In June, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 732, the most sweeping change to the State’s Office Surgery Statutes in two decades. While the law officially does not go into effect until January 1, 2020, surgeons should begin now to ensure that they are compliant by that date.
Spurred by the torrent of adverse incidents from certain clinics, the Bill’s sponsors introduced legislation to address the problems. The initial bills, however, were fundamentally flawed (including an outright ban on office surgery), and the FSPS worked feverishly to amend the legislation to regulate the bad actors while minimizing the impact on reputable plastic surgeons.
While existing law allows the Board of Medicine only to regulate physicians, the new law will allow the Board to discipline not only the doctors, but also the owners and operators of such facilities, as well as the facilities themselves. As of January 1, each Level II or III facility (not just the physicians working there) must register with the Department of Health. Each facility also must have a “designated physician” who is responsible for the overall compliance of a facility. The new law also requires each facility to meet the same financial responsibility standards that are currently imposed on physicians. For those who opt for state inspections, such inspections may now be unannounced. These changes are made to ensure that all responsible parties act appropriately, and that substandard facilities cannot merely reincorporate under a new name and avoid administrative and civil action.
Scofflaws who choose not to register or otherwise violate the new law are subject to fines of up to $5,000 per day.
Registration forms and other implementing rules are being developed this Fall, and the FSPS will be at each hearing to protect the interests of its members while ensuring the safety of our patients. In the meantime, the Department of Health has put out the attached bulletin to assist surgeons in their compliance efforts.
As always, members with questions may contact our lawyer and lobbyist, Chris Nuland, at firstname.lastname@example.org.