by +Mike Poller – - For years, the drug-testing laboratory industry in Florida has been challenged by laboratories that played fast and loose with the rules. SB 1292, passed by House and Senate, converts existing Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) regulations into statute and adds significant enforcement mechanisms and fines related to the clinical laboratory industry.
Key components of the bill include:
- Eliminating any unlicensed activity by referring violators to local law enforcement as a second degree misdemeanor and instituting fines of $5,000 per day of unlicensed activity.
- Enforcing that a clinical laboratory may not provide personnel to perform any functions in a physician’s office unless the lab and physician’s office are owned/operated by the same company
- Converting very clear regulatory language and reinforcing Federal Stark and anti-kickback laws prohibiting a clinical laboratory from leasing space in a physician’s office under any circumstances.
- Instituting penalties including fines not to exceed $5,000 for each separate act, and revocation of the lab’s license.
Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp, and Millenium Laboratories worked directly with the Florida state legislature in connection with the passage of the bill.