65D-30.014. Standards for Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opiodid Use Disorders  


Effective on Tuesday, June 25, 2019
  • 1In addition to rule 565D-30.004, 6F.A.C., 7subsections (1) through (7) of this rule 14apply to 16methadone m18edication-assisted treatment. 20Subsection (8) of this rule applies to all other medication-assisted treatments.

    31(1) State Authority. The state authority is the Department’s Office of Substance Abuse 44and Mental Health. The State Opioid Treatment Authority (SOTA) is the individual designated by the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to exercise the state’s authority and responsibilities in governing opiate treatment by opioid treatment programs. The SOTA acts as the state's coordinator for the development and regulatory monitoring of opioid treatment programs and serves as a liaison with the appropriate federal, state and local agencies.

    111(2) Federal Authority. The federal authority is the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

    124(3) Determination of Need.

    128(a) 129The Department shall annually perform the assessment detailed in the “Methodology of Determination of Need Methadone Medication-Assisted Treatment,” CF-MH 4038, May 2019, incorporated by reference and available at 158http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-10669160. The Department shall publish the results of the assessment in the Florida Administrative Register by June 30. Facilities owned and operated by the Florida Department of Corrections are exempt from the needs assessment process. However, these facilities must apply for a license to deliver this service.

    207(b) The publication shall direct interested parties to submit a letter of intent to apply for licensure 224to provide medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders 232to the 234Regional Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health 242where need has been demonstrated.

    2471. The publication shall provide a closing date for submission of letters of intent.

    2612. Interested parties must identify the fiscal year of the needs assessment to which they are responding and the number of awards they are applying for per county identified in the assessment in their letter of intent.

    298(c) Within 300seven (7) business days of the closing date, the Regional Office shall notify parties who submitted a letter of intent 320on how to proceed.

    3241. If the number of letters of intent equals or is less than the determined need, parties shall be awarded the opportunity to proceed to licensure by completing an “Application for Licensure to Provide Substance Abuse Services” form, C&F-SA Form 4024, May 2019, incorporated by reference and available at 373http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-10668375.

    3762. If the number of letters of intent exceeds the determined need, parties shall be invited to submit a “Methadone Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Application to Proceed to Licensure Application” form, CF-MH 4041, May 2019, incorporated by reference and available at 416http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-10671418. 419Applications may not be rolled over for consideration in response to a needs assessment published in a different year and may only be submitted for a current fiscal year needs assessment.

    450a. The Department shall utilize an evaluation team made up of industry experts to conduct a formal rating of applications as stipulated in the “Methadone Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Application Evaluation” form, CF-MH 4040, May 2019, incorporated by reference and available at 491http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-10670493. The evaluation team members shall not be affiliated with the Department, current methadone medication-assisted treatment providers operating in Florida, or the applicants.

    516b. The selection of a provider shall be based on the following criteria:

    529(I) Capability to Serve Selected Area(s) of Need and Priority Populations. Area(s) of Need are the counties identified as having a need for additional clinics. Priority Populations are pregnant women, women with young children, and individuals with financial hardships;

    568(II) Patient Safety and Quality Assurance/Improvement;

    574(III) Scope of Methadone Medication-Assisted Treatment Services;

    581(IV) Capability and Experience; and

    586(V) Revenue Sources.

    589c. Applicants with the highest-scored applications in each county shall be awarded the opportunity to apply for licensure for the number of programs specified in their letter of intent to meet the need of that county. If there is unmet need, the next highest scored applicant(s) will receive an award(s) based on the remaining need and the number of programs specified in their letter of intent. This process will continue until the stated need is met. Regional offices shall inform the highest-scoring applicant(s) in writing of the award.

    677d. All awarded applicants must submit a letter of intent to apply for licensure to the appropriate regional office within 30 calendar days after the award. If an applicant declines an award or fails to submit the letter of intent within the specified time, the Department shall rescind the award. After the Department rescinds the original award for that selected area of need, the applicant with the next highest score shall receive the award.

    751(d) Awarded applicants must receive at least a probationary license within two (2) years of the published needs assessment connected to their application. See rule 65D-30.0036, F.A.C. for licensure application requirements. Applicants may submit a request to the State Authority and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program Office for an exception if unable to meet timeframes due to a natural disaster that causes physical damage to the applicant’s building(s). Proof of natural disaster and impact on physical property must accompany the request. Upon receipt of the request for exception and accompanying proof, a one-time extension shall be granted for six (6) months. Providers who are delayed for a reason other than a natural disaster may petition the Department for a rule waiver pursuant to section 876120.542, F.S.

    878(4) General Requirements.

