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CS/SB 248 — Treatment Programs for Impaired Licensees and Applicants

by Health Policy Committee and Senator Thrasher

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Health Policy Committee (HP)

The bill authorizes an entity that employs a registered nurse as an executive director to serve as a consultant and provides that entities serving as consultants for the impaired practitioner treatment program are not required to be licensed as substance abuse providers or mental health treatment providers for purposes of participating in this program. Consultants are authorized to assist students enrolled in a school or program to become licensed as health care practitioners as defined in ch. 456, F.S., or as veterinarians, and certain health care practitioner schools and veterinary schools are released from liability for referring students to consultants.

The chair or a designee from each board or profession within the Division of Medical Quality Assurance within the Department of Health (DOH), has the authority to ask any licensure applicant to undergo an evaluation for impairment before deciding to certify or not certify the licensure application. If the applicant agrees to undergo such an evaluation, DOH’s deadline for certifying or not certifying the application is tolled until the evaluation can be completed and results reported to the appropriate board.

The bill provides guidelines concerning the release and custody of records relating to the impaired practitioner.

The bill also subjects radiologic technologists to the impaired practitioner provisions in s. 456.076, F.S.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2013.

Vote: Senate 39-0; House 118-0