(1) This section may be cited as the “Public School Volunteer Health Care Practitioner Act.”
(2) The purpose of this section is to establish a public school volunteer health care practitioner program with incentives and coordinate the program with the “School Health Services Act,” pursuant to s. 381.0056, in order to encourage health care practitioners to provide their services, without compensation, in the public schools; and such program is intended to complement other programs designed to provide health services or increase the level of health care in the public schools.
(3) For purposes of this section, the term “health care practitioner” means a physician licensed under chapter 458; an osteopathic physician licensed under chapter 459; a chiropractic physician licensed under chapter 460; a podiatric physician licensed under chapter 461; an optometrist licensed under chapter 463; an advanced registered nurse practitioner, registered nurse, or licensed practical nurse licensed under part I of chapter 464; a pharmacist licensed under chapter 465; a dentist or dental hygienist licensed under chapter 466; a midwife licensed under chapter 467; a speech-language pathologist or audiologist licensed under part I of chapter 468; a dietitian/nutritionist licensed under part X of chapter 468; or a physical therapist licensed under chapter 486.
(4)(a) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 458, chapter 459, chapter 460, chapter 461, chapter 463, part I of chapter 464, chapter 465, chapter 466, chapter 467, parts I and X of chapter 468, or chapter 486 to the contrary, any health care practitioner who participates in the program established in this section and thereby agrees to provide his or her services, without compensation, in a public school for at least 80 hours a year for each school year during the biennial licensure period, or, if the health care practitioner is retired, for at least 400 hours a year for each school year during the licensure period, upon providing sufficient proof from the applicable school district that the health care practitioner has completed such hours at the time of license renewal under procedures specified by the Department of Health, shall be eligible for the following:
1. Waiver of the biennial license renewal fee for an active license; and
2. Fulfillment of a maximum of 25 percent of the continuing education hours required for license renewal under s. 456.013(9).
The school district may establish a schedule for health care practitioners who participate in the program.
(b) A health care practitioner must complete all forms and procedures for participation in the program prior to the applicable license renewal date.
(5) To participate in the program, a health care practitioner must:
(a) Have a valid, active license to practice his or her profession in this state.
(b) Submit fingerprints and have a background screening in accordance with the requirements of s. 381.0059, unless already provided and completed for practitioner licensing, profiling, or credentialing purposes.
(6) The school district, through its self-insurance program, shall bear the cost of any increase in premiums for liability protection for health care practitioners participating in the program other than those employed by the school or school district.
(7)(a) The Department of Health shall have the responsibility to supervise the program and perform periodic program reviews as provided in s. 381.0056(4).
(b) The Department of Health, in cooperation with the Department of Education, shall publicize the availability of the program and its benefits.
(8) The Department of Health, in cooperation with the Department of Education, may adopt rules necessary to implement this section. The rules shall include the forms to be completed and procedures to be followed by applicants and school personnel under the program.
(9) The provisions of this section shall be implemented to the extent of specific appropriations contained in the annual General Appropriations Act for such purpose.