    881(a) Methadone Medication-Assisted Treatment Program Sponsor. The methadone medication-assisted treatment sponsor, as defined in subsection 89665D-30.002(42), 897F.A.C., of a new provider shall be a licensed health professional and shall have worked in the field of substance use treatment at least five (5) years. 924The sponsor is responsible for the program operation and assumes responsibility for all its employees, including any practitioners, agents, or other persons providing medical, rehabilitative, or counseling services at the program or any of its medication units. The program sponsor need not be a licensed physician but shall employ a licensed physician for the position of medical director.

    982(b) Medical Director. The medical director of a provider shall have a minimum of two (2) years’ experience treating substance use disorders.

    1004(c) Special Permit and Consultant Pharmacist.

    10101. Special Permit.

    1013a. All providers shall obtain a special pharmacy permit from the State of Florida Board of Pharmacy. New applicants shall be required to obtain a special pharmacy permit prior to licensure by the Department.

    1047b. Providers obtaining a special pharmacy permit shall hire a consultant pharmacist licensed by the state of Florida.

    10652. Consultant Pharmacist. The responsibilities of the consultant pharmacist include the following:

    1077a. Develop policies and procedures relative to the supervision of the compounding and dispensing of all medications dispensed in the facility;

    1098b. Provide ongoing pharmaceutical consultation;

    1103c. Develop operating procedures for maintaining all medication records and security in the area within the facility in which the compounding, storing, and dispensing of medications occur;

    1130d. Meet face-to-face, at least quarterly, with the medical director to review the provider’s pharmacy practices. Meetings shall be documented in writing and signed and dated by both the consultant pharmacist and the medical director;

    1165e. Prepare written reports regarding the provider’s level of compliance with established pharmaceutical procedures. Reports shall be prepared at least semi-annually and submitted, signed, and dated by the consultant pharmacist and submitted to the medical director; and

    1202f. Physically visit the provider at least every two (2) weeks to ensure that established procedures are being followed, unless otherwise stipulated by the state Board of Pharmacy. A log of such visits shall be maintained, signed, and dated by the consultant pharmacist at each visit.

    12483. Change of Consultant Pharmacist. The provider’s medical director shall notify the Board of Pharmacy within 10 days of any change of consultant pharmacists and provide a copy of such notification to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program Office and the SOTA.

    1291(d) Providers shall develop policies and procedures for the treatment of pregnant women.

    13041. Prior to the initial dose, each female shall be fully informed of the risks of taking and not taking methadone during pregnancy, including possible adverse effects on the mother or fetus. 1336If the medication is not taken, risk includes withdrawal syndrome which has been associated with fetal demise. The individual shall sign and date a statement acknowledging this information. Pregnant women shall be seen by the physician or their qualified designee as clinically advisable. The physician or qualified medical designee must document in the clinical record that the pregnant individual was informed of the risks in this paragraph.

    14032. Pregnant individuals shall be informed of the opportunity and need for prenatal care by referral to publicly or privately funded health care providers. The provider shall establish a 1432documented 1433system for referring individuals to prenatal care.

    14403. In the event there are no publicly funded prenatal referral resources to serve those who are indigent, or if the individual refuses the services, the provider shall offer her basic prenatal instruction on maternal, physical, and dietary care as part of its counseling service. The nature of prenatal support shall be documented in the clinical record.

    14974. When the individual is referred for prenatal services, the practitioner to whom she is referred shall be notified that she is undergoing methadone medication-assisted treatment and provided treatment plans addressing pregnancy and post-partum care. Documentation of referral shall be kept in the clinical record. If a pregnant individual refuses referral and prenatal instruction and counseling, the provider shall obtain a signed statement from the individual acknowledging that she had the opportunity for the prenatal care but declined.

    15755. The physician shall sign or countersign and date all entries related to prenatal care.

    15906. Treating physicians or their qualified designee shall consult with other treating medical staff providing care and medications to ensure that prescribed medication protocols are not contraindicated.

    1617(e) Minimum Responsibilities of the Physician. 1623Physicians must adhere to best practice standards for an individual receiving methadone medication-assisted treatment. Best practices are evidence-based practices which are subject to scientific evaluation for effectiveness and efficacy. Best practice standards may be established by entities such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, national trade associations, accrediting organizations recognized by the Department, or comparable authorities in substance use treatment. In addition, 1688the responsibilities of the physician include the following:

    16961. To ensure that evidence of current physiological addiction, history of addiction, and exemptions from criteria for admission are documented in the clinical record before the individual receives the initial dose of medication;

    17292. To sign or countersign and date all medical orders, including the initial prescription, all subsequent prescription changes, and all changes in the frequency of take-home medication;

    17563. To ensure that justification is recorded in the clinical record for any change to the frequency of visits to the provider for observed medication ingesting, including cases involving the need for exemptions, or when prescribing medication for physical or emotional problems;

    17984. To review, sign or countersign, and date treatment plans at least annually; and

    18125. To ensure that a face-to-face assessment is conducted with each individual at least annually, including evaluation of the individual’s physical/medical status, progress in treatment, and justification for continued maintenance or medical clearance for voluntary withdrawal or a dosage reduction protocol. The assessment shall be conducted by a physician or a P.A. or A.P.R.N. under the supervision of a physician. The protocol shall include criteria and the conditions under which the assessment would be conducted more frequently.

