Important Legislation Impacting Mental Health Professional Interns
During the 2016 Legislative Session, House Bill 373, and companion Senate Bill 12, were passed into law. These bills establish an expiration date for mental health professional intern registrations and update current statutory language. Effective July 1, 2016, the new law:
- Limits the length of time an intern may practice in the fields of clinical social work, marriage and family therapy and mental health counseling. A registration issued on or before March 31, 2017, may not be renewed or reissued and will expire on March 31, 2022. Current registered interns will receive updated licenses with the new expiration date printed, beginning July 1, 2016. Any registration issued after March 31, 2017, will now expire after five years. No subsequent intern registration may be issued unless the intern has passed the theory and practice examination.
- Prohibits a person who has held a provisional license issued by the board from applying for an intern registration in the same profession.
- Clarifies certain supervision requirements detailed in Chapter 491, Florida Statutes. A licensed mental health professional must be on the premises when clinical services are provided by a registered intern in a private practice setting.
To view a full list of bill summaries from the 2016 legislative session, please visit www.FLHealthSource.gov/2016-bills. Once there, you will be able to view summaries, effective dates and a link to the final enrolled text.
During the 2016 Legislative Session, HB 1175 passed and became law on April 14, 2016, as Chapter 2016-234, Laws of Florida. Starting July 1, 2016, health care practitioners are required to provide a good faith estimate of anticipated charges to treat a condition if asked by the patient. The estimate must be provided to the patient or their proxy within 7 business days after receiving the request, however the practitioner is not required to adjust the estimate for any potential insurance coverage. Patients must contact their health insurer or health maintenance organization for any information relating to cost-sharing responsibilities.
While the estimate does not preclude actual charges from exceeding the estimate, failure to provide it within the required time without good cause will result in discipline against the practitioner. This includes a daily fine of $500 until the estimate is provided to the patient. Total fines may not exceed $5,000.
In addition, the new law states that every pharmacy must make health information disseminated by the Agency for Health Care Administration available on its website and notify customers in the store that this information is available online.
To read the entire bill, visit www.FLHealthSource.gov/2016-Bills.