Healthier skin? Immune system boost? Cure for a Sunday-morning hangover? Migraine treatment? Dehydration recovery? IV hydration is a treatment that claims to do all of this and more. IV Hydration therapy is a simple treatment that delivers fluids directly into your bloodstream through a small IV inserted into your arm. The fluids may include vitamins, electrolytes, antioxidants, and other medications. IV hydration is not new, as it has been used in hospitals since the early 1900s. However, providing IV hydration treatments in an outpatient setting or at a patient’s home is newer and has been gaining popularity in recent years.

While IV Hydration therapy treatments have increased in popularity, they remain largely unregulated in Florida.  Regulations exist regarding who may administer the treatments, but not many rules in Florida directly touch on these treatments.  Following the death of Stephanie Balais, a young nurse, which was alleged to have resulted from a Selenium treatment she received in 2018, the Florida Legislature has turned its eyes toward increased regulation of IV Hydration therapies.

If passed and enacted, the Stephanie Balais Act (“HB725”) would create additional rules addressing IV hydration. HB725 would require healthcare providers to obtain a complete self-screening assessment questionnaire from a patient before administering IV hydration. Healthcare providers would not be permitted to administer IV hydration to patients for whom it would be unsafe based on the results of the questionnaire or otherwise. Additionally, healthcare providers administering IV hydration would be required to provide patients with information regarding potential side effects and risks of IV hydration, instructions on when to seek medical attention, and a visit summary. It also would obligate healthcare providers to notify a patient’s designated physician if IV hydration was administered. HB725 would define IV hydration as a procedure in which high concentrations of vitamins and minerals are administered directly into a person’s bloodstream, allowing rapid absorption of higher doses of the vitamins and minerals than if received through food or supplements. 

Further, HB725 would require covered healthcare providers to develop and maintain a written emergency care plan, which plan would be required to include the following:

  • The name and address of the hospital closest to the location at which the intravenous vitamin treatment is being performed;
  • Reasons for which an emergency transfer of a patient may be required; and
  • Medical services to be used in the event of a health emergency.

HB725 would also empower the regulatory boards (the Board of Nursing, Board of Medicine, and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine) to develop rules to implement HB725’s provisions. Among other things, these regulatory bodies would be directed to promulgate regulations relating to the following: (1) the adoption of a self-screening risk assessment questionnaire; (2) the information that must be provided to patients before receiving IV hydration; (3) the process of providing a patient’s designated physician with notice of the treatment; (4) the procedures for safely administering
IV hydration; (5) and the protocols to follow in a health emergency. 

As the Florida legislative session is ending, if HB725 is not passed before it ends, it may get picked up during the next legislative session, which begins in January 2024.