    1889(f) Central Registry.

    18921. Providers shall register and participate in the Department-approved electronic registry 1903system for individuals receiving methadone medication-assisted treatment services. The registry is used to prevent the enrollment of individuals at more than one (1) provider and to facilitate continuity of care in the event of program closure and guest dosing verification. The registry shall be implemented in compliance with 42 Code of Federal Regulations, §2.13. 1957The provider must submit to information gathering activities by the SOTA for state planning purposes1972.

    19732. Methadone shall not be administered or dispensed to an individual who is known to be currently enrolled with another provider. 1994Providers shall develop policies and procedures to ensure compliance with 200442 C.F.R. 8.12(g)2. 2007If an individual changes providers, the current provider shall assist with coordinating the transfer to another provider. 2024The evidence of linkage to care shall be noted in the 2035clinical record. Upon notification that an individual is being admitted to a new provider, it is the responsibility of the original admission site to discharge an individual from the Central Registry.

    20663. Individuals applying for 2070methadone medication-assisted 2072treatment shall be informed of the registry procedures and shall be required to sign a consent form before receiving services. Individuals who apply for services and do not consent to the procedures will not be enrolled.

    21084. If an individual is found trying to secure or has succeeded in obtaining duplicate doses of methadone or other medication, the 2130individual 2131shall be referred back to the original provider. A written statement documenting the incident shall be forwarded to the original provider 2152and, if the individual succeeded in obtaining the duplicate dose, the incident must be reported in the Department-approved incident reporting system by the provider who dispensed the duplicate dose2181. The physician of the original provider 2188or their qualified designee 2192shall evaluate the 2195individual 2196as soon as medically feasible for continuation of treatment. In addition, a record of violations by individuals must become part of the clinical record maintained 2221by all participating providers and shall be made available to Department staff upon request.

    22355. With the application for licensure, providers shall submit with the application for licensure written plans for participating in registry activities.

    2256(g) Wait lists.

    22591. Providers must maintain wait list data for individuals seeking care but unable to enroll within 24 hours of first contact requesting initiation of treatment.

    22842. When an opening is available, providers must make at least one (1) attempt to contact the next prospective individual on the waiting list and maintain a system of documenting attempts. Documentation shall include at a minimum: date of attempted contact, individual’s name, date of birth, address, and contact information.

    23343. Priority must be given to pregnant woman and HIV-positive individuals.

    2345(h) Operating Hours and Holidays.

    23501. Providers shall post operating hours in 2357full view of the public2362. This information shall include hours for counseling and administering medication.

    23732. All providers shall be open Monday through Saturday. Providers shall have medicating hours and counseling hours that accommodate individuals, including two (2) hours of medicating time accessible daily outside the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    24113. Providers are required to medicate on Sundays according to 2421the needs of the individual2426. This 2428includes individuals 2430on Phase 1, individuals on a 30 to 180-day detoxification regimen, and individuals who need daily observation. Providers shall develop policies and procedures for Sunday coverage.

    24564. In case of impending disaster, providers shall implement disaster preparedness policies and procedures as necessary regarding operating hours and dosing.

    24775. 2478When holidays are observed, all individuals shall be given a minimum of a seven (7)-day notice of any changes to the hours of operation.

    25026. When applying for a license, providers shall inform the respective program offices of their intended holidays. In no case shall two (2) or more holidays occur in immediate succession unless the provider is granted an exemption by the state and federal authority. Take-out privileges shall be available to all eligible individuals during holidays, if clinically advisable. Services shall be accessible to individuals for whom take-home medication is not clinically advisable. Individuals who fall into this category shall receive a minimum of seven (7) days notification regarding arrangements and exact hours of operation.

    2595(5) Maintenance Treatment Standards.

    2599(a) Standards for Placement.

    26031. Determining Addiction and Placement.

    2608a. An individual aged 18 or over shall be placed in treatment only if the physician, 2624or their qualified designee identified in accordance with the medical protocol established in subsection 263865D-30.004(7), 2639F.A.C., 2640determines that the individual is currently physiologically addicted to opioid drugs and became physiologically addicted at least one (1) year before placement in 2663methadone medication-assisted 2665treatment.

