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Florida Law Update

As you know, laws pertaining to your profession and industry are being reviewed and changed regularly. Here are important updates for 2017.

HB 807 2017 FLORIDA

 

397.4873 Referrals to or from recovery residences; prohibitions;

penalties.—

(1) A service provider licensed under this part may not make a

referral of a prospective, current, or discharged patient to, or

accept a referral of such a patient from, a recovery residence

unless the recovery residence holds a valid certificate of

compliance as provided in s. 397.487 and is actively managed by a

certified recovery residence administrator as provided in s.

397.4871.

 

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to:

(a) A licensed service provider under contract with a managing

entity as defined in s. 394.9082.

(b) Referrals by a recovery residence to a licensed service

provider when the recovery residence or its owners, directors,

operators, or employees do not benefit, directly or indirectly,

from the referral.

(c) Referrals made before July 1, 2018, by a licensed service

provider to that licensed service provider’s wholly owned

subsidiary.

 

(3) For purposes of this section, a licensed service provider or

recovery residence shall be considered to have made a referral if

the provider or recovery residence has informed a patient by any

means about the name, address, or other details of a recovery

residence or licensed service provider, or informed a licensed

service provider or a recovery residence of any identifying details

about a patient.

 

(4) A licensed service provider shall maintain records of referrals to or from recovery residences as may be prescribed by the department in rule. (5) After June 30, 2019, a licensed service provider violating this section shall be subject to an administrative fine of $1,000 per occurrence. Repeat violations of this section may subject a provider to license suspension or revocation pursuant to s. 397.415. 712

(6) Nothing in this section requires a licensed service provider to

refer a patient to or to accept a referral of a patient from a

recovery residence.

 

397.55 Prohibition of deceptive marketing practices.—

(1) The Legislature recognizes that consumers of substance abuse

treatment have disabling conditions and that such consumers and

their families are vulnerable and at risk of being easily

victimized by fraudulent marketing practices that adversely impact

the delivery of health care. To protect the health, safety, and

welfare of this vulnerable population, may not engage in

any of the following marketing practices:

(a) Making a false or misleading statement or providing false or misleading information about the provider’s or operator’s or third party’s products, goods, services, or geographical locations in its marketing, advertising materials, or media or on its website.

(b) Including on its website false information or electronic links,

coding, or activation that provides false information or that

surreptitiously directs the reader to another website.

 

(c) Conduct prohibited by s. 817.505.

(d) Entering into a contract with a marketing provider who agrees to generate referrals or leads for the placement of patients with a service provider or in a recovery residence through a call center or a web-based presence, unless the service provider or the operator of the recovery residence discloses the following to the prospective patient so that the patient can make an informed health care decision:

  1. Information about the specific licensed service providers or

recovery residences that are represented by the marketing provider

and pay a fee to the marketing provider, including the identity of

such service providers or recovery residences; and

  1. Clear and concise instructions that allow the prospective

patient to easily access lists of licensed service providers and

recovery residences on the department website.

a service provider, an

operator of a recovery residence, or a third party who provides

any form of advertising or marketing services to a service

provider or an operator of a recovery residence

 

(2) In addition to any other punishment authorized by law, a

person or entity that knowingly and willfully violates paragraph

(1)(a), paragraph (1)(b), or paragraph (1)(d) commits a

misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 795

775.082 or s. 775.083. A violation of paragraph (1)(c) is a

violation of the prohibition on patient brokering and may subject

the party committing the violation to criminal penalties under s.

817.505.

 

501.605 Licensure of commercial telephone sellers and entities

providing substance abuse marketing services.—

(1) Before Prior to doing business in this state, a commercial telephone seller or an entity providing substance abuse marketing services in accordance with s. 397.55 shall obtain a license from the department. Doing business in this state includes either telephone solicitation from a location in Florida or solicitation from other states or nations of purchasers located in Florida.

(2) An applicant for a license as a commercial telephone seller or

as an entity providing substance abuse marketing services must

submit to the department, in such form as it prescribes, a written

application for the license.

Upon motion of the enforcing authority in any action brought under this section, the court may make appropriate orders, including appointment of a general or special magistrate or receiver or sequestration of assets, to reimburse consumers found to have been damaged, to carry out a consumer transaction in accordance with the consumer’s reasonable expectations, or to grant other appropriate relief. The court may assess the expenses of a general or special magistrate or receiver against a commercial telephone seller or an entity providing substance abuse marketing services. Any injunctive order, whether temporary or permanent, issued by the court shall be effective throughout the state unless otherwise provided in the order.

 

817.0345 Prohibition of fraudulent marketing practices.—

It is unlawful for any person to knowingly and willfully make a materially false or misleading statement or provide false or misleading information about the identity, products, goods, services, or geographical location of a licensed service provider, as defined in chapter 397, in marketing, advertising materials, or other media or on a website with the intent to induce another person to seek treatment with that service provider. A person who violates this section commits a felony of the third degree,

punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 1112 775.083, or s.

775.084.

 

817.505 Patient brokering prohibited; exceptions; penalties.—

(1) It is unlawful for any person, including any health care

provider or health care facility, to:

 

(a) Offer or pay any commission, benefit, bonus, rebate, kickback,

or bribe, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, or engage in

any split-fee arrangement, in any form whatsoever, to induce the

referral of a patient patients or patronage to or from a health

care provider or health care facility;

(b) Solicit or receive any commission, benefit, bonus, rebate,

kickback, or bribe, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, or

engage in any split-fee arrangement, in any form whatsoever, in

return for referring a patient patients or patronage to or from a

health care provider or health care facility;

(c) Solicit or receive any commission, benefit, bonus, rebate,

kickback, or bribe, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, or

engage in any split-fee arrangement, in any form whatsoever, in

return for the acceptance or acknowledgment of treatment from a

health care provider or health care facility; or(d) Aid, abet,

advise, or otherwise participate in the conduct prohibited under

paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or paragraph (c).

 

(4)(a) Any person, including an officer, partner, agent, attorney,

or other representative of a firm, joint venture, partnership,

business trust, syndicate, corporation, or other business entity,

who violates any provision of this section commits a felony of the

third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or

  1. 775.084, and shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000. (b) Any

person, including an officer, partner, agent, attorney, or other

representative of a firm, joint venture, partnership, business

trust, syndicate, corporation, or other business entity, who

violates any provision of this section, where the prohibited

conduct

(c) Any person, including an officer, partner, agent, attorney, or

other representative of a firm, joint venture, partnership,

business trust, syndicate, corporation, or other business entity,

who violates any provision of this section, where the prohibited

involves 10 or more patients but fewer than 20 patients,

commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.

775.082 or s. 775.084, and shall be ordered to pay a fine of

$100,000.

 

Conduct involves 20 or more patients, commits a felony of the first

degree, punishable as provided ins. 775.082 or s. 775.084, and shall be ordered

to pay a fine of $500,000.

 

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