Member Alerts

Member Alert 10-10-19

CMS Regulatory Reduction Rule Adds New Burdens in Florida

Florida ambulatory surgical centers will not gain much regulatory relief under the new CMS Regulatory Burden Reduction Rule (Rule).  State of Florida rules corresponding to the CMS requirements are more stringent and therefore supersede the CMS changes- keeping many of the requirements in place.  In addition, current accrediting organization standards also are more stringent than the new CMS rules and will need to be followed to maintain accreditation.  Ironically, the new rule also adds several requirements that ASCs are burdened to comply with.

Click here to read the State of Florida rules in comparison to the CMS changes.  You may also want to review your accreditation organization’s standards if you are considering making any changes as a result of the CMS rule.

FSASC will work with AHCA as they begin to survey under the “regulatory reduction” rules.  This will be some time after the November 29, 2019 effective date of the Rule.  We encourage members to share what they are doing in response to the new rules on our forum or to contact FSASC directly if you have concerns.

Member Alert 8-05-19

Considerations on the New Florida Opioid Counseling Law  

The Florida Legislature passed HB 451 requiring that every patient who may be exposed to an opioid in treatment be counseled on non-opioid alternatives.  The law became effective July 1, 2019. 

The law also requires the Department of Health (DOH) to develop a document for patient distribution.  DOH has now published a brochure that the law requires to be given to every patient receiving opioids. 

DOH Non-Opioid Pain Management Website

As a result of this law, health care practitioners must do the following:

  1. Inform the patient of non-opioid alternatives for the treatment of pain.
  2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of non-opioid alternatives.
  3. Obtain a history from, and access risk of, the patient for potential opioid abuse.
  4. Provide the patient with the DOH non opioid pamphlet.
  5. Document the non-opioid alternatives discussed.

Please keep in mind that ASCs may potentially have greater liability exposure for the actions of anesthesia providers verses the surgical staff while the patient receives care at the ASC.  The flyer clearly indicates that non-opioid anesthesia alternatives are included in the items to be discussed and that any patient scheduled to undergo opioid anesthesia must receive the brochure and the counseling.

Since the responsibility for both the counseling and the resultant therapeutic decisions fall on both the surgeon and the anesthesia provider, an ASC may desire to serve as a facilitator for compliance with the requirements.  You may want to set up a procedure whereby the patient may receive counseling from the anesthesiologist on-site prior to the procedure.

ASCs might consider documenting the receipt of the brochure and the counseling in the patient’s medical record if appropriate to the patient’s care.  Additionally, your ASC may want to consider verification that the patient has been counseled by the surgeon, particularly if the patient is to be discharged with a prescription for opioids. 

FSASC members may share ways in which they are facilitating compliance with this new law on the member forum

 This information is not a substitute for obtaining competent legal advice on this and other licensure matters.  Please seek a qualified attorney to advise you.


Member Alert 7-01-19

As most ASCs know, their Administrators and CFOs must have Level Two Background Screening to serve in their capacities.  In 2018, Florida Statutes were changed to require that not only the people holding these positions should be screened, but also all Controlling Interests people must now be screened.  The point at which the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) is checking for compliance with this background screening is primarily done at the license renewal period.

It is important for all ASCs to update their AHCA profiles to show that they have provided Level Two Background Screening for the new Controlling Interest requirements.  For each person the ASC lists in the renewal application, AHCA must find a corresponding, current, and complete Level 2 background screening in the ASC’s Roster in the AHCA Clearinghouse in order for renewal licensed to be issued.  ASCs should ensure this new requirement is handled as far in advance as possible of their renewal date.

Click here for more information and instructions on how to update your AHCA profile. 



Member Alert 6-26-19

HB 843 was signed by Governor DeSantis last night, which includes several provisions, one of which will allow ASCs to keep a patient, if medically necessary, for up to 24 hours.  The new law will become effective on Monday, July 1st.

FSASC has worked on this piece of legislation since 2014.  In spite of many attempts to kill the bill this year, it was kept alive through the efforts of our legislative director Mike Cusick, our Senate Sponsor Gayle Harrell, House sponsor Representative Cindy Stevenson, and our House leaders, Representatives Ray Rodrigues and Paul Renner.

Passing this legislation was a tremendous effort over several years.  FSASC is grateful to it many members who contacted the Governor, legislators, wrote campaign contributions, testified to the legislature and gave to SurgiPAC.

FSASC will provide members with a white paper on how to implement the new regulations on 23 hour care in the coming days.


Member Alert 6-18-19

HB 843 passed the Legislature a few weeks ago.  Once it arrives on his desk,Governor DeSantis will have 15 days to sign it into law.  It is critically important that you and your physicians contact Governor DeSantis’ office and urge him to approve HB 843.

Tell him that the bill includes several provisions one of which would allow ASCs to keep a patient, if medically necessary, for up to 24 hours as allowed by the federal government and 40 other states.

Call Governor DeSantis at (850) 488-7146 or e-mail him by clicking here:

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