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Florida House Bill 725 Introduces New Requirements for Administering IV Hydration Therapy under the Stephanie Balais Act

IV Hydration Vitamin treatments have taken the world by storm in recent years. This alternative medicine practice has gained popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic. It promises to boost the immune system in a post-pandemic world where everyone has developed elevated attentiveness to their bodies and wellness. Certain IV therapies are widely promoted to treat conditions such as fatigue, dehydration, fibromyalgia, asthma, migraines, and more. The ‘Myers Cocktail’ has been coined as one of the most popular mixtures claiming to “heal” patients from many ailments such as those listed above. It was named after the pioneer of IV Hydration, John Myers, who founded IV Hydration treatments in the 1960s. This cocktail is only one of countless mixes used for IV Hydration treatments.

Although popularity has spiked in IV Hydration recently, not much progress has been made to regulate procedures and care for those seeking these treatments. These IV treatments are executed in various settings (i.e. home or place of residence) by various providers (e.g. RNs, LPNs, APRNs, M.D.s, etc.). While there are definitive rules about who can administer an IV therapy treatment, there are not many protocols on emergency care. As with any wellness or medical treatment, there is always some level of risk to be considered beforehand. These risks include but are not limited to vitamin toxicity, infection, and nutritional imbalances.

After the unfortunate death of a young, aspiring nursing student in South Florida (Ms. Stephanie Balais) Florida Representatives filed House Bill 725. It is cited as the “Stephanie Balais Act”. In the products liability case of Stephanie Balais it is noted that her untimely passing was due to a Selenium treatment she received in 2018. It is unclear whether the fault lie with the manufacturer and the batch of products; the individual administering the product; or the lack of established procedures in the event of an emergency.  Liability was never determined in this case, and the case was settled out of court. However, this case prompted the introduction of House Bill 725.

The Act defines Intravenous Hydration Therapy as “a procedure in which high concentrations of vitamins and minerals are administered directly into the person’s bloodstream, allowing rapid absorption of higher doses of the vitamins and minerals than if received through food or supplements”. The prospective rule seeks to require the Board of Nursing to clearly define procedures to: (1) safely administer such treatments; (2) educate those administering treatments; and (3) create protocols for emergency situations. The Act also requires the following:

  • Completion of a Florida Department of Health self-screening risk assessment questionnaire from a patient prior to administering IV Hydration treatments;
  • Notifications to the patient’s designated physicians that an IV Hydration treatment has been administered and documentation regarding the process;
  • Enhanced emergency care plans for the facilities offering treatments, which must be written and kept at the location offering IV Hydration treatments;
  • Patients are also to be provided instructions detailing when to seek medical attention and information on the risks and side effects associated with the treatment being performed; and
  • Patients must receive a visit summary.

The purpose of the Act is to ensure the safety of patients considering IV Hydration treatments. Due to the rise in popularity and frequency of these treatments, it has become necessary to create safety guidelines to eliminate or at the very least minimize risks for the healthcare and wellness community. This is why any written emergency plan must at a minimum include: (1) the name and address of the hospital closest to the location where the IV Hydration Treatment is being performed; (2) reasons why an emergency transfer may be obligatory; and (3) the medical services that must be utilized in the event of a medical emergency. Additionally, if a health care provider, upon review of the completed self-screening risk assessment questionnaire determines that a patient can’t safely receive an IV Hydration Treatment the provider must decline administering the treatment to that individual.

We will have to wait to see how the IV Hydration business will be impacted moving forward. Violation of this Act will result in disciplinary action for the physicians and nurses who are providing IV Hydration Treatments to their patients. The act was set to become effective on July 1, 2023 but died in Congress. This Bill is not effective and the proposed requirements do not have to enforced by healthcare practitioners.

For more information on IV Hydration, please read our previous article,  Establishing A Mobile IV Therapy Clinic in Florida. 

IV Hydration Masterclass: Legal Requirements of Starting an IV Hydration Business

 

 

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It should be noted that I am not your lawyer (unless you have presently retained my services through a retainer agreement). This post is not intended as legal advice, it is purely educational and informational, and no attorney-client relationship shall result after reading it. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice. If you do not have one and would like to retain my legal services, please contact me using the contact information listed above.

 

All information and references made to laws, rules, regulations, and advisory opinions were accurate based on the law as it existed at this time, but laws are constantly evolving. Please contact me to be sure that the law which will govern your business is current. Thank you.

What is a 1031 Exchange and How Can It Benefit You?

