Medical boards cancel Tallahassee workshop on gender-affirming care due to Hurricane Ian

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It's not clear how the cancellation will impact the rule development.

With Hurricane Ian bearing down on the state. Florida’s two medical boards are canceling a Sept. 30 workshop on gender-affirming care that was slated to be held in Tallahassee.

Members of the Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine were scheduled to meet for four hours on Friday to discuss developing state specific standards of care for gender-affirming health care. Joint committee members were scheduled to take two hours of public testimony and hear from “subject experts” for two hours.

The 1,000-plus page public book released in advance of the meeting, though, did not identify the names of the “subject experts” who were scheduled to make presentations.

The workshop was one of a spate of meetings that the state canceled Tuesday due to Hurricane Ian.

As of 8 a.m., the National Hurricane Center reported that Hurricane Ian has winds up to 125 miles per hour. The center of Ian is expected to emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday morning, pass west of the Florida Keys Tuesday afternoon and approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday and Wednesday night.

The Sept. 30 Tallahassee workshop was one of two meetings that the state had scheduled on gender-affirming care in the coming weeks. It is unclear how its cancellation will impact the rule development timeline.

The Florida Board of Medicine Rules/Legislative Committee was scheduled to consider language to amend Rule 64B8-9.019 at its upcoming Oct. 6 meeting. Had the rule language been approved by members of the Board of Medicine Rules/Legislative Committee, the full Board of Medicine could have approved the rule language at its Oct. 7 meeting

The Board of Osteopathic Medicine, meanwhile, could have approved its version of the language (Rule 64B15-14.014) at a Nov. 4 meeting.

Once the respective boards approve that language, the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine will publish their respective “proposed rule.” That starts a 21-day timeline to finalize the rules. That time is tolled, however, if someone requests a rule hearing. The clock also is stopped if someone requests a formal challenge to the proposed rule. 

Proposed rules cannot take effect if they have been challenged at the state Division of Administrative Hearings.

The medical boards agreed to develop state-specific standard of care guidelines for the treatment of gender dysphoria in August. Though the board had not previously delved into the issue, they agreed to do so at the behest of Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo

He petitioned the board to consider amending its standard of care rules to prohibit patients under the age of 18 from receiving sex-reassignment surgery and puberty-blocking hormone treatments. The proposal also would have the board change the standard of care rules to require older patients to sign a consent form and to wait 24 hours before starting such treatments.

While he has not been shy about pushing proposals through the Legislature that the LGBTQ+ community says targets them, Gov. Ron DeSantis has been able to limit access to gender-affirming health care through his administrative power. 

Florida Medicaid banned reimbursement for general-affirming care, effective Aug. 21. But the ban only impacts the poor, elderly and disabled who rely on the program.

By getting the medical board to adopt state specific standards of care, physicians who violate the standards can be disciplined.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


  • Lynda

    September 27, 2022 at 10:25 am

    RE: Surgeon General’s and deSantis’s push to take away rights of parents of children who need “gender affirming” treatment.

    This bill would criminalize medical providers for treating needs of patients under 18 in FL. who seek treatment with approval of parents or judges.
    Just another attempt by MAGAites deSantis and cronies to restrict medical care based on their religious based-ideology, not best practice medical care.

  • Joe Corsin

    September 27, 2022 at 10:30 am

    The Christian fascists have run amok. Burn churches before it’s too late.

  • Tom

    September 27, 2022 at 10:33 am

    Tropical 3 windcane coming. This is the best time for deep sea fishing. World records can be obtained.

  • David in Shoreline

    September 27, 2022 at 10:59 am

    No male human will ever be capable of becoming a female. No female human will ever be capable of becoming a male. The best health care comes from affirming reality. Thankfully the Governor and Legislature seem to get it.

    • Elliott Offen

      September 27, 2022 at 11:23 am

      If someone identities as a man then they are a man regardless of their biological sex. You can be an asshole and deny someone else’s identity but then it is you who exists outside of reality…not them.

Comments are closed.


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