March 23, 2019
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Senate Bill 0578

Senate Bill sb0578

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 578

    By Senator Fasano





    11-692-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to public-records; exempting

  3         from public-records requirements information

  4         and records reported to the Department of

  5         Health under the electronic monitoring system

  6         for prescription of controlled substances

  7         listed in Schedules II-IV; authorizing certain

  8         persons and entities access to

  9         patient-identifying information; providing

10         guidelines for the use of such information and

11         penalties for violations; providing for future

12         legislative review and repeal; providing a

13         finding of public necessity; providing a

14         contingent effective date.

15  

16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

17  

18         Section 1.  (1)(a)  A patient's personal identifying

19  information contained in any record reported under section

20  893.055, Florida Statutes, is confidential and exempt from

21  section 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and Section 24(a),

22  Article I of the State Constitution.

23         (b)  This section is subject to the Open Government

24  Sunset Review Act of 1995 in accordance with section 119.15,

25  Florida Statutes, and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2009,

26  unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by

27  the Legislature.

28         (2)  The Department of Health may disclose a patient's

29  or practitioner's identity in the information or records

30  reported under section 893.055, Florida Statutes, whose

31  identity is otherwise confidential and exempt from section

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 578
    11-692-04




 1  119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and Section 24(a), Article I of

 2  the State Constitution, to the following:

 3         (a)  A practitioner defined under chapter 893, Florida

 4  Statutes, who requests information and certifies that the

 5  information is necessary to provide medical treatment in

 6  accordance with section 893.05, Florida Statutes, to a current

 7  patient, subject to the patient's written consent. The

 8  practitioner may designate one person in his or her office to

 9  access the information and records reported under section

10  893.055, Florida Statutes, on the practitioner's patients and

11  provide information to the practitioner as directed, subject

12  to the patient's written consent.

13         (b)  A pharmacist licensed in this state, or a pharmacy

14  intern or pharmacy technician designated by the pharmacist,

15  who requests information and certifies that the requested

16  information is to be used to dispense controlled substances in

17  accordance with section 893.04, Florida Statutes, to a current

18  patient.

19         (c)  A criminal justice agency as defined under section

20  119.011, Florida Statutes, which enforces the laws of this

21  state or the United States relating to drugs and which is

22  engaged in a specific investigation involving a violation of

23  law.  Any member of a criminal justice agency receiving the

24  information as authorized in this section shall avoid

25  unauthorized use or dissemination thereof.  Such member

26  receiving the information may disclose its contents to other

27  persons to the extent that such disclosure is appropriate to

28  the proper performance of the official duties of the member

29  making or the person receiving the disclosure.

30         (d)  An employee or agent of the Department of Health

31  who is involved in a specific investigation involving a

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 578
    11-692-04




 1  violation of the chapter regulating the alleged violator, the

 2  rules of the Department of Health, or the rules of a board

 3  regulating the alleged violator.

 4         (e)  An employee of the Agency for Health Care

 5  Administration who is involved in an investigation related to

 6  the agency's responsibility to control fraud and abuse in the

 7  Medicaid program.

 8         (3)(a)  A person who obtains information under this

 9  section may not use the information to his or her own personal

10  advantage or reveal any information obtained in the

11  enforcement of law except in a prosecution or administrative

12  hearing for a violation of state or federal law or, if

13  applicable, to provide medical treatment in accordance with

14  section 893.05, Florida Statutes, to a current patient or to

15  dispense controlled substances in accordance with section

16  893.04, Florida Statutes, to a current patient, or to the

17  patient for verifying the accuracy of such information.

18         (b)  Any person who knowingly violates this subsection

19  commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided

20  in section 775.082 or section 775.083, Florida Statutes.

21         (4)  A practitioner or pharmacist authorized to obtain

22  information under this section is not liable for accessing or

23  failing to access such information.

24         (5)  A practitioner, pharmacist, or other person or

25  agency that obtains information reported under section

26  893.055, Florida Statutes, must maintain the confidentiality

27  of such information pursuant to sections 456.057 and 465.017,

28  Florida Statutes, or as otherwise required by law.

29         Section 2.  The Legislature finds that it is a public

30  necessity that patient-identifying information reported to the

31  Department of Health under section 893.055, Florida Statutes,

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 578
    11-692-04




 1  be held confidential and exempt from disclosure because doing

 2  so will facilitate efforts to maintain compliance with the

 3  state's drug laws not only by patients through accurate and

 4  timely reporting by health care practitioners and pharmacists

 5  of potential drug diversion without compromising a patient's

 6  privacy, with certain exceptions, but also by persons

 7  authorized to prescribe or dispense controlled substances

 8  through oversight review and investigation of improper

 9  prescribing and dispensing practices. The exemption from

10  disclosing a patient's identity in the information or records

11  reported under section 893.055, Florida Statutes, facilitates

12  the sharing of information between health care practitioners

13  and pharmacists so that the practitioners and pharmacists may

14  appropriately identify and evaluate a patient's risk for drug

15  diversion and the resulting abuse of controlled substances

16  without compromising a patient's privacy. The Legislature

17  further finds that the exemption for records identifying a

18  patient or practitioner within information or records reported

19  to the Department of Health is a public necessity to protect

20  health-related information of a sensitive and personal nature.

21  Matters of personal health are traditionally private and

22  confidential concerns between a patient and a health care

23  provider. The private and confidential nature of personal

24  health matters pervades both the public and private health

25  care sectors. For these reasons, an individual's expectation

26  of a right to privacy in all matters regarding his or her

27  personal health necessitates such exemption. Information

28  relating to practitioners prescribing or dispensing controlled

29  substances needs to be kept confidential for criminal justice

30  agencies and regulatory agencies and departments to properly

31  investigate potential improper prescribing or dispensing

                                  4

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 578
    11-692-04




 1  practices that indicate drug diversion by such practitioners

 2  or contributing to drug diversion by a patient without

 3  compromising the livelihood of such practitioner with

 4  unsubstantiated charges of improper dispensing or prescribing

 5  practices. For these reasons, a practitioner's expectation of

 6  a right to privacy in the review and investigation of

 7  unsubstantiated charges affecting his or her livelihood

 8  necessitates such exemption.

 9         Section 3.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2005, if

10  Senate Bill ____, or similar legislation establishing an

11  electronic system to monitor the prescribing of controlled

12  substances, is adopted in the same legislative session or an

13  extension thereof and becomes law.

14  

15            *****************************************

16                          SENATE SUMMARY

17    Exempts from public-records requirements information and
      records reported to the Department of Health under the
18    electronic monitoring system for prescriptions of certain
      controlled substances. Authorizes certain persons and
19    entities access to patient-identifying information.
      Provides guidelines for the use of such information and
20    penalties for violations. Provides for review and repeal
      under the Open Government Sunset Review Act.
21  

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                                  5

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