July 2, 2019

Changes to Florida’s Patient Brokering Act

Holland & Knight Healthcare Blog
Shannon Britton Hartsfield

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed House Bill 369, Chapter No. 2019-159, Laws of Florida, which became effective on July 1, 2019. The primary focus of the bill relates to substance abuse services. For example, the bill requires community housing components of day or night treatment facilities to obtain certification and have a certified administrator to manage them. The bill also adds requirements for clinical supervisors.

One provision of the bill makes what may be a significant change to the Florida Patient Brokering Act (PBA). The PBA contains a number of exceptions to its prohibitions. Prior to the new law, the PBA contained a provision that allowed discounts, payments, and other arrangements "not prohibited" by the federal Medicare/Medicaid Anti-Kickback Statute and regulations. The new law changes the statute so that the exception applies only to arrangements "expressly authorized" by a subsection of the Anti-Kickback Statute and its related regulations. According to the staff analysis, this change was designed to "address instances where a court interprets Florida's patient brokering statute to only apply to federally funded programs."

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