New health care law makes several changes

Florida’s major health care bill, HB 713, was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis this summer and includes some major changes to the state’s health care system.

The bill, sponsored by House Speaker José Oliva, puts a 10 percent limit on THC made available to medical marijuana patients under the age of 21. The bill was approved by a 79-31 vote. This portion of the bill was hotly contested. Democrats argued the cap interferes with doctor/patient relationships.


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The bill also changes the makeup of the PA Council from three allopathic physicians, one osteopath physician and one PA to one allopathic physician, one osteopathic physician and three PAs, a move that the Florida Medical Association opposes. The council remains under the Board of Medicine.

The following is a partial list of other health care changes made  under HB 713:

  • Requires a health care practitioner to include their birth date on their license application.
  • Revises the DOH’s health care practitioner licensing provisions to permit the DOH to issue a temporary license, that expires in 60 days instead of 30 days, to a nonresident or noncitizen physician who has accepted a residency, internship, or fellowship in Florida and has not yet received a social security number;
  • Creates an exception to the 15-percent cap for self-referral for diagnostic imaging services normally imposed on solo or group practice settings for group practice entities that own an accountable care organization or an entity operating under an advanced alternative payment model, according to federal regulations, if such entity provides diagnostic imaging services and has more than 30,000 patients enrolled per year;
  • Repeals a health care practitioner’s failure to repay student loans as grounds for discipline by the DOH;
  • Authorizes the DOH to issue medical faculty certificates to certain full-time faculty members of Nova Southeastern University and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine;
  • Repeals the requirement that the Board of Medicine (BOM) conduct a triennial review of organizations that board-certify physicians in dermatology;
  • Revises the composition of the Council on Physician Assistants, under the BOM, from four physicians and one physician assistant, to two physicians and three physician assistants;
  • Revises the requirements for osteopathic internships and residencies to include those accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education;
  • Deregulates registered chiropractic assistants;
  • Effective upon the bill becoming a law, allows a nursing education program seeking accreditation to apply to the Board of Nursing (BON) for a single extension of not more than two years if the program meets specific criteria and grants the BON rule making authority on criteria to qualify for the extension;
  • Grants rule making authority to the BON to establish standards of practice, including discipline, for certified nursing assistants (CNA);
  • Recognizes CNA certification in a U.S. territory or the District of Columbia for certification in Florida and eliminates the element of intent for violations of the practice act by CNAs;
  • Defines the supplemental general dentistry education required for dental licensure applicants who have not graduated from a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation to exclude education in an advanced dental specialty;
  • Repeals the requirement that dental and dental hygienist licensure examinations must be graded by Florida-licensed dentists and dental hygienists;
  • Requires dentists and dental hygienists to report adverse incidents to the Board of Dentistry (BOD) and gives the BOD rule making authority;
  • Authorizes an employee or independent contractor of a dental laboratory to engage in onsite consultation with a licensed dentist during a dental procedure and requires a dental laboratory to be inspected at least biennially;
  • Requires an athletic trainer to work within his or her scope of practice as defined by the Board of Athletic Training and revises the educational and internship requirements for licensure;
  • Requires the DOH to issue a single prosthetist-orthotist license to qualified applicants and establishes the educational requirements for duel registration;
  • Limits the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Mental Health Counseling to the issuance of only one additional internship registration;
  • Revises the education, clinical, and licensure requirements for marriage and family therapists and licensed mental health counselors, including updating the program accrediting agencies.