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Gov. DeSantis Signs All Three Major Scope of Practice Bills into Law

Within a matter of hours after passing through the Florida Legislature, HB 389, HB 599, and HB 607 were all signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. The Florida Society of Rheumatology fervently opposed all three pieces of legislation and attempted to send a letter of opposition to the Governor's office encouraging him to Veto HB 389.

Florida Capitol Building

Within a matter of hours after passing through the Florida Legislature, HB 389, HB 599, and HB 607 were all signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. The Florida Society of Rheumatology fervently opposed all three pieces of legislation and attempted to send a letter of opposition to the Governor's office encouraging him to Veto HB 389. However, the Governor did not give FSR, or anyone else for that matter, the chance. All three bills were signed into law almost instantaneously after their passage through the House and Senate. This comes as a significant blow to both patients and physicians acroos the entirety of the state. The Florida Society of Rheumatology will continue to monitor the effects of these pieces of legislation and provide updates as they are implemented into law.

The details regarding each of the new laws are listed below:

HB 389 — allows pharmacists to enter collaborative agreements with physicians authorizing them to treat the physicians' patients for chronic illnesses, including arthritis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, Type 2 diabetes, HIV, AIDS, obesity or “any other chronic condition” adopted in rule by state medical boards. The measure also authorizes pharmacists to have written protocols with supervisory physicians that allow pharmacists to treat children for influenza, streptococcus, lice, skin conditions and minor, uncomplicated infections.

HB 599 — expands the locations where consultant pharmacists can practice to include ambulatory surgery centers, inpatient hospice facilities, hospitals, alcohol or chemical dependency centers, ambulatory care centers or nursing homes within continuing care retirement communities, in addition to nursing homes or home health agencies.

HB 607 — allows advanced practice registered nurses to provide primary care independent of physicians and for certified nurse midwives to work autonomously. To qualify, advanced practice registered nurses have to take at least 3,000 clinical practice hours in the five years prior to practicing autonomously. The amendment also includes $5 million in recurring general revenue for a loan repayment program for advanced practice registered nurses who work in primary-care health professional shortage areas or county health departments, community health centers, migrant health centers or any other publicly funded health care programs designated by the state.

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