457.101 Legislative intent.
The Legislature finds that the interests of the public health require the regulation of
the practice of acupuncture in this state for the purpose of protecting the health,
safety, and welfare of our citizens while making this healing art available to those who
History: ss. 1, 2, ch. 80375; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81318; ss. 1, 13, 14,
ch. 86265; s. 57, ch. 91137; s. 4, ch. 91156; s. 4, ch. 91429. Note.
Former s. 468.321.
As used in this chapter:
- "Acupuncture" means a form of primary health care, based on traditional
chinese medical concepts, that employs acupuncture diagnosis and treatment, as well
adjunctive therapies and diagnostic techniques, for the promotion, maintenance, and
restoration of health and the prevention of disease. Acupuncture shall include, but not be
limited to, the insertion of acupuncture needles and the application of moxibustion to
specific areas of the human body.
- "Acupuncturist" means any person licensed as provided in this chapter to
practice acupuncture as a primary health care provider.
- "Board" means the Board of Acupuncture.
- "License" means the document of authorization issued by the department for a
person to engage in the practice of acupuncture.
- "Department" means the Department of Health.
History: ss. 1, 2, ch. 80375; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81318; s. 38, ch. 83329; ss. 2,
13, 14, ch. 86265; s. 57, ch. 91137; s. 4, ch. 91156; s. 4, ch. 91429;
s. 101, ch. 94218 ; s. 6, ch. 97-264. Note. Former s. 468.322.
457.103 Board of Acupuncture; membership; appointment and terms.
- The Board of Acupuncture is created within the department and shall consist of five
members, to be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Three members of the
board must be licensed Florida acupuncturists. Two members must be laypersons who are not
and who have never been acupuncturists or members of any closely related profession.
Members shall be appointed for 4year terms or for the remainder of the unexpired term
of a vacancy.
- All provisions of chapter 455 relating to the board shall apply.
History: ss. 39, 118, ch. 83329; ss. 3, 13, 14, ch. 86265; s. 57, ch.
91137; s. 4, ch. 91156; s. 4, ch. 91429; s. 1, ch. 9228; s. 102, ch.
94218; s. 7, ch. 97-264.
457.104 Authority to make rules.
The board is authorized to make rules not inconsistent with law which are necessary to
carry out the duties and authority conferred upon the board by this chapter.
ss. 40, 118, ch. 83329; ss. 4, 13, 14, ch. 86265; s. 57, ch. 91137; s. 4,
ch. 91156; s. 4, ch. 91429.
457.105 Certification qualifications and fees.
- It is unlawful for any person to practice acupuncture in this state unless such person
has been licensed by the board, is in a boardapproved course of study, or is
otherwise exempted by this chapter.
- A person may become licensed to practice acupuncture if the person applies to the
- Is 18 years of age or older;
- Has completed 60 college credits from an accredited postsecondary institution as a
prerequisite to enrollment in an authorized 3-year course of study in acupuncture, and has
completed a 3-year course of study in acupuncture, and effective July 31, 2001, a 4-year
course of study in acupuncture, which meets standards established by the board by rule,
which standards include successful completion of academic courses in western anatomy,
western physiology, western pathology and western biomedical technology. However, any
person who enrolled in an authorized course of study in acupuncture before August 1, 1997,
must have completed only a 2year course of study which meets standards established by
the board by rule, which standards must include, but are not limited to, successful
completion of academic courses in western anatomy, western physiology, and western
- Has successfully completed a board approved national certification process, is actively
licensed in a state which has examination requirements that are substantially equivalent
to or more stringent than those of this state, or passes an examination administered by
the department, which examination tests the applicant's competency and knowledge of the
practice of acupuncture. At the request of any applicant, oriental nomenclature for the
points shall be used in the examination. The examination shall include a practical
examination of the knowledge and skills required to practice acupuncture, covering
diagnostic and treatment techniques and procedures; and
- Pays the required fees set by the board by rule not to exceed the following amounts:
- Examination fee: $500 plus the actual per applicant costs to the department for
purchase of the written and practical portions of the examination from a national
organization approved by the board.
- Application fee: $300.
- Reexamination fee: $500 plus the actual per applicant cost to the department for
purchase of the written and practical portions of the examination from a national
organization approved by the board.
- Initial biennial licensure fee: $400, if licensed in the first half of the biennium,
and $200, if licensed in the second half of the biennium.
History: ss. 1, 2, ch. 80375; ss. 1, 6, ch. 81227; s. 334, ch. 81259;
ss. 2, 3, ch. 81318; ss. 1, 6, ch. 82172; s. 41, ch. 83329; ss. 5, 13, 14,
ch. 86265; s. 2, ch. 88205; s. 16, ch. 89162; s. 1, ch. 89318; s. 57,
ch. 91137; s. 4, ch. 91156; s. 4, ch. 91429; s. 8, ch. 97-264. Note. Former
457.107 Renewal of licenses; continuing education.
- The department shall renew a license upon receipt of the renewal application and the
fee set by the board by rule, not to exceed $1,000.
