These are unsettling, unique and confusing times to say the least. In times like this, people regularly turn to their doctors and health care professionals and providers for solace, protection and care, and if for nothing else than reassurance. We are watching countless, selfless individuals and entities in the health care industry step up to take care of those patients who need that reassurance and care and treatment as part of the massive and unprecedented mobilization of the health care professions and industry to thwart and eradicate the COVID-19 threat. We want to thank you for all you are doing to protect all of us and our health, safety and welfare, and we want you to know we are here to protect all of you.

A number of issues will face all of you over the next several weeks to months, and possibly beyond, and the more information and education that we can provide in order to help you in these trying times we will certainly do so. For instance, when Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-72 , essentially shutting down any health care service that isn’t urgent, confusion and anxiety swept over the Florida health care industry. In recognition of that fact, many industry professional associations and trade groups contacted Florida government and sought clarification of that Order. Click the FMA link to see one report of such a clarification issued by the Florida Medical Association. Thanks to the FMA and its General Counsel, Jeff Scott, Esq., we now have a much clearer and better roadmap to navigate Executive Order 20-72.

The Florida Department of Health has also confirmed that physicians can continue to see patients for purposes of evaluation and management and that telemedicine/telehealth visits can continue. Primary care practitioners are still permitted to see and treat patients with chronic and acute conditions, perform wellness exams, and provide mental health services, that do not consume personal protective equipment. Specialists are still permitted to see patients for follow-up care and other non-surgical purposes.

Medical care and health care services prohibited under the Order are:

  • elective or non-medically necessary surgical procedures
  • surgical procedures that can be postponed without putting a patient’s immediate health, safety or well-being at risk
  • medical procedures that would consume personal protective equipment and that can be postponed without putting the patient’s immediate health, safety or well-being at risk

We also recommend that you consult the CMS recommendation s for additional guidance.

Executive Order 20-72 touches upon and opens us a complex area of health care law, so if you still have questions after reviewing all of this, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our best to all of you out there taking care of patients and protecting us in these difficult and unsettling times. Stay safe!

The Healthcare Team at Lowe & Evander, P.A. understand the hard work and sacrifices it takes to become a health professional or provider and aggressively defend health professionals regarding protecting their license, practice, career, assets and reputation. Using our experience and expertise, we navigate the obstacles our clients face, serving not only as their attorneys, but also as their legal strategists, trusted advisors and protectors of their rights and interest against government investigations and lawsuits when necessary, and we help chart a course through the maze of state and federal health care laws, rules and regulations.

The information provided in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information and content in this article are intended to convey general informational only and may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. Readers of this article should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. No reader of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information in this article without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.

Michael R. Lowe, Esquire is a Florida board-certified health law attorney at Lowe & Evander, P.A. Brian C. Evander, Esquire and Mr. Lowe regularly represent providers, physicians and other licensed health care professionals, and facilities in a wide variety of health care law matters.

For more information regarding those health care law and such matters please visit our website or call our office at (407) 332-6353.