January 4, 2021
Advocating for FP COVID Vaccine Access
COVID-19 vaccine in researcher hands_ female doctor holds syringe and bottle with vaccine for coronavirus cure. Concept of corona virus treatment_ injection_ shot and clinical trial during pandemic.
As you know, the Florida Academy of Family Physicians (FAFP) has been working to ensure community-based family physicians are being prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine in Phase I distribution plans, especially with the post-holiday surge upon us. This responsibility has been delegated by the state to hospitals receiving the vaccine as to how they coordinate immunizations beyond their hospital/health system with the supply received. Some systems have responded positively like Orlando Health as seen by an article posted yesterday.  

The FAFP needs its members' help in order to continue advocating regarding this important issue.  If your hospital or health system has yet to act, please email Jay Millson (jmillson@fafp.org) the following information so the FAFP can conduct outreach efforts as soon as possible:

  1. Hospital and/or Health System (Any or all in your area/region)
  2. Name of CEO and her/his email address

The Academy will email a letter from FAFP President Dr. John Gross to these CEOs urging immediate action. Of course, the FAFP would be more than pleased to send letters of thanks to those who have already provided vaccine to unaffiliated family physicians in their communities so please send Mr. Millson similar contact information for appropriate follow-up. Thank you for any assistance you can provide in assisting FAFP members receive the COVID vaccine.

Virtual Controlled Substance Prescribing Order Extended
doctor holding smart device with human anatomy graphic showing
Governor DeSantis extended Florida's COVID-19 state of emergency declaration for 60 days (March 5, 2021). His previous Executive Order 10-166 expires today January 4. Executive Order 20-316 serves as the basis for much of the emergency action taken by Governor DeSantis and his state agencies to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The Executive Order encompasses several policy areas, including health care and business regulation. The extension of the executive order addresses the following:   
Controlled substances: Family Physicians, APRN's, and PA's who are registered with the DEA as controlled substance prescriber's can issue prescription renewals, via telemedicine without a physical examination, ONLY for an existing patient for the treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain. Telehealth services may only be substituted for the physical examination.
Medical Marijuana: Virtual re-certification is also allowed for existing patients who have been diagnosed with a qualified condition by physicians qualified by the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU).
The executive order also addresses the ability for healthcare professionals, advanced life support professionals, and basic life support professionals, holding a valid license in another state, territory or district to provide these services in Florida during the COVID-19 crisis, yet must be conducted within their scope of practice. The FAFP will keep the membership updated on these and other orders as they are released, yet a comprehensive overview of all state policies and resources can be found on the FL DOH website. Any questions, please email jmillson@fafp.org.  
To read in .pdf version, CLICK HERE.
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