Florida Senate - 2022 CS for SB 1184 By the Committee on Health Policy; and Senator Broxson 588-02352-22 20221184c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to free speech of health care 3 practitioners; creating s. 456.61, F.S.; prohibiting 4 certain regulatory boards and the Department of Health 5 from reprimanding, sanctioning, or revoking or 6 threatening to revoke a license, certificate, or 7 registration of a health care practitioner for 8 specified use of his or her right of free speech 9 without specified proof; providing for liability; 10 requiring the board or department, as applicable, to 11 provide to a health care practitioner certain 12 complaints within a specified timeframe; providing a 13 penalty; providing an effective date. 14 15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 16 17 Section 1. Section 456.61, Florida Statutes, is created to 18 read: 19 456.61 Use of free speech by a health care practitioner; 20 prohibition.— 21 (1) A board, or the department if there is no board, may 22 not reprimand, sanction, or revoke or threaten to revoke a 23 license, certificate, or registration of a health care 24 practitioner for exercising his or her constitutional right of 25 free speech, including, but not limited to, speech through the 26 use of a social media platform as defined in s. 501.2041(1)(g). 27 (2) To reprimand, sanction, or revoke or threaten to revoke 28 a license, certificate, or registration of a health care 29 practitioner for his or her speech, the board, or the department 30 if there is no board, must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 31 the health care practitioner’s speech led to the direct physical 32 harm of a person with whom the health care practitioner had a 33 practitioner-patient relationship within the 3 years immediately 34 preceding the incident of physical harm. If the board or the 35 department, as applicable, reprimands, sanctions, revokes, or 36 threatens to revoke a license, certificate, or registration of a 37 health care practitioner for his or her speech, and proof beyond 38 a reasonable doubt has not been established under this 39 subsection, the board or the department is liable for a sum of 40 up to $1.5 million per occurrence for any direct or indirect 41 damages to a health care practitioner. 42 (3) The board, or the department if there is no board, must 43 provide a health care practitioner with any complaints it has 44 received which may result in the revocation of the health care 45 practitioner’s license, certification, or registration, within 7 46 days after receipt of the complaint. The board, or the 47 department if there is no board, must pay the health care 48 practitioner an administrative penalty of $500 for each day the 49 complaint is not provided to the health care practitioner after 50 the specified 7 days. 51 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.