- The department shall adopt rules establishing a procedure for the biennial renewal of
- The board shall by rule prescribe continuing education requirements, not to exceed 30
hours biennially, as a condition for renewal of a license. The criteria for such programs
or courses shall be approved by the board. In order to meet continuing education
requirements, prior approval by the board of such programs or courses is required. All
education programs that contribute to the advancement, extension, or enhancement of
professional skills and knowledge related to the practice of acupuncture, whether
conducted by a nonprofit or profit making entity, are eligible for approval. The board
shall have the authority to set a fee, not to exceed $100, for each continuing education
provider or program submitted for approval.
History: ss. 1, 2, ch. 80375; ss. 2, 6, ch. 81227; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81318; s.
42, ch. 83329; ss. 6, 13, 14, ch. 86265; s. 3, ch. 88205; s. 17, ch.
89162; s. 57, ch. 91137; s. 4, ch. 91156; s. 4, ch. 91429; s. 161, ch.
94119; s. 9, ch. 97-264. Note. Former s. 468.324.
457.108 Inactive status; expiration; reactivation of licenses.
- A license that has become inactive may be reactivated under this section upon
application to the department. The board shall prescribe by rule continuing education
requirements as a condition of reactivating a license. The continuing education
requirements for reactivating a license must not exceed 10 classroom hours for each year
the license was inactive, in addition to completion of the number of hours required for
renewal on the date the license became inactive.
- The board shall adopt rules relating to application procedures for inactive status,
renewal of inactive licenses, and reactivation of licenses. The board shall prescribe by
rule an application fee for inactive status, a renewal fee for inactive status, a
delinquency fee, and a fee for the reactivation of a license. None of these fees may
exceed the biennial renewal fee established by the board for an active license.
- The department shall not reactivate a license unless the inactive or delinquent
licensee has paid any applicable biennial renewal or delinquency fee, or both, and a
History: ss. 7, 14, ch. 86265; s. 57, ch. 91137; s. 4, ch. 91156; s. 4, ch.
91429; s. 162, ch. 94119.; s. 10, ch. 97-264.
457.1085 Infection control.
Prior to November 1, 1986, the board shall adopt rules relating to the prevention of
infection, the safe disposal of any potentially infectious materials, and other
requirements to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Beginning October
1, 1997, all acupuncture needles that are to be used on a patient must be sterile and
disposable, and each needle may be used only once.
History: ss. 8, 14, ch. 86265;
s. 57, ch. 91137; s. 4, ch. 91156; s. 4, ch. 91429; s. 11, ch. 97-264.
457.109 Disciplinary actions; grounds; action by the board.
- The following acts shall constitute grounds for which the disciplinary actions
specified in subsection (2) may be taken:
- Attempting to obtain, obtaining, or renewing a license to practice acupuncture by
bribery, by fraudulent misrepresentations, or through an error of the department.
- Having a license to practice acupuncture revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted
against, including the denial of licensure, by the licensing authority of another state,
territory, or country.
- Being convicted or found guilty, regardless of adjudication, in any jurisdiction of a
crime which directly relates to the practice of acupuncture or to the ability to practice
acupuncture. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for purposes of
- False, deceptive, or misleading advertising or advertising which claims that
acupuncture is useful in curing any disease.
- Advertising, practicing, or attempting to practice under a name other than one's own.
- Failing to report to the department any person who the licensee knows is in violation
of this chapter or of the rules of the department.
- Aiding, assisting, procuring, employing, or advising any unlicensed person to practice
acupuncture contrary to this chapter or to a rule of the department.
- Failing to perform any statutory or legal obligation placed upon a licensed
- Making or filing a report which the licensee knows to be false, intentionally or
negligently failing to file a report or record required by state or federal law, willfully
impeding or obstructing such filing or inducing another person to do so. Such reports or
records shall include only those which are signed in the capacity as a licensed
- Exercising influence within a patient acupuncturist relationship for purposes of
engaging a patient in sexual activity. A patient shall be presumed to be incapable of
giving free, full, and informed consent to sexual activity with his acupuncturist.
- Making deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations in the practice of acupuncture
or employing a trick or scheme in the practice of acupuncture when such scheme or trick
fails to conform to the generally prevailing standards of treatment in the community.
- Soliciting patients, either personally or through an agent, through the use of fraud,
intimidation, undue influence, or a form of overreaching or vexatious conduct. A
solicitation is any communication which directly or implicitly requests an immediate oral
response from the recipient.