    2666b. A one (1)-year history of addiction means that individuals seeking placement in 2679methadone medication-assisted 2681treatment were physiologically addicted to opioid drugs at least one (1) year before placement and were addicted continuously or episodically for most of the year immediately prior to placement with a provider.

    2713c. In the event the exact date of physiological addiction cannot be determined, the physician or their qualified designee may admit the individual to treatment if, by the evidence presented and observed, 2745and utilizing reasonable clinical judgment, the physician or their qualified designee concludes 2757that the individual was physiologically addicted during the year prior to placement. Such observations shall be recorded in the clinical record by the physician or their qualified designee.

    2785d. Individuals with a chronic immune deficiency or who are pregnant must be screened and admitted on a priority basis.

    2805e. Individuals seeking admission with only a primary medical diagnosis of a chronic pain condition must be referred to specialists qualified to treat chronic pain conditions and are not eligible for admission. Individuals who are diagnosed with a primary opioid use disorder and a chronic pain condition are eligible for admission.

    28562. Placement of Individuals Under 18 Years of Age.

    2865a. An Individual under 18 is required to have had two (2) documented unsuccessful attempts at short-term detoxification or substance use treatment within the last year to be eligible for treatment.

    2896b. The physician or their qualified designee shall document in the clinical record that the individual continues to be or is again physiologically dependent on opioid drugs and is appropriate for placement.

    2928c. Treatment standards in this rule are not intended to limit current best practice protocols for this population.

    29463. Evidence of Addiction.

    2950a. In determining the current physiological addiction of the individual, the physician or their qualified designee shall consider signs and symptoms of drug intoxication, evidence of use of drugs through a urine drug screen, and needle marks.

    2987b. Other evidence of current physiological dependence shall be considered by noting early signs of withdrawal, such as cramping, lachrymation, rhinorrhea, pupilary dilation, pilo erection, body temperature, pulse rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased respiratory rate.

    3023(b) Individual Consent. In addition to the minimum requirements for completing a treatment plan, providers shall conduct the following:

    30421. Individuals shall be advised of the benefits of therapeutic and supportive rehabilitative services, and that the goal of methadone medication-assisted treatment is stabilization of functioning. The individual shall be fully informed of the risks and consequences of methadone medication-assisted treatment.

    30832. Each provider shall provide a thorough explanation of all program services, as well as state and federal policies and regulations, and obtain a voluntary, written, and signed program-specific statement of fully informed consent from the individual at admission.

    31223. During treatment plan review, the counselor shall re-assess present level of functioning, course of treatment, and identify future goals.

    31424. No individual under 18 years of age shall be placed in methadone medication-assisted treatment unless a parent or legal guardian provides written consent.

    3166(c) Exemption from Minimum Standards for Placement.

    31731. An individual who has resided in a penal or chronic-care institution for one (1) month or longer may be placed in treatment within 14 days before release or within 6 months after release from such institution. This can occur without documented evidence to support findings of physiological addiction, providing the individual would have been eligible for placement before incarceration or institutionalization, and in the reasonable clinical judgment of the physician or their qualified designee, methadone medication-assisted treatment is medically justified.

    32542. Evidence of prior residence in a penal or chronic-care institution, evidence of all other findings, and the criteria used to determine the findings shall be recorded by the physician or their qualified designee in the clinical record.

    32923. The physician or their qualified designee shall sign and date these entries before the initial dose is administered.

    3311(d) Pregnant individuals.

    33141. Pregnant individuals, regardless of age, who have had a documented addiction to opioid drugs in the past and who may be in direct jeopardy of returning to opioid drugs, may be placed in methadone medication-assisted treatment. For such individuals, evidence of current physiological addiction to opioid drugs is not needed if a physician or their qualified designee certifies the pregnancy and, in utilizing reasonable clinical judgment, finds treatment to be medically justified.

    33872. Pregnant individuals may be placed on a medication-assisted treatment regimen using a medication other than methadone only upon the written order of a physician who determines this to be the best choice of therapy for that individual.

    34253. Evidence of current or prior addiction and criteria used to determine such findings shall be recorded in the clinical record by the admitting physician or their qualified designee. The physician or their qualified designee shall sign and date these recordings prior to administering the initial dose.

    3472(e) Readmission to Treatment.

    34761. Up to 2 years after discharge or detoxification for opioid use disorders, and individual who has been previously involved in methadone medication-assisted treatment may be readmitted without evidence to support findings of current physiological addiction. This can occur if the provider is able to document prior maintenance treatment of six (6) months or more and the physician or their qualified designee, utilizing reasonable clinical judgment, finds readmission to treatment to be medically justified.

