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The Florida Statutes

The 2004 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
Chapter 381
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Section 381.0303, Florida Statutes 2004

381.0303  Health practitioner recruitment for special needs shelters.--

(1)  PURPOSE.--The purpose of this section is to designate the Department of Health, through its county health departments, as the lead agency for coordination of the recruitment of health care practitioners, as defined in s. 456.001(4), to staff special needs shelters in times of emergency or disaster and to provide resources to the department to carry out this responsibility. However, nothing in this section prohibits a county health department from entering into an agreement with a local emergency management agency to assume the lead responsibility for recruiting health care practitioners.

(2)  SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTER PLAN AND STAFFING.--Provided funds have been appropriated to support medical services disaster coordinator positions in county health departments, the department shall assume lead responsibility for the local coordination of local medical and health care providers, the American Red Cross, and other interested parties in developing a plan for the staffing and medical management of special needs shelters. The plan shall be in conformance with the local comprehensive emergency management plan.

(a)  County health departments shall, in conjunction with the local emergency management agencies, have the lead responsibility for coordination of the recruitment of health care practitioners to staff local special needs shelters. County health departments shall assign their employees to work in special needs shelters when needed to protect the health of patients.

(b)  The appropriate county health department and local emergency management agency shall jointly determine who has responsibility for medical supervision in a special needs shelter.

(c)  Local emergency management agencies shall be responsible for the designation and operation of special needs shelters during times of emergency or disaster. County health departments shall assist the local emergency management agency with regard to the management of medical services in special needs shelters.

(3)  REIMBURSEMENT TO HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS.--The Department of Health shall reimburse, subject to the availability of funds for this purpose, health care practitioners, as defined in s. 456.001, provided the practitioner is not providing care to a patient under an existing contract, and emergency medical technicians and paramedics licensed pursuant to chapter 401 for medical care provided at the request of the department in special needs shelters or at other locations during times of emergency or major disaster. Reimbursement for health care practitioners, except for physicians licensed pursuant to chapter 458 or chapter 459, shall be based on the average hourly rate that such practitioners were paid according to the most recent survey of Florida hospitals conducted by the Florida Hospital Association. Reimbursement shall be requested on forms prepared by the Department of Health. If a Presidential Disaster Declaration has been made, and the Federal Government makes funds available, the department shall use such funds for reimbursement of eligible expenditures. In other situations, or if federal funds do not fully compensate the department for reimbursement made pursuant to this section, the department shall submit to the Cabinet or Legislature, as appropriate, a budget amendment to obtain reimbursement from the working capital fund. Travel expense and per diem costs shall be reimbursed pursuant to s. 112.061.

(4)  HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER REGISTRY.--The department may use the registries established in ss. 401.273 and 456.38 when health care practitioners are needed to staff special needs shelters or to staff disaster medical assistance teams.

(5)  SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTER INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE.--The Department of Health may establish a special needs shelter interagency committee, to be chaired and staffed by the department. The committee shall resolve problems related to special needs shelters not addressed in the state comprehensive emergency medical plan and shall serve as an oversight committee to monitor the planning and operation of special needs shelters.

(a)  The committee may:

1.  Develop and negotiate any necessary interagency agreements.

2.  Undertake other such activities as the department deems necessary to facilitate the implementation of this section.

3.  Submit recommendations to the Legislature as necessary.

(b)  The special needs shelter interagency committee shall be composed of representatives of emergency management, health, medical, and social services organizations. Membership shall include, but shall not be limited to, the Departments of Community Affairs, Children and Family Services, Elderly Affairs, 1Labor and Employment Security, and Education; the Agency for Health Care Administration; the Florida Medical Association; the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association; Associated Home Health Industries of Florida, Inc.; the Florida Nurses Association; the Florida Health Care Association; the Florida Assisted Living Association; the Florida Hospital Association; the Florida Statutory Teaching Hospital Council; the Florida Association of Homes for the Aging; the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association; the American Red Cross; Florida Hospices, Inc.; the Association of Community Hospitals and Health Systems; the Florida Association of Health Maintenance Organizations; the Florida League of Health Systems; Private Care Association; and the Salvation Army.

(c)  Meetings of the committee shall be held in Tallahassee, and members of the committee shall serve at the expense of the agencies or organizations they represent.

(6)  RULES.--The department has the authority to adopt rules necessary to implement this section. Rules may include a definition of a special needs patient, specify physician reimbursement, and designate which county health departments will have responsibility for implementation of subsections (2) and (3).

(7)  REVIEW OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PLANS.--The submission of emergency management plans to county health departments by home health agencies pursuant to s. 400.497(8)(c) and (d) and by nurse registries pursuant to s. 400.506(16)(e) and by hospice programs pursuant to s. 400.610(1)(b) is conditional upon the receipt of an appropriation by the department to establish medical services disaster coordinator positions in county health departments unless the secretary of the department and a local county commission jointly determine to require such plans to be submitted based on a determination that there is a special need to protect public health in the local area during an emergency.

History.--s. 11, ch. 2000-140; s. 20, ch. 2001-62.

1Note.--Section 69, ch. 2002-194, repealed s. 20.171, which created the Department of Labor and Employment Security.

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