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Healthcare Essentials

August 27, 2018

Health Care Clinic Certificate of Exemption only valid for Two Years

By Timothy S. Wombles

Florida health care clinics holding a certificate of exemption from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (“AHCA”) must renew their exemption certificate every two years, effective July 1, 2018. Health care clinic exemptions granted previously did not expire. Passed March 21, 2018, Section 59 of Senate Bill 622 amends s. 400.9935, F.S., changing health care clinic certificates of exemption from indefinite to a maximum of two years. Changing certificates of exemption from indefinite to a two year maximum was adopted to improve the integrity of the exemption process. Senate Bill 622 makes no changes to non-exempt health care clinic licensure, leaving health care clinic licenses valid for two years.

By way of background, the Florida Statutes define a clinic providing health care services and billing third party payers (e.g., Medicare or private insurance) as a health care clinic. The Florida Statutes require health care clinics to be licensed, unless an exemption applies. Health care clinic exemptions include ownership by a hospital, pharmacy, optometrist, or physician, among others. See Fla. Stat. § 400.9905(4)(a)-(n). Exempt health care clinics are not required to apply for a certificate of exemption, but may do so voluntarily. Third party payers often require health care clinics claiming an exemption to produce a copy of the clinic’s certificate of exemption during enrollment and renewal. Establishing, owning, operating, managing, maintaining a health care clinic, or offering or advertising services that require clinic licensure without a license when an exemption does not apply is a felony. Fla. Stat. § 400.9935(4).

Click here to view the article published in the Florida Bar's Health Law Updates.

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