UPDATE: Florida Independent Practice Bill Changes Gears

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Thursday, January 23, 2020

A Florida bill that would have allowed nurse practitioners (NPs) to practice without the need for physician supervision has been substituted with a version that also includes physician assistants (PAs). We briefly discussed the original version of the House Bill 607 (HB 607) here, and you can read the bill’s original version and history here. Shortly after it received a favorable report from the Health Quality Subcommittee, a committee substitute replaced the original language. Since then, it has had its first reading in the House and is currently in the Health & Human Services Committee for additional consideration.
The current, substituted version of HB 607 would now allow PAs as well as NPs to practice without a physician. It would require the PA or NP to register with their boards before being authorized in “autonomous practice.” Currently, PAs in Florida require a written agreement with a supervising physician to practice. In the present version of HB 607, PAs can register to practice without physician supervision in certain circumstances. In order to be eligible, the PA must:
Once registered as a “autonomous physician assistant,” the PA would be able to render primary care services only. The specific scope of “primary care services” will be defined in future council rules, but may include internal medicine, general pediatrics, family medicine, geriatrics, and general obstetrics and gynecology practices.
There is a small but growing trend towards allowing PAs to practice as independent health care providers, independent of the supervision of physicians. Typically, these rules are designed to address underserved rural locations or other areas with health care shortages. In that regard, HB 607 is in line with this trend. If passed, it would allow Florida PAs to independently render primary care services.
We will be monitoring HB 607 as it works its way through Florida’s legislative process this year.