Florida Cracks Down on Cosmetic Surgery Mills

SB 732 - Office Surgery

On June 25, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 732 - Office Surgery into law. The bill, proposed by Senator Anitere Flores and Representative Anthony Rodriguez in February, was introduced just days after an investigation by USA TODAY and the Naples Daily News revealed that eight women had died after undergoing procedures in the same Miami-area plastic surgery business where doctors with little specialized training were performing up to eight surgeries a day.

The new legislation, which takes effect January 2020, requires any doctor or facility—other than a hospital—that performs a liposuction procedure in which more than 1,000 cubic centimeters of supernatant fat is removed, a Level II office surgery or a Level III office surgery to register with the state Department of Health. It directs the Department of Health to perform annual inspections of registered facilities and gives the Department the authority to issue an emergency order suspending or revoking the facility’s registration based on specific findings related to patient safety, record-keeping and/or compliance with state law.

If a clinic is shut down, the physician-owner would be barred from owning another clinic in the state for at least five years. Suspensions can last up to two years and a physician running an unregistered clinic can be fined up to $10,000.

The new legislation further requires facilities and physicians to demonstrate the ability to pay out claims in the case of serious patient injury or death and requires each facility to register a physician who will be responsible for compliance with the new law.

In a Twitter post following passage of the bill in the House, Sen. Flores said the bill would stop patients from “becoming a statistic.”

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