March 23, 2019
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Senate Bill 0578

Senate Bill sb0578c1

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

    By the Committee on Governmental Oversight and Productivity;
    and Senators Fasano and Aronberg




    302-2073-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to public-records; creating s.

  3         893.056, F.S.; exempting from public-records

  4         requirements information and records reported

  5         to the Department of Health under the

  6         electronic monitoring system for prescription

  7         of controlled substances listed in Schedules

  8         II-IV; authorizing certain persons and entities

  9         access to patient-identifying information;

10         providing guidelines for the use of such

11         information and penalties for violations;

12         providing for future legislative review and

13         repeal; providing a finding of public

14         necessity; providing a contingent effective

15         date.

16  

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

18  

19         Section 1.  Section 893.056, Florida Statutes, is

20  created to read:

21         893.056  Public records exemption for the electronic

22  monitoring system for prescription of controlled substances

23  listed in Schedules II, III, and IV.--

24         (1)  Personal identifying information of a patient, a

25  practitioner as defined in s. 893.02, or a pharmacist as

26  defined in s. 465.003, contained in records held by the

27  Department of Health under s. 893.055, the electronic

28  monitoring system for prescription of controlled substances is

29  confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), and s. 24(a), Art.

30  I of the State Constitution.

31  

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                            CS for SB 578
    302-2073-04




 1         (2)  The Department of Health shall disclose such

 2  confidential and exempt information to:

 3         (a)  The Agency for Health Care Administration when it

 4  has initiated a review of specific identifiers of Medicaid

 5  fraud and abuse.

 6         (b)  A criminal justice agency as defined in s.

 7  119.011, which enforces the laws of this state or the United

 8  States relating to controlled substances and which has

 9  initiated an active investigation involving a specific

10  violation of law.

11         (c)  A practitioner as defined in s. 893.02, or an

12  employee of the practitioner who is acting on behalf of and at

13  the direction of the practitioner, who requests such

14  information and certifies that the information is necessary to

15  provide medical treatment to a current patient in accordance

16  with s. 893.05, subject to that patient's written consent.

17         (d)  A pharmacist as defined in s. 465.003, or a

18  pharmacy intern or pharmacy technician who is acting on behalf

19  of and at the direction of the pharmacist, who requests such

20  information and certifies that the requested information is to

21  be used to dispense controlled substances to a current patient

22  in accordance with s. 893.04.

23         (e)  To the patient who is identified in the record

24  upon a written request for the purpose of verifying that

25  information.

26         (3)  Any agency that obtains such confidential and

27  exempt information pursuant to this section must maintain the

28  confidential and exempt status of that information; however,

29  the Agency for Health Care Administration or a criminal

30  justice agency with lawful access to such information may

31  disclose confidential and exempt information received from the

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                            CS for SB 578
    302-2073-04




 1  Department of Health to a criminal justice agency as part of

 2  an active investigation of a specific violation of law.

 3         (4)  Any person who willfully and knowingly violates

 4  this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable

 5  as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

 6         (5)  This section is subject to the Open Government

 7  Sunset Review Act of 1995 in accordance with s. 119.15, and

 8  shall stand repealed on October 2, 2010, unless reviewed and

 9  saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.

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

11  necessity that personal identifying information of a patient,

12  a practitioner as defined in section 893.02, Florida Statutes,

13  or a pharmacist as defined in section 465.003, Florida

14  Statutes, contained in records that are reported to the

15  Department of Health under section 893.055, Florida Statutes,

16  the electronic monitoring system for prescription of

17  controlled substances, be made confidential and exempt.

18  Information about the prescriptions a patient has been

19  prescribed is a private, personal matter between the patient,

20  the practitioner, and the pharmacist. Nevertheless, reporting

21  of prescriptions on a timely and accurate basis by

22  practitioners and pharmacists will ensure the ability of the

23  state to review and provide oversight of prescribing and

24  dispensing practices. Further, the reporting of this

25  information will facilitate investigations and prosecutions of

26  violations of state drug laws by patients, practitioners, or

27  pharmacists, thereby increasing compliance with those laws.

28  If, in the process, however, the information that would

29  identify a patient is not made confidential and exempt, any

30  person could inspect and copy the record and be aware of the

31  prescriptions that a patient has been prescribed. The

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2004                            CS for SB 578
    302-2073-04




 1  availability of such information to the public would result in

 2  the invasion of the patient's privacy. If the identity of the

 3  patient could be correlated with his or her prescriptions, it

 4  would be possible for the public to become aware of the

 5  diseases or other medical concerns that a patient is being

 6  treated for by his or her physician. This knowledge could be

 7  used to embarrass or to humiliate a patient or to discriminate

 8  against him or her. Requiring the reporting of prescribing

 9  information, while protecting a patient's personal identifying

10  information, will facilitate efforts to maintain compliance

11  with the state's drug laws and will facilitate the sharing of

12  information between health care practitioners and pharmacists,

13  while maintaining and ensuring patient privacy. Additionally,

14  exempting personal identifying information of doctors and

15  pharmacists will ensure that an individual will not be able to

16  "doctor-shop," that is to determine which doctors prescribe

17  the highest amount of a particular type of drug and to seek

18  those doctors out in order to increase the likelihood of

19  obtaining a particular prescribed substance. Further,

20  protecting personal identifying information of pharmacists

21  ensures that an individual will not be able to identify which

22  pharmacists dispense the largest amount of a particular

23  substance and target that pharmacy for robbery or burglary.

24  Thus, the Legislature finds that personal identifying

25  information of a patient, a practitioner as defined in section

26  893.02, Florida Statutes, or a pharmacist as defined in

27  section 465.003, Florida Statutes, contained in records

28  reported under section 893.055, Florida Statutes, must be

29  confidential and exempt.

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

31  Senate Bill 580, or similar legislation establishing an

                                  4

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    Florida Senate - 2004                            CS for SB 578
    302-2073-04




 1  electronic system to monitor the prescribing of controlled

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

 3  extension thereof and becomes law.

 4  

 5          STATEMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES CONTAINED IN
                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
 6                              SB 578

 7                                 

 8  Expands the exemption to include personal identifying
    information for practitioners as defined in s. 289.02, F.S.,
 9  and pharmacists as defined in s. 465.003, F.S.

10  Permits access by a patient for the purposes of verifying
    information about the patient in the system.
11  
    Tightens bases for which the Agency for Health Care
12  Administration and a criminal justice agency may access the
    system.
13  
    Requires employees of practitioners and pharmacists who are
14  permitted access to the system to be acting on behalf of and
    at the direction of the practitioner or pharmacist.
15  
    Removes from the bill provisions that do not create an
16  exemption or relate to enforcement of the exemption.

17  Modifies the statement of public necessity to conform with the
    addition of practitioners as defined in s. 289.02, F.S., and
18  pharmacists as defined in s. 465.003, F.S.

19  Permits access by a patient for the purposes of verifying
    information about the patient in the system.
20  
    Tightens bases for which the Agency for Health Care
21  Administration and a criminal justice agency may access the
    system.
22  
    Requires employees of practitioners and pharmacists who are
23  permitted access to the system to be acting on behalf of and
    at the direction of the practitioner or pharmacist.
24  

25  

26  

27  

28  

29  

30  

31  

                                  5

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