(1) SHORT TITLE.—This section shall be known and cited as “The Community Hospital Education Act.”
(2) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that health care services for the citizens of this state be upgraded and that a program for continuing these services be maintained through a plan for community medical education. The program is intended to provide additional outpatient and inpatient services, a continuing supply of highly trained physicians, and graduate medical education.
(b) The Legislature further acknowledges the critical need for increased numbers of primary care physicians to provide the necessary current and projected health and medical services. In order to meet both present and anticipated needs, the Legislature supports an expansion in the number of family practice residency positions. The Legislature intends that the funding for graduate education in family practice be maintained and that funding for all primary care specialties be provided at a minimum of $10,000 per resident per year. Should funding for this act remain constant or be reduced, it is intended that all programs funded by this act be maintained or reduced proportionately.
(3) PROGRAM FOR COMMUNITY HOSPITAL EDUCATION; STATE AND LOCAL PLANNING.—
(a) There is established under the Department of Health a program for statewide graduate medical education. It is intended that continuing graduate medical education programs for interns and residents be established on a statewide basis. The program shall provide financial support for primary care specialty interns and residents based on policies recommended and approved by the Community Hospital Education Council, herein established, and the Department of Health. Only those programs with at least three residents or interns in each year of the training program are qualified to apply for financial support. Programs with fewer than three residents or interns per training year are qualified to apply for financial support, but only if the appropriate accrediting entity for the particular specialty has approved the program for fewer positions. Programs added after fiscal year 1997-1998 shall have 5 years to attain the requisite number of residents or interns. When feasible and to the extent allowed through the General Appropriations Act, state funds shall be used to generate federal matching funds under Medicaid, or other federal programs, and the resulting combined state and federal funds shall be allocated to participating hospitals for the support of graduate medical education.
(b) For the purposes of this section, primary care specialties include emergency medicine, family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics/gynecology, and combined pediatrics and internal medicine, and other primary care specialties as may be included by the council and Department of Health.
(c) Medical institutions throughout the state may apply to the Community Hospital Education Council for grants-in-aid for financial support of their approved programs. Recommendations for funding of approved programs shall be forwarded to the Department of Health.
(d) The program shall provide a plan for community clinical teaching and training with the cooperation of the medical profession, hospitals, and clinics. The plan shall also include formal teaching opportunities for intern and resident training. In addition, the plan shall establish an off-campus medical faculty with university faculty review to be located throughout the state in local communities.
(4) PROGRAM FOR GRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION INNOVATIONS.— (a) There is established under the Department of Health a program for fostering graduate medical education innovations. Funds appropriated annually by the Legislature for this purpose shall be distributed to participating hospitals or consortia of participating hospitals and Florida medical schools or to a Florida medical school for the direct costs of providing graduate medical education in community-based clinical settings on a competitive grant or formula basis to achieve state health care workforce policy objectives, including, but not limited to:
1. Increasing the number of residents in primary care and other high demand specialties or fellowships;
2. Enhancing retention of primary care physicians in Florida practice;
3. Promoting practice in medically underserved areas of the state;
4. Encouraging racial and ethnic diversity within the state’s physician workforce; and
5. Encouraging increased production of geriatricians.
(b) Participating hospitals or consortia of participating hospitals and Florida medical schools or a Florida medical school providing graduate medical education in community-based clinical settings may apply to the Community Hospital Education Council for funding under this innovations program, except when such innovations directly compete with services or programs provided by participating hospitals or consortia of participating hospitals, or by both hospitals and consortia. Innovations program funding shall provide funding based on policies recommended and approved by the Community Hospital Education Council and the Department of Health.
(c) Participating hospitals or consortia of participating hospitals and Florida medical schools or Florida medical schools awarded an innovations grant shall provide the Community Hospital Education Council and Department of Health with an annual report on their project.
(5) FAMILY PRACTICE RESIDENCIES.—In addition to the programs established in subsection (3), the Community Hospital Education Council and the Department of Health shall establish an ongoing statewide program of family practice residencies. The administration of this program shall be in the manner described in this section.
(6) COUNCIL AND DIRECTOR.— (a) There is established the Community Hospital Education Council, hereinafter referred to as the council, which shall consist of 11 members, as follows:
1. Seven members must be program directors of accredited graduate medical education programs or practicing physicians who have faculty appointments in accredited graduate medical education programs. Six of these members must be board certified or board eligible in family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, and psychiatry, respectively, and licensed pursuant to chapter 458. No more than one of these members may be appointed from any one specialty. One member must be licensed pursuant to chapter 459.
2. One member must be a representative of the administration of a hospital with an approved community hospital medical education program;
3. One member must be the dean of a medical school in this state; and
4. Two members must be consumer representatives.
All of the members shall be appointed by the Governor for terms of 4 years each.
(b) Council membership shall cease when a member’s representative status no longer exists. Members of similar representative status shall be appointed to replace retiring or resigning members of the council.
(c) The State Surgeon General shall designate an administrator to serve as staff director. The council shall elect a chair from among its membership. Such other personnel as may be necessary to carry out the program shall be employed as authorized by the Department of Health.
(7) DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; STANDARDS.— (a) The Department of Health, with recommendations from the council, shall establish standards and policies for the use and expenditure of graduate medical education funds appropriated pursuant to subsection (8) for a program of community hospital education. The Department of Health shall establish requirements for hospitals to be qualified for participation in the program which shall include, but not be limited to:
1. Submission of an educational plan and a training schedule.
2. A determination by the council to ascertain that each portion of the program of the hospital provides a high degree of academic excellence and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education of the American Medical Association or is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association.
3. Supervision of the educational program of the hospital by a physician who is not the hospital administrator.
(b) The Department of Health shall periodically review the educational program provided by a participating hospital to assure that the program includes a reasonable amount of both formal and practical training and that the formal sessions are presented as scheduled in the plan submitted by each hospital.
(c) In years that funds are transferred to the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Health shall certify to the Agency for Health Care Administration on a quarterly basis the number of primary care specialty residents and interns at each of the participating hospitals for which the Community Hospital Education Council and the department recommends funding.
(8) MATCHING FUNDS.—State funds shall be used to match funds from any local governmental or hospital source. The state shall provide up to 50 percent of the funds, and the community hospital medical education program shall provide the remainder. However, except for fixed capital outlay, the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any program authorized under the provisions of subsection (5) for the first 3 years after such program is in operation.
(9) RULEMAKING.—The department has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this section.