    35502. Evidence of prior treatment and the criteria used to determine such findings shall be recorded in the clinical record by the physician or their qualified designee. The physician or their qualified designee shall sign and date the information recorded in the clinical record.

    3594(f) Denying an Individual Treatment.

    35991. If an individual will not benefit from a treatment regimen that includes the use of methadone or other opioid treatment medications, or if treating the individual would pose a danger to others, the individual may be refused treatment. This is permitted even if the individual meets the standards for placement.

    36502. The physician or their qualified designee shall make this determination and shall document the basis for the decision to refuse treatment.

    3672(g) Methadone Take-home Privileges.

    36761. Take-home doses of methadone are permitted only for individuals participating 3687in a methadone medication-assisted treatment program. Requests for take-home doses greater than the amount allowed, 3702as stipulated in paragraph (5)(h) of this rule, must be entered into the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (SAMHSA/CSAT) Opioid Treatment Program Extranet for federal and state approval. The following must be indicated on the exception request:

    3745a. Dates of Exception:  not to exceed a 12 month period of time per request;

    3760b. Justification;

    3762c. Dates and results of last three (3) drug screens, for individuals in treatment longer than 90 days;

    3780d. Indicate compliance with securing methadone in a lockable secure container;

    3791e. Statement of supporting documentation on file; and

    3799f. Any other information the provider deems necessary in support of the request.

    38122. The medical director shall make determinations based on take-home criteria as stated in 382642 CFR 8.12(i)(2).

    38293. When considering an individual’s responsibility in handling methadone, the physician shall consider the recommendations of other staff members who are most familiar with the relevant facts regarding the individual.

    38594. The requirement of time in treatment and participation is a minimum reference point after which an individual may be eligible for take-home privileges. The time in treatment reference is not intended to mean that an individual in treatment for a particular length of time has a right to take-home methadone. Regardless of time in treatment, the physician, state or federal authorities with cause, may deny or rescind the take-home privileges of an individual.

    39335. In the event of a disaster that prompts a program-wide exemption authorized by SAMHSA and the SOTA in advance, providers must make appropriate arrangements for unstable individuals to obtain their medication.

    3965(h) Take-home Phases. To be considered for take-home privileges, all individuals shall be in compliance with 3981criteria as stated in 398542 CFR 8.12(i)(2).

    39881. Differences in the nature of abuse potential in opioid treatment medications determine the course of treatment and subsequent take-home privileges available to the individual based on progress, participation, and circumstances. The assessment and decision approving all take-homes shall be documented in the individual’s clinical record, signed and dated by the physician.

    40402. 4041No take-homes shall be permitted during the first 30 days following placement unless approved by both the state and federal authorities.

    4062a. Phase I. Following 30 consecutive days in treatment, the individual may be eligible for one (1) take-home per week from day 31 through day 90, provided that the individual has had negative drug screens and is following program requirements for the preceding 30 days.

    4107b. Phase II. Following 90 consecutive days in treatment, the individual may be eligible for two (2) take-homes per week from day 91 through day 180, provided that the individual has had negative drug screens for the preceding 60 days.

    4147c. Phase III. Following 180 consecutive days in treatment, the individual may be eligible for three (3) take-homes per week with no more than a two (2)-day supply at any one time from day 181 through one (1) year, provided that the individual has had negative drug screens for the preceding 90 days.

    4200d. Phase IV. Following one (1) year in continuous treatment, the individual may be eligible for four (4) take-homes per week through the second year of treatment, provided that the individual has had negative drug screens for the preceding 90 days.

    4241e. Phase V. Following two (2) years in continuous treatment, the individual may be eligible for five (5) take-homes per week, provided that the individual has had negative drug screens for the preceding 90 days.

    4276f. Phase VI. Following three (3) years in treatment, the individual may be eligible for six (6) take-homes per week provided that the individual had all negative drug screens for the past year.

    43093. Methadone Medical Maintenance. Providers may place an individual on methadone medical maintenance in cases where it can be demonstrated that the potential benefits of medical maintenance to the individual exceed the potential risks, in the professional judgment of the physician. Only a physician may authorize placement of an individual on medical maintenance. The physician shall provide justification in the clinical record regarding the decision to place an individual on medical maintenance.

    4381The following conditions shall apply to medical maintenance.

    4389a. To qualify for partial medical maintenance, an individual may receive no more than 13 take-homes and must have been in continuous treatment for four (4) years with negative drug screens for the previous two (2) years.

    4426b. To qualify for full medical maintenance an individual may receive no more than 27 take-homes and must have been in continuous treatment for five (5) years with negative drug screen for the prious two (2) years.

