Florida Senate - 2013 SB 360 By Senator Garcia 38-00138A-13 2013360__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to surgical assistants and surgical 3 technologists; providing definitions; prohibiting a 4 health care facility from employing, contracting with, 5 or granting surgical privileges to a person who does 6 not hold a current and valid certification as a 7 surgical assistant; prohibiting a health care facility 8 from employing or contracting with a person who has 9 not completed a nationally and programmatically 10 accredited surgical technology program and who does 11 not have the credential of certified surgical 12 technologist; providing that certain persons are 13 exempt from having a certification as a surgical 14 assistant or surgical technologist; providing a 15 definition; authorizing a person who completes a 16 training program to become a surgical assistant or a 17 surgical technologist before a specified date to 18 continue to practice as a surgical assistant or 19 surgical technologist for 1 year after completing such 20 program; requiring the Agency for Health Care 21 Administration to accept, in lieu of its own periodic 22 inspections for licensure, the survey or inspection of 23 an accrediting organization under certain 24 circumstances; requiring the agency to adopt rules; 25 amending s. 627.419, F.S.; requiring a health 26 insurance policy, health care services plan, or other 27 contract to provide for payment to a certified 28 surgical assistant or to an employer of a certified 29 surgical assistant if the policy, plan, or contract 30 provides for payment for surgical first assisting 31 benefits or services and reimbursement for a physician 32 assistant is covered; providing that reimbursement to 33 a certified surgical assistant is not required under 34 certain circumstances; providing an effective date. 35 36 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 37 38 Section 1. Surgical assistants and surgical technologists.— 39 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 40 (a) “Agency” means the Agency for Health Care 41 Administration. 42 (b) “Health care facility” means a hospital as defined in 43 s. 395.002, Florida Statutes, or an ambulatory surgical center 44 as defined in s. 395.002, Florida Statutes. 45 (c) “Surgical assistant” means a person who, under the 46 direct supervision of a person who is licensed under chapter 47 458, chapter 459, or chapter 461, Florida Statutes, performs 48 significant surgical tasks, including manipulating tissues or 49 organs, manipulating or inserting sutures, placing hemostatic 50 agents, injecting local anesthesia, harvesting veins, or 51 implanting devices. 52 (d) “Surgical technologist” means a person who, under the 53 supervision of a person who is licensed under chapter 458, 54 chapter 459, chapter 461, or part I of chapter 464, Florida 55 Statutes: 56 1. Maintains the integrity of surgical instruments within 57 the surgical field during surgical procedures; 58 2. Performs surgical support tasks, including the transfers 59 and counts of instruments and equipment and the management of 60 fluids, specimens, and supplies; 61 3. Identifies and corrects sepsis; and 62 4. Performs other surgical tasks as directed. 63 (2) EMPLOYMENT LIMITATIONS; SURGICAL ASSISTANTS.—A health 64 care facility may not employ, contract with, or grant surgical 65 privileges to a person who does not hold a current and valid 66 certification as a surgical assistant which is issued by the 67 American Board of Surgical Assistants, the National Board of 68 Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, or the National 69 Surgical Assistant Association. 70 (3) EMPLOYMENT LIMITATIONS; SURGICAL TECHNOLOGISTS.—A 71 health care facility may not employ or contract with a person 72 who: 73 (a) Has not successfully completed a nationally and 74 programmatically accredited surgical technology program; and 75 (b) Does not have the credential of certified surgical 76 technologist which is issued by a nationally accredited 77 credentialing body. 78 (4) EXEMPTIONS.—Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply to the 79 following persons: 80 (a) A person who practices as a surgical assistant or 81 surgical technologist on or at any time during the 6 months 82 before January 1, 2013. 83 (b) A person who successfully completes training as a 84 surgical assistant or surgical technologist in the uniformed 85 services. 86 (c) A student who performs, within the scope of the 87 student’s training, the functions of a surgical assistant under 88 the direct supervision of a person who is licensed under chapter 89 458, chapter 459, or chapter 461, Florida Statutes. 90 (d) A student who performs, within the scope of the 91 student’s training, the functions of a surgical technologist 92 under the direct supervision of a person who is licensed under 93 chapter 458, chapter 459, chapter 461, or part I of chapter 464, 94 Florida Statutes. 95 (e) A person who is licensed under chapter 458, chapter 96 459, or chapter 461, Florida Statutes, and who engages in the 97 full scope of practice for which he or she is licensed. 98 (f) A person who performs surgical procedures in an office 99 based setting. As used in this paragraph, the term “office-based 100 setting” means any setting other than a health care facility or 101 a facility directly maintained and operated by the Federal 102 Government. 103 (g) A person who completes a training program to become a 104 surgical assistant or surgical technologist before July 1, 2014. 105 This person may continue to practice as a surgical assistant or 106 surgical technologist for 1 year after completing such program 107 notwithstanding any other provision of this section. 108 (5) INSPECTIONS.—To ensure compliance with this section, 109 the agency shall accept, in lieu of its own periodic inspections 110 for licensure, the survey or inspection of an accrediting 111 organization if: 112 (a) The accreditation of the licensed health care facility 113 is not provisional; 114 (b) The licensed health care facility authorizes release of 115 the accrediting organization’s survey or inspection; and 116 (c) The agency receives the accrediting organization’s 117 survey or inspection. 118 (6) RULES.—The agency shall adopt rules to administer this 119 section. 120 Section 2. Subsection (6) of section 627.419, Florida 121 Statutes, is amended to read: 122 627.419 Construction of policies.— 123 (6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a
when124 anyhealth insurance policy, health care services plan, or other 125 contract provides for payment for surgical first assisting 126 benefits or services, the policy, plan, or contract shall is to127 be construed as providing for payment to: 128 (a) A registered nurse first assistant or a surgical 129 assistant who is certified by the American Board of Surgical 130 Assistants, the National Board of Surgical Technology and 131 Surgical Assisting, or the National Surgical Assistant 132 Association; or 133 (b) An employer employersof a physician assistant, 134 surgical assistant, or registered nurse first assistant who 135 performs such services that are within the scope of the a136 physician assistant’s or the aregistered nurse first 137 assistant’s professional license or the surgical assistant’s 138 certification as a surgical assistant. 139 140 The provisions ofThis subsection applies applyonly if 141 reimbursement for an assisting physician, licensed under chapter 142 458 or chapter 459, would be covered and a physician assistant, 143 a surgical assistant, or a registered nurse first assistant who 144 performs such services is used as a substitute. This subsection 145 does not require reimbursement to a surgical assistant if the 146 assistant is employed by and is paid, or will be paid, by the 147 health care facility for the surgical services performed. 148 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.