On June 25, 2019 the Governor of Florida approved SB 732, a new statute modifying the rules related to office surgery and surgical centers. The question many bare doctors in Florida are asking is whether SB 732 requires doctors working at surgical centers to carry malpractice insurance. The answer is no it does not.

While the new statute does require all MDs and Dos who work at surgical centers to maintain “financial responsibility”, it makes no changes to the existing definition or requirements of “financial responsibility.” Thus, there really is no change at all.

According to SB 732, “As a condition of registration, each office must establish financial responsibility by demonstrating that it has met and continues to maintain, at a minimum, the same requirements applicable to physicians in ss. 458.320 and 458.0085. Each physician practicing at an office registered under this section or s. 458.328 must meet the financial responsibility requirement under s. 458.320 or s. 459.0085, as applicable.”

458.320 and 459.0085 are the existing Florida financial responsibility statutes for MDs and DOs respectively. It is important to note that no changes were made to these statutes. Pursuant to these statutes medical doctors and osteopathic doctors may practice without insurance as long as they give notice to their patients of their financial responsibility and agree to satisfy any judgment up to the required amounts ($250,000 or $100,000).

Written by: Steve Lubell.