More Barriers to PA Practice Fall as Florida PAs Celebrate Legislative Win
Florida Governor Signs Bill Authorizing PAs to Receive Direct Payment
June 30, 2021
PAs in Florida applaud the enactment of legislation that makes significant improvements to PA practice. House Bill 431 was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis on June 29, modernizing several aspects of PA regulation.
The new law authorizes PAs to receive direct payment for their services, a core tenet of Optimal Team Practice (OTP).
It also eliminates the requirement for PAs to complete and submit a “Supervision Data Form” as a condition of practice. Previously, PAs were required to present this form to the Florida Department of Health within 30 days of their employment or upon any subsequent changes in supervision. The eradication of this document will facilitate the rapid deployment of PAs into the state’s healthcare workforce and lays the foundation for the pursuit of another facet of OTP in a future legislative session.
House Bill 431 also:
- Increases the number of PAs with whom a physician may work from 4 to 10 at any one time.
- Improves prescriptive authority by:
- deleting outdated language requiring a separate prescriber license,
- eliminating the archaic mandate for PAs to inform patients of their right to see the physician before a prescribing or dispensing a prescription,
- authorizing PAs to procure medical devices and drugs in accordance with the state formulary, and
- authorizing PAs who work with psychiatrists, pediatricians, family practice or internal medicine physicians to prescribe a 14-day supply of Schedule II mental health-controlled substances for children younger than 18 years of age—removing the long-standing prohibition on PAs prescribing ANY controlled psychiatric medication to this patient population.
- Allows PAs to authenticate documents including, but not limited to death certificates, involuntary examinations, durable medical equipment, home health services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, do-not-resuscitate orders, workers’ compensation claims, and school physical examinations.
- Codifies that PAs can supervise medical assistants.
“HB 431 was one of just a few healthcare bills to pass the House and Senate this year,” said FAPA President Christopher Watson, PA-C. “Addressing the effects of the pandemic and our state’s ongoing needs for healthcare providers demands a shared commitment among lawmakers and all medical providers. We must work together to embrace solutions that will enable our healthcare system to run more efficiently. On behalf of our patients, FAPA extends our gratitude to Representative Rommel and Senator Diaz for championing this legislation and ensuring the legislature did not miss an opportunity to eliminate unnecessary barriers for our patients.”
In partnership with the Florida Academy of PAs, AAPA conducted a legislative review, crafted draft language, provided summary information and strategic guidance and analysis throughout the process.
The bill will become effective on July 1, 2021. For additional information on HB 431, the full version of the legislation is available on the Florida Legislature website.
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