or within thirty (30) days of employment, and are permitted to supervise medical assistants.
As for changes in prescribing, PAs no longer need to include a prescribing number on prescriptions, but instead must include their name, address, and phone number, along with the name of each of their supervising physicians. Additionally, a formulary that lists prescriptions PAs are not allowed to prescribe will be published, and PAs can now prescribe 14-day supplies of Schedule II psychotropic drugs to minors, provided they are supervised by a pediatrician, family practice physician, internal medicine physician, or psychiatrist.
The Board of Medicine also noted the following changes from the Bill:
- 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; and
- Removes the requirement that PA licensure applicants seeking prescribing authority provide course transcripts.
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