Florida’s New E-Prescribing Law: How It May Affect You and Your Career
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
In 2019, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 831 (2019), Electronic Prescribing, into law. The new bill provides important requirements for prescribers to generate and transmit all prescriptions electronically upon their license renewal or by July 1, 2021, whichever is earlier. The bill will go into effect on January 1, 2020.
Summary of New Law, HB 831.
The new law applies to any health care practitioner who is licensed by law to prescribe a medicinal drug. The law, HB 831 sets forth the following general rule for prescribing:
If you are licensed to prescribe a medicinal drug, and you:
(1) Maintain a system of electronic health records; or
(2) Are an owner, employee or contractor of a licensed healthcare facility or practice that maintains a system of electronic health records and are prescribing in your capacity as an owner, employee or contractor of the licensed healthcare facility;
then you must electronically transmit your prescriptions unless an exception applies.
How the New Law May Affect You, a Licensed Health Professional.
The law requires prescribers to generate and transmit all prescription electronically, unless:
• The practitioner and the dispenser are the same entity;
• The prescription cannot be transmitted electronically under the most recently implemented version of the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs SCRIPT Standard;
• The practitioner has been issued a waiver by the Department of Health, not to exceed one year, due to demonstrated economic hardship, technology limitations that are not reasonably within the control of the practitioner, or another exceptional circumstance demonstrated by the practitioners;
• The practitioner reasonably determines that it would be impractical for the patient in question to obtain a medicinal drug prescribed by electronic prescription promptly and such delay would adversely impact the patient’s medical condition;
• The practitioner is prescribing a drug under a research protocol;
• The prescription is for a drug for which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires the prescription to contain elements that may not be included in electronic prescribing;
• The prescription is issued to an individual receiving hospice care or who is a resident of a nursing home facility; or
• The practitioner determines that it is in the best interest of the patient, or the patient determines that it is in his or her own best interest to compare prescription drug prices among area pharmacies. The practitioner must document such determination in the patient’s medical record.
About half of Florida’s medical doctors must renew their licenses by January 31, 2020. Medical doctors that renew their licenses between January 1, 2020, and January 31, 2020, must comply with the new law by the date they renew their licenses.
View the full text of HB 831 – Electronic Prescribing here.
For more information, including a list of frequently asked questions, visit the Florida Board of Medicine’s website.
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The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, CRNAs, pain management doctors, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists and other health providers in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigations, FBI investigations, Medicare investigations, Medicaid investigations and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.
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“ALERT: Electronic Prescribing Requirements.” Florida Board of Medicine. (October 21, 2019). Web.
Scott, Jeff. “What Florida’s new e-prescribing law means for you.” Florida Medical Association (FMA). (June 18, 2019). Web.
About the Authors: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm.
Michael L. Smith, R.R.T., J.D., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620
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