    4463c. All individuals in medical maintenance will receive their medication orally in the form of liquid, diskette or tablet. Diskettes and tablets are allowed if formulated to reduce potential parenteral abuse.

    4494d. All individuals will participate in a “call back” program by reporting back to the provider upon notice for a medication count.

    4516e. All criteria for take-homes as listed under paragraph (5)(g) shall continue to be met.

    4531(i) Transferred Individuals and Take-Home Privileges.

    45371. Any individual who transfers from one (1) provider to another within the state of Florida shall be eligible for placement on the same phase provided that verification of enrollment and compliance with program requirements is received from the previous provider prior to implementing transfer. The physician at the previous provider shall also document that the individual met all criteria for their current phase and are at least on Phase I.

    46082. Any individual who transfers from out-of-state is required to 4618comply with the criteria stated in 462442 CFR 8.12(i)(2), 4627and with verification of previous clinical records, the physician shall determine the phase level based on the individual’s history.

    4646(j) Transfer Information. When an individual transfers from one (1) provider to another, the referring provider shall release the following information:

    46671. Results of the latest physical examination,

    46742. Results of the latest laboratory tests on blood and urine,

    46853. Results of drug screens for the past 12 months,

    46954. Medical history,

    46985. Current dosage level and dosage regimen for the past 12 months,

    47106. Documentation of the conditions which precipitated the referral;

    47197. A written summary of the individual’s last three (3) months of treatment;

    47328. Any history of behavioral non-compliance, emotional, or legal problems; and

    47439. A copy of the clinical records to ensure coordination of care, to include: discharge summary, medical assessments, and current medications and dosage. Additional records may be sent based on their appropriateness to ensure coordination of care. 4780This information shall be released prior to the individual’s arrival at the provider to which he or she is transferred. Providers shall not withhold an individual’s records when requested by the individual for any reason, including failure to pay bills owed to the provider. The referring provider shall forward the records directly to the provider of the 4837individual’s choosing with signed records releases from the individual4846.

    4847(k) Exemptions from Take-Home Privileges and Phasing Requirements.

    48551. 4856Exemptions for Disability or Illness.

    4861a. 4862If an individual is found to have a physical disability which interferes with the individual’s ability to conform to the applicable mandatory schedule, the individual may be permitted a temporary or permanently reduced schedule by the physician 4899and, at the discretion of the SOTA and federal authorities, 4909provided the individual is also found to be responsible in handling 4920opioid treatment medication, is making progress in treatment, and is providing drug screens free of illicit substances4937.

    4938b. Providers shall obtain medical records and other relevant information as needed to verify the medical condition. Justification for the reduced attendance schedule shall be documented in the clinical record by the physician or their qualified designee who shall sign and date these entries.

    49822. 4983Temporary Reduced Schedule of Attendance

    4988a. An individual 4991may be permitted a temporarily reduced schedule of attendance because of exceptional circumstances such as illness, personal or family crises, travel or other hardship which causes the individual to become unable to conform to the applicable mandatory schedule. This is permitted only if the individual is also found to be responsible in handling 5044opioid treatment medication, has consistently provided drug screens free of illicit substances, and has made acceptable progress toward treatment goals.

    5064b. Any individual using prescription opioid medications or sedative medication not used in the medication-assisted treatment protocols shall provide a legitimate prescription from the prescribing medical professional. The physician, or medical designee, shall consult with the prescribing physician to coordinate care as outlined in medical protocols.

    5110c. 5111The necessity for an exemption from a mandatory schedule is to be based on the reasonable clinical judgment of the physician or qualified designee. Such determination of necessity shall be recorded in the clinical record by the physician or their qualified designee who shall sign and date these entries. An individual shall not be given more than a 14-day supply of methadone at any one time unless an exemption is granted by the state methadone authority and by the federal government. 5192The state and federal authorities shall review exemption requests and render a decision in accordance with the criteria identified in 521242 CFR 8.12(i)(1) 5215and (2).

    52173. Travel Distance.

    5220a. 5221In those instances where access to a provider is limited because of travel distance, the physician is authorized to reduce the frequency of an individual’s attendance. This is permitted if the individual is currently employed or attending a regionally approved educational or vocational program or the individual has regular child-caring responsibilities that preclude daily trips to the provider. 5279This does not extend to individuals who choose to travel further than the closest affordable program to dose.

    5297b. 5298The reason for reducing the frequency of attendance shall be documented in the clinical record by the physician who shall sign and date these entries. 5323The state and federal authorities shall review the requests for reducing the frequency of attendance and render a decision in accordance with the criteria identified in 534942 CFR 8.12(i)(1) 5352and (2).