- Failing to keep written medical records justifying the course of treatment of the
- Exercising influence on the patient to exploit the patient for the financial gain of
the licensee or of a third party.
- Being unable to practice acupuncture with reasonable skill and safety to patients by
reason of illness or use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of
material or as a result of any mental or physical condition. In enforcing this paragraph,
upon a finding of the secretary or his designee that probable cause exists to believe that
the licensee is unable to serve as an acupuncturist due to the reasons stated in this
paragraph, the department shall have the authority to issue an order to compel the
licensee to submit to a mental or physical examination by a physician designated by the
department. If the licensee refuses to comply with such order, the department's order
directing such examination may be enforced by filing a petition for enforcement in the
circuit court where the licensee resides or serves as an acupuncturist. The licensee
against whom the petition is filed shall not be named or identified by initials in any
public court record or document, and the proceedings shall be closed to the public. The
department shall be entitled to the summary procedure provided in s. 51.011. An
acupuncturist affected under this paragraph shall at reasonable intervals be afforded an
opportunity to demonstrate that he can resume the competent practice of acupuncture with
reasonable skill and safety to patients. In any proceeding under this paragraph, neither
the record of proceedings nor the orders entered by the department shall be used against
an acupuncturist in any other proceeding.
- Gross or repeated malpractice or the failure to practice acupuncture with that level of
care, skill, and treatment which is recognized by a reasonably prudent similar
acupuncturist as being acceptable under similar conditions and circumstances.
- Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope permitted by law or accepting and
performing professional responsibilities which the licensee knows or has reason to know
that he is not competent to perform.
- Delegating professional responsibilities to a person when the licensee delegating such
responsibilities knows or has reason to know that such person is not qualified by
training, experience, or licensure to perform them.
- Violating any provision of this chapter, a rule of the department, or a lawful order of
the department previously entered in a disciplinary hearing or failing to comply with a
lawfully issued subpoena of the department.
- Conspiring with another to commit an act, or committing an act, which would tend to
coerce, intimidate, or preclude another licensee from lawfully advertising his services.
- Fraud or deceit or gross negligence, incompetence, or misconduct in the operation of a
course of study.
- Failing to comply with state, county, or municipal regulations or reporting
requirements relating to public health and the control of contagious and infectious
- Failing to comply with any rule of the board relating to health and safety, including,
but not limited to, the sterilization of needles and equipment and the disposal of
potentially infectious materials.
- When the board finds any person guilty of any of the acts set forth in subsection (1),
it may enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties:
- Refusal to certify to the department an application for licensure.
- Revocation or suspension of a license.
- Restriction of practice.
- Imposition of an administrative fine not to exceed $1,000 for each count or separate
- Issuance of a reprimand.
- Placement of the acupuncturist on probation for a period of time and subject to such
conditions as the board may specify.
- The department shall not reinstate the license of an acupuncturist, or cause a license
to be issued to a person it has deemed to be unqualified, until such time as the board is
satisfied that he has complied with all the terms and conditions set forth in the final
order and that he is capable of safely engaging in the practice of acupuncture.
History: ss. 1, 2, ch. 80375; ss. 4, 6, ch. 81227; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81318; s.
43, ch. 83329; ss. 9, 13, 14, ch. 86265; s. 57, ch. 91137; s. 4, ch.
91156; s. 4, ch. 91429; s. 12, ch. 97-264. Note. Former s. 468.325.
457.116 Prohibited acts; penalty.
- It is unlawful for any person to:
- Hold himself out as a certified or licensed acupuncturist unless licensed under this
- Practice acupuncture or attempt to practice acupuncture without an active license or as
otherwise permitted by board rule established under the authority of s. 457.105(2)(b) or
as otherwise provided by this chapter.
- Attempt to obtain or obtain a license to practice acupuncture by fraudulent
- Permit an employed person to engage in the practice of acupuncture unless such person
holds an active license as an acupuncturist, except as otherwise provided by this chapter.
- Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the
second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History: ss. 1, 2, ch. 80375; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81318; ss. 10, 13, 14, ch.
86265; s. 57, ch. 91137; s. 4, ch. 91156; s. 85, ch. 91224; s. 4, ch.
91429; s. 13, ch. 97-264. Note. Former s. 468.328.
457.118 Effect of chapter on other health care practices.
This chapter shall not be construed to expand or limit the scope of practice authorized
for any health care professional licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, chapter 460,
chapter 461, chapter 466, chapter 474, or chapter 486, as such scope of practice is
defined by statute or rule.
History: ss. 1, 2, ch. 80375; s. 335, ch. 81259;
ss. 2, 3, ch. 81318; ss. 4, 6, ch. 82172; ss. 11, 13, 14, ch. 86265; s. 57,
ch. 91137; s. 4, ch. 91156; s. 4, ch. 91429. Note. Former s. 468.329.