Definitions and Tax Rules

To understand what a 1031 Exchange is, it is crucial to understand where the name originates from, as well as, the tax definitions and rules supporting the exchange. According to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 1031 provides an exception for taxpayers who have sold a property at a gain. This tax rule is intended for use on investment or business properties. The 1031 tax break exchange is only allowable to personal residences after certain circumstances are met. Primary residences typically have other allowable tax breaks on capital gains taxes.  After the sale of an asset (a property in this case) a taxpayer would normally be required to pay capital gains taxes on the sale. Capital Gains Taxes are the taxes owed from the profit of a sale of assets. If an asset is held for less than a year after it is purchased and is then sold at a profit, those gains are typically added to the taxpayer’s income. But if an asset is held for over a year, the ‘Long Term Capital Gains” tax rate is applicable. The percentage of capital gains owed per sale is dependent on the tax bracket of the taxpayer. The current rates range from 0% to 20% depending on income.

IRC Section 1031 allows taxpayers to postpone paying capital gains taxes on the sale of a real estate property by allowing taxpayers to roll over the taxes on the gain if the proceeds are reinvested in a similar property as part of a “Like-Kind Exchange”. A Like-Kind Exchange is an exchange of real estate property that is of similar nature that can be traded without incurring tax liabilities. The Internal Revenue’s rules around Like-Kind properties of similar nature are very liberal. The properties in the exchange do not need to be the same type of property. The only pertinent rule is that the properties be used for business or investment purposes. Personal residences are not eligible to be qualified as like-kind properties and can only benefit from Section 1031 when they meet specific requirements. Properties taking part in a 1031 exhange must also be held in the United States to qualify.

 

What Is A 1031 Exchange?

In layman’s terms, a 1031 exchange is a tax break. It allows for investors to swap investment properties without having to pay taxes at the time of exchange. It grants taxpayers the ability to grow their investment without having to pay capital gains taxes until an investment is liquidated or sold for cash. There is no limit to how frequently taxpayers are able to take part in 1031 exchanges. Taxpayers can defer these capital gains taxes and rollover the gains for years.

Key Timeline Regulations Of A 1031 Exchange

Most 1031 exchanges are delayed exchanges. Typically, property owners are not able to find a property to exchange at the moment of a sale. There are rules established to define delayed exchanges. Two key rules must be observed for every delayed exchange. The 45 Day Rule states that within 45 days of the sale of a property, a replacement property must be designated in writing to an intermediary. A Qualified Intermediary , sometimes referred to as an ‘exchange facilitator” or an “exchange accommodator”, must be appointed to hold the gains after the sale of a property for the sale to be recognized as a 1031 exchange. The intermediary is usually appointed by the seller and acts as a third party to hold funds and can also coordinate transfers, assist with paperwork, and support investors. There are no definitive rules on who can act as an intermediary. There are, however, rules on disqualifications for intermediaries. An intermediary must be neutral and not be directly related to any of the parties involved. Disqualified parties include family members, friends, anyone who has acted as an agent for the parties, tax preparers, etc. Investors are allowed to designate up to three properties to the intermediary as long as one of the properties is eventually closed on. The 180 Day Rule states that a property must be closed on within 180 days of the sale of the old property. Both the 45-day rule as well as the 180-day rule run simultaneously. This means that the clock begins to move for both of these rules once the sale of the property closes.

What Are The Pros And Cons of A 1031 Exchange?

Typically, if an investor is looking to purchase a new property soon after the sale of a property, a 1031 exchange is recommended. There are many reasons why an investor would be looking to carry out a 1031 exchange. The obvious pro is deferring capital gains taxes on the sale of a property. A 1031 exchange also allows for investors who are interested in moving to a new market to move seamlessly. There are no distance limitations for a 1031 exchange. There are also no limits to how often you can take part in a 1031 exchange. This means that an investor can sell a property anywhere in the United States and use the money from that sale to purchase another similar property anywhere else in the United States. It gives investors the opportunity to switch markets without having to pay major taxes.

There are, however, some cons to keep in mind. In order to move forward with a 1031 exchange, the capital gains earned on the sale of a property must be rolled over to a ‘like-kind’ investment. Should an investor want to use the gains for any other type of investment or purchase, they would lose the protection of the 1031 exchange and be required to pay the applicable taxes. Another con is that the structure can become complicated if there are multiple investors in a property and they are not all in agreement. It is possible to complete a 1031 exchange if not all of the investors of a property agree to rollover the gains. The remaining funds would be placed into a separate account and be liquidated. This circumstance is not common and is more complex.

Overall, a 1031 exchange is a great tool for investors. The Internal Revenue Service allows for investors to get a tax break and roll over their tax liabilities on the capital gains taxes potentially forever. It is a great way for investors to maximize their opportunities and build generational wealth.

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It should be noted that I am not your lawyer (unless you have presently retained my services through a retainer agreement). This post is not intended as legal advice, it is purely educational and informational, and no attorney-client relationship shall result after reading it. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice. If you do not have one and would like to retain my legal services, please contact me using the contact information listed above.

 

All information and references made to laws, rules, regulations, and advisory opinions were accurate based on the law as it existed at this time, but laws are constantly evolving. Please contact me to be sure that the law which will govern your business is current. Thank you.

 

 

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