    53544. Other Travel.

    5357a. 5358Any exemption that is granted to an individual regarding travel shall be documented in the clinical record. Such documentation shall include tickets prior to a trip, copies of boarding passes, copies of fuel receipts, lodging receipts, or other verification of the individual’s arrival at the approved destination. 5405If travel is due to medical treatment, documentation shall include a physician’s note or related documentation from the physician or qualified designee. Generally, special take-homes shall not exceed 27 doses at one (1) time. Request for take-homes in excess of 27 doses must be submitted for approval through SAMHSA/CSAT Opioid Treatment Program Extranet for federal and state approval. The state and federal authorities shall review these requests for take-homes in excess of 27 doses and render a decision in accordance with the criteria identified in 549042 CFR 8.12(i)(1) 5493and (2).

    5495b. Individuals 5497who receive exemptions for travel shall be required to submit to a drug screening on the day of return to the provider.

    5519(l) Random Drug Screening.

    55231. 5524Individuals in the first six (6) months of treatment shall be required to submit to a5540t least one (1) monthly random drug screen.

    55482. Individuals who are on Phase III or higher shall be required to submit to a minimum of eight (8) random drug screens per year of an individual’s treatment plan.

    55783. 5579All drug screens shall be conducted by direct observation, or by another accurate method of monitoring in order to reduce the risk of falsification of results. 5605Each specimen shall be analyzed for opioids, methadone, buprenorphine, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and cocaine. 5618If there is a history of prescription opioid analgesic abuse, an expanded toxicology panel that includes these opioids shall administered. Additional testing is based on individual patient need and local drug use patterns and trends.

    56534. The physician or their qualified designee shall review all positive drug screens from illicit substances in accordance with the medical protocol established in subsection 567865D-30.004(7), 5679F.A.C.

    5680(m) Employment of Persons on a Maintenance Protocol. No staff member, full-time, part-time or volunteer, shall be on a maintenance protocol unless a request to maintain or hire staff undergoing treatment is submitted with justification to and approved by the federal and state authorities. Any approved personnel on a maintenance regimen shall not be allowed access to or responsibility for handling methadone or other opioid treatment medication.

    5747(n) Caseload. No full-time counselor shall have a caseload that exceeds the equivalent of 32 currently participating individuals. Participating individual equivalents are determined in the following manner.

    57741. An individual seen once per week would count as 1.0 equivalent.

    57862. An individual seen bi-weekly would count as a .5 equivalent.

    57973. An individual seen monthly or less would count as a .25 equivalent.

    58104. As an example, a counselor has a caseload of 15 individuals that are seen weekly (counts as an equivalent of 15), 30 individuals seen biweekly (counts as an equivalent of 15), and 8 individuals seen monthly (counts as an equivalent of 2). The counselor would have a total caseload of 53 individuals equaling 32 equivalent individuals.

    5867(o) Termination from Treatment.

    58711. There will be occasions when individuals will need to be terminated from treatment. Individuals who fall into this category are those who:

    5894a. Attempt to sell or deliver their prescribed medication or any other drugs;

    5907b. Become or continue to be actively involved in criminal behavior;

    5918c. Consistently fail to adhere to the requirements of the provider;

    5929d. Persistently use illicit substances; or

    5935e. Do not effectively participate in treatment programs to which they are referred.

    5948Such individuals shall be withdrawn in accordance with a dosage reduction schedule prescribed by the physician or qualified designee and referred to other treatment, as clinically indicated. This action shall be documented in the clinical record by the physician or their qualified designee.

    59912. Providers shall establish criteria for involuntary termination from treatment. All individuals shall be given a copy of these criteria upon placement and shall sign and date a statement that they have received the criteria.

    6026(p) Withdrawal from Maintenance.

    60301. The physician or qualified designee shall ensure that all individuals in 6042methadone medication-assisted 6044treatment receive an annual assessment. This assessment may coincide with the annual assessment of the treatment plan and shall include an evaluation of the individual’s progress in treatment and the justification for continued maintenance. The assessment and recommendations shall be recorded in the clinical record.

    60892. 6090All providers shall develop policies and procedures that establish a process to assist individuals served in attaining recovery goals, thereby enabling transition to a lower level of care. At least annually, during the treatment plan review, the provider shall assess the individual’s readiness and desire to transition to a lower level of care and shall provide information about the titration of medication to maintain therapeutic levels or to withdraw from the medication with the least necessary discomfort. Transition is gradual, individualized, and actively involves the individual served and the next provider to ensure effective coordination and engagement.

