Florida’s ARNPs, Pharmacists Gain More Autonomy With Passage of New Laws

Florida’s advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) and pharmacists have been given a greater scope of practice thanks to legislation passed by state lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

After years of fighting for the right, Florida’s ARNPs will be allowed to operate primary care practices without being under the supervision of a physician, following the passage of HB 607.

Under the legislation, ARNPs must have at least 3,000 hours of experience under the supervision of a physician in order to provide services, and would need to complete three graduate-level semester hours, or the equivalent, in differential diagnosis and three graduate-level semester hours, or the equivalent, in pharmacology.

The Florida Medical Association has long opposed any legislation that would allow ARNPs, physician assistants and other non-MDs or non-DO’s to practice medicine without the supervision of a physician, maintaining that their training is not enough to allow them to practice independently.

Those who favored the legislation argued that ARNPs are more than qualified and can increase access to healthcare by providing patients with additional options as to where they receive their care.

In addition, lawmakers, passed and the governor signed legislation (HB 389), that will allow qualified pharmacists who enter into agreements with doctors to test or screen for, and treat, minor chronic conditions such as arthritis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, Type 2 diabetes, HIV, AIDS, obesity or “any other chronic condition” adopted in rules.

The measure also would allow pharmacists to treat for influenza, strep throat, lice, skin conditions and minor, uncomplicated infections.

Pharmacists must have at least five years of experience, complete an initial 20-hour course, and will have to abide by rules set up by the Board of Pharmacy in conjunction with the Board of Medicine.

The new laws take effect July 1.

The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale can assist clients with navigating the new law in relation to their business model, as well as administratively in matters relating to the Florida Department of Health (DOH), payer audits, criminal and civil fraud actions, along with an array of other defense and compliance matters.

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The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale

The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale

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