(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
(a) “Department” means the Department of Health.
(b) “Hematology” means the study, diagnosis, and treatment of blood and blood-forming tissues.
(c) “Oncology” means the study, diagnosis, and treatment of malignant neoplasms or cancer.
(d) “Hemophilia” or “other hemostatic disorder” means a bleeding disorder resulting from a genetic abnormality of mechanisms related to the control of bleeding.
(e) “Sickle-cell anemia or other hemoglobinopathy” means an hereditary, chronic disease caused by an abnormal type of hemoglobin.
(f) “Patient” means a person under the age of 21 who is in need of hematologic-oncologic services and who is declared medically and financially eligible by the department; or a person who received such services prior to age 21 and who requires long-term monitoring and evaluation to ascertain the sequelae and the effectiveness of treatment.
(g) “Center” means a facility designated by the department as having a program specifically designed to provide a full range of medical and specialty services to patients with hematologic and oncologic disorders.
(2) HEMATOLOGY-ONCOLOGY CARE CENTER PROGRAM; AUTHORITY.—The department is authorized to make grants and reimbursements to designated centers to establish and maintain programs for the care of patients with hematologic and oncologic disorders. Program administration costs shall be paid by the department from funds appropriated for this purpose.
(3) GRANT AGREEMENTS; CONDITIONS.—A grant made under this section shall be pursuant to a contractual agreement made between a center and the department. Each agreement shall provide that patients will receive specified types of treatment and care from the center without additional charge to the patients or their parents or guardians. Grants shall be disbursed in accordance with conditions set forth in the disbursement guidelines.
(4) GRANT DISBURSEMENTS AND SPECIAL DISBURSEMENTS FOR LOCAL PROGRAMS.— (a) Grant disbursements may be made to centers which meet the following criteria:
1. The personnel shall include at least one board-certified pediatric hematologist-oncologist, at least one board-certified pediatric surgeon, at least one board-certified radiotherapist, and at least one board-certified pathologist.
2. As approved by the department, the center shall actively participate in a national children’s cancer study group, maintain a pediatric tumor registry, have a multidisciplinary pediatric tumor board, and meet other guidelines for development, including, but not limited to, guidelines from such organizations as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Pediatric Surgical Association.
(b) Programs shall also be established to provide care to hematology-oncology patients within each district of the department. The guidelines for local programs shall be formulated by the department. Special disbursements may be made by the program office to centers for educational programs designed for the districts of the department. These programs may include teaching total supportive care of the dying patient and his or her family, home therapy to hemophiliacs and patients with other hemostatic disorders, and screening and counseling for patients with sickle-cell anemia or other hemoglobinopathies.
(5) PROGRAM AND PEER REVIEW.—The department shall evaluate at least annually during the grant period the services rendered by the centers and the districts of the department. Data from the centers and other sources relating to pediatric cancer shall be reviewed annually by the Florida Association of Pediatric Tumor Programs, Inc.; and a written report with recommendations shall be made to the department. This database will be available to the department for formulation of its annual program and financial evaluation report. A portion of the funds appropriated for this section may be used to provide statewide consultation, supervision, and evaluation of the programs of the centers, as well as program office support personnel.