    61873. An individual 6190being withdrawn from treatment shall be closely supervised during withdrawal. A dosage reduction schedule shall be established by the physician 6210or qualified designee and documented in the clinical record. In the event withdrawal is clinically inadvisable, justification must be kept in the clinical record, signed and dated by the physician or qualified designee and the individual6246.

    6247(q) Services.

    62491. Comprehensive Services. A comprehensive range of services shall be available to each 6262individual as required in subsection 6267397.427(1), F.S. 6269The type of services to be provided shall be determined by individual needs, the characteristics of individuals served, and the available community resources.

    62922. Counseling.

    6294a. Each 6296individual receiving methadone medication-assisted treatment 6301shall receive regular counseling. A minimum of one (1) counseling session per week shall be provided to individuals through the first 90 days. A minimum of two (2) counseling sessions per month shall be provided to individuals who have been in treatment for at least 91 days and up to one (1) year. A minimum of one (1) counseling session per month shall be provided to individuals who have been in treatment for longer than one (1) year.

    6379b. A counseling session shall be at least 30 minutes in duration, conducted in a private room, and shall be documented in the clinical record.

    6404c. Any entity or qualified professional who has entered into a written agreement with a licensed provider is bound by these regulations.

    6426(r) Overdose Prevention.

    64291. All licensed providers must develop overdose prevention plans. Overdose prevention plans must be shared with individuals upon admission and discharge from medication-assisted treatment, regardless of the reason for discharge. Plans must also be shared with individuals placed on a waitlist to receive treatment services. Overdose prevention plans shall include, at a minimum:

    6482a. Education about the risks of overdose, including having a lower tolerance for opioids once the individual is no longer on medication-assisted treatment;

    6505b. Information about Naloxone, the medication that reverses opioid overdose, including where and how to access Naloxone in the county of residence;

    6527c. For providers who maintain an emergency overdose prevention kit, a developed and implemented plan to have staff trained in the prescribed use and the availability of the kit for use during all program hours of operation.

    6564(6) Medication Units.

    6567(a) 6568A provider that currently holds a state license and who has either exceeded site capacity or has a significant proportion of individuals in treatment with a travel burden, may apply to the SOTA to establish a medication unit. The provider must be in compliance with the Department and applicable regulating agencies. The licensed provider and medication unit must be owned by the same provider6632.

    6633(b) 6634A medication unit’s services shall comply with the requirements 664342 CFR 8.2 6646and 664742 CFR 8.11(i).

    6650(c) Providers interested in establishing a medication unit must submit a written proposal to the state authority for review and approval. Proposals must include the following for consideration of approval:

    66801. Description of proposed medication unit. Include description of 6689target population, geographical catchment area, physical location/address, proposed capacity, and hours of operation;

    67022. Justification of need for medication unit. Provide explanation on why currently licensed facilities are insufficient and how the 6721proposed medication unit addresses unmet need;

    67273. Copy of state license and federal certifications;

    67354. Required qualifications and job description for Medical Director, clinical on-site Director or Manager, and proposed staffing for the medication unit;

    67565. Implementation plan, including timeframes for securing federal approvals for a medication unit and anticipated start date of services;

    67756. Plans to secure proper zoning before medication unit opening; and

    67867. Plans on how medication unit will ensure individuals receive comprehensive support services such as counseling.

    68028. An affirmative statement that the primary full-service program agrees to retain responsibility for care;

    68179. An affirmative statement that the medication unit is limited to administering and dispensing the narcotic treatment medications and collecting samples for drug screening or analysis.

    6843(d) Medication units must open within two (2) years of receiving approval. Providers who are delayed for a reason other than a natural disaster may petition the Department for a rule waiver pursuant to section 6878120.542, F.S.

    6880(7) Best Practices. All licensed providers shall comply with best practices as defined in paragraph (4)(e) of this rule.

    6899(8) Other Medications.

    6902(a) Buprenorphine Products. Qualified medical personnel licensed to practice in the state of Florida and meeting all federal requirements can prescribe buprenorphine to individuals under their license. Medical personnel shall comply with federal regulations related to buprenorphine products.

    6940(b) Naltrexone Products. Naltrexone can be prescribed by any healthcare provider who is licensed to prescribe medications. Healthcare providers must meet all federal requirements and shall conform to federal regulations related to naltrexone products.

    6974(c) Providers shall adhere to the prevailing federal and state requirements regarding the use of opioid treatment medications in the maintenance treatment of individuals who are or become pregnant during the course of treatment.

    7008Rulemaking Authority 7010397.321(5) FS. 7012Law Implemented 7014397.311(26), 7015397.321, 7016397.410, 7017397.427, 7018427 FS. History–New 5-25-00, Amended 4-3-03, 6-25-19.