Section 381.4018, Florida Statutes 2009
381.4018 Physician workforce assessment and development.--
(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.--The Legislature recognizes that physician workforce planning is an essential component of ensuring that there is an adequate and appropriate supply of well-trained physicians to meet this state's future health care service needs as the general population and elderly population of the state increase. The Legislature finds that items to consider relative to assessing the physician workforce may include physician practice status; specialty mix; geographic distribution; demographic information, including, but not limited to, age, gender, race, and cultural considerations; and needs of current or projected medically underserved areas in the state. Long-term strategic planning is essential as the period from the time a medical student enters medical school to completion of graduate medical education may range from 7 to 10 years or longer. The Legislature recognizes that strategies to provide for a well-trained supply of physicians must include ensuring the availability and capacity of quality graduate medical schools in this state, as well as using new or existing state and federal programs providing incentives for physicians to practice in needed specialties and in underserved areas in a manner that addresses projected needs for physician manpower.
(2) PURPOSE.--The Department of Health shall serve as a coordinating and strategic planning body to actively assess the state's current and future physician workforce needs and work with multiple stakeholders to develop strategies and alternatives to address current and projected physician workforce needs.
(3) GENERAL FUNCTIONS.--The department shall maximize the use of existing programs under the jurisdiction of the department and other state agencies and coordinate governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders and resources in order to develop a state strategic plan and assess the implementation of such strategic plan. In developing the state strategic plan, the department shall:
(a) Monitor, evaluate, and report on the supply and distribution of physicians licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459. The department shall maintain a database to serve as a statewide source of data concerning the physician workforce.
(b) Develop a model and quantify, on an ongoing basis, the adequacy of the state's current and future physician workforce as reliable data becomes available. Such model must take into account demographics, physician practice status, place of education and training, generational changes, population growth, economic indicators, and issues concerning the "pipeline" into medical education.
(c) Develop and recommend strategies to determine whether the number of qualified medical school applicants who might become competent, practicing physicians in this state will be sufficient to meet the capacity of the state's medical schools. If appropriate, the department shall, working with representatives of appropriate governmental and nongovernmental entities, develop strategies and recommendations and identify best practice programs that introduce health care as a profession and strengthen skills needed for medical school admission for elementary, middle, and high school students, and improve premedical education at the precollege and college level in order to increase this state's potential pool of medical students.
(d) Develop strategies to ensure that the number of graduates from the state's public and private allopathic and osteopathic medical schools are adequate to meet physician workforce needs, based on the analysis of the physician workforce data, so as to provide a high-quality medical education to students in a manner that recognizes the uniqueness of each new and existing medical school in this state.
(e) Pursue strategies and policies to create, expand, and maintain graduate medical education positions in the state based on the analysis of the physician workforce data. Such strategies and policies must take into account the effect of federal funding limitations on the expansion and creation of positions in graduate medical education. The department shall develop options to address such federal funding limitations. The department shall consider options to provide direct state funding for graduate medical education positions in a manner that addresses requirements and needs relative to accreditation of graduate medical education programs. The department shall consider funding residency positions as a means of addressing needed physician specialty areas, rural areas having a shortage of physicians, and areas of ongoing critical need, and as a means of addressing the state's physician workforce needs based on an ongoing analysis of physician workforce data.
(f) Develop strategies to maximize federal and state programs that provide for the use of incentives to attract physicians to this state or retain physicians within the state. Such strategies should explore and maximize federal-state partnerships that provide incentives for physicians to practice in federally designated shortage areas. Strategies shall also consider the use of state programs, such as the Florida Health Service Corps established pursuant to s. 381.0302 and the Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program pursuant to s. 1009.65, which provide for education loan repayment or loan forgiveness and provide monetary incentives for physicians to relocate to underserved areas of the state.
(g) Coordinate and enhance activities relative to physician workforce needs, undergraduate medical education, and graduate medical education provided by the Division of Medical Quality Assurance, the Community Hospital Education Program and the Graduate Medical Education Committee established pursuant to s. 381.0403, area health education center networks established pursuant to s. 381.0402, and other offices and programs within the Department of Health as designated by the State Surgeon General.
(h) Work in conjunction with and act as a coordinating body for governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders to address matters relating to the state's physician workforce assessment and development for the purpose of ensuring an adequate supply of well-trained physicians to meet the state's future needs. Such governmental stakeholders shall include, but need not be limited to, the State Surgeon General or his or her designee, the Commissioner of Education or his or her designee, the Secretary of Health Care Administration or his or her designee, and the Chancellor of the State University System or his or her designee from the Board of Governors of the State University System, and, at the discretion of the department, other representatives of state and local agencies that are involved in assessing, educating, or training the state's current or future physicians. Other stakeholders shall include, but need not be limited to, organizations representing the state's public and private allopathic and osteopathic medical schools; organizations representing hospitals and other institutions providing health care, particularly those that have an interest in providing accredited medical education and graduate medical education to medical students and medical residents; organizations representing allopathic and osteopathic practicing physicians; and, at the discretion of the department, representatives of other organizations or entities involved in assessing, educating, or training the state's current or future physicians.
(i) Serve as a liaison with other states and federal agencies and programs in order to enhance resources available to the state's physician workforce and medical education continuum.
(j) Act as a clearinghouse for collecting and disseminating information concerning the physician workforce and medical education continuum in this state.
History.--s. 1, ch. 2007-172; s. 20, ch. 2008-6.