If you are a pain management physician, it is important for you to be aware of changes in the laws governing the practice of pain management. The following laws were updated this summer, so the Florida Department of Health (DOH) will be enforcing these changes, including new penalities for inappropriate prescribing and new regulations for prescribing controlled substances.
- Minimum penalties for inappropriate prescribing for licensed health professionals – six (6) month suspension and $10,000 fine per count. “Inappropriate prescribing” is in new Section 456.44, Florida Statutes.
- Effective January 1, 2012, every physician prescribing controlled substances must designate himself or herself as a controlled substance prescribing practitioner on the physician’s profile maintained by the Florida Department of Health.
- Effective July 1, 2011, new required elements must be documented in medical records of each pain management patient and there are new Standards of Practice for pain management physicians.
- Effective July 1, 2011, each physician practicing in a pain management clinic must notify the Florida Board of Medicine within 10 days after beginning or ending practice at the pain management clinic.
- Effective July 1, 2011, each physician practicing in a pain management clinic is personally responsible for the clinic’s compliance with all operational requirements.
- Effective July 1, 2011, each pain management clinic must report to the Department of Health:
a. the number of new and repeat patients;
b. the number of patients discharged due to drug abuse;
c. the number of patients discharged due to diversion; and
d. the number of patients who live outside Florida.
- Effective July 1, 2011, dispensing physicians are no longer authorized to dispense Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substances.
- Dispensing physicians must return all Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substances to the distributors or dispose of them by July 10, 2011.
- The Florida Department of Health will identify dispensing practitioners who purchase more than an average of 2,000 doses of Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substances per month and decide which of these practitioners poses the greatest risk to the public health. (We expect that individuals will be targeted by criminal law enforcement authorities, including the DEA, based on these reports.)
- Three days after the effective date, the Department of Health and Law Enforcement will enter the businesses of all dispensing practitioners identified as posing the greatest threat to public health and ‘quarantine’ the practitioner’s inventory of Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substances.
If you are concerned about your pain management clinic, or if you are a pain management physician who has been subjected to raids or other investigations call us at (407) 331-6620 0r (850) 439-1001 or visit our website for more information at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.