Section 456.025, Florida Statutes 2001
456.025 Fees; receipts; disposition.--
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that all costs of regulating health care professions and practitioners shall be borne solely by licensees and licensure applicants. It is also the intent of the Legislature that fees should be reasonable and not serve as a barrier to licensure. Moreover, it is the intent of the Legislature that the department operate as efficiently as possible and regularly report to the Legislature additional methods to streamline operational costs. Therefore, the boards in consultation with the department, or the department if there is no board, shall, by rule, set renewal fees which:
(a) Shall be based on revenue projections prepared using generally accepted accounting procedures;
(b) Shall be adequate to cover all expenses relating to that board identified in the department's long-range policy plan, as required by s. 456.005;
(c) Shall be reasonable, fair, and not serve as a barrier to licensure;
(d) Shall be based on potential earnings from working under the scope of the license;
(e) Shall be similar to fees imposed on similar licensure types;
(f) Shall not be more than 10 percent greater than the fee imposed for the previous biennium;
(g) Shall not be more than 10 percent greater than the actual cost to regulate that profession for the previous biennium; and
(h) Shall be subject to challenge pursuant to chapter 120.
(2) The chairpersons of the boards and councils listed in s. 20.43(3)(g) shall meet annually at division headquarters to review the long-range policy plan required by s. 456.005 and current and proposed fee schedules. The chairpersons shall make recommendations for any necessary statutory changes relating to fees and fee caps. Such recommendations shall be compiled by the Department of Health and be included in the annual report to the Legislature required by s. 456.026 as well as be included in the long-range policy plan required by s. 456.005.
(3) Each board within the jurisdiction of the department, or the department when there is no board, shall determine by rule the amount of license fees for the profession it regulates, based upon long-range estimates prepared by the department of the revenue required to implement laws relating to the regulation of professions by the department and the board. Each board, or the department if there is no board, shall ensure that license fees are adequate to cover all anticipated costs and to maintain a reasonable cash balance, as determined by rule of the agency, with advice of the applicable board. If sufficient action is not taken by a board within 1 year after notification by the department that license fees are projected to be inadequate, the department shall set license fees on behalf of the applicable board to cover anticipated costs and to maintain the required cash balance. The department shall include recommended fee cap increases in its annual report to the Legislature. Further, it is the legislative intent that no regulated profession operate with a negative cash balance. The department may provide by rule for advancing sufficient funds to any profession operating with a negative cash balance. The advancement may be for a period not to exceed 2 consecutive years, and the regulated profession must pay interest. Interest shall be calculated at the current rate earned on investments of a trust fund used by the department to implement this chapter. Interest earned shall be allocated to the various funds in accordance with the allocation of investment earnings during the period of the advance.
(4) Each board, or the department if there is no board, may charge a fee not to exceed $25, as determined by rule, for the issuance of a wall certificate pursuant to s. 456.013(2) requested by a licensee who was licensed prior to July 1, 1998, or for the issuance of a duplicate wall certificate requested by any licensee.
(5) Each board, or the department if there is no board, may, by rule, assess and collect a one-time fee from each active status licensee and each inactive status licensee in an amount necessary to eliminate a cash deficit or, if there is not a cash deficit, in an amount sufficient to maintain the financial integrity of the professions as required in this section. Not more than one such assessment may be made in any 4-year period without specific legislative authorization.
(6) If the cash balance of the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year exceeds the total appropriation provided for the regulation of the health care professions in the prior fiscal year, the boards, in consultation with the department, may lower the license renewal fees.
(7) Each board, or the department if there is no board, shall establish, by rule, a fee not to exceed $250 for anyone seeking approval to provide continuing education courses or programs and shall establish by rule a biennial renewal fee not to exceed $250 for the renewal of providership of such courses. The fees collected from continuing education providers shall be used for the purposes of reviewing course provider applications, monitoring the integrity of the courses provided, covering legal expenses incurred as a result of not granting or renewing a providership, and developing and maintaining an electronic continuing education tracking system. The department shall implement an electronic continuing education tracking system for each new biennial renewal cycle for which electronic renewals are implemented after the effective date of this act and shall integrate such system into the licensure and renewal system. All approved continuing education providers shall provide information on course attendance to the department necessary to implement the electronic tracking system. The department shall, by rule, specify the form and procedures by which the information is to be submitted.
(8) All moneys collected by the department from fees or fines or from costs awarded to the agency by a court shall be paid into a trust fund used by the department to implement this chapter. The Legislature shall appropriate funds from this trust fund sufficient to carry out this chapter and the provisions of law with respect to professions regulated by the Division of Medical Quality Assurance within the department and the boards. The department may contract with public and private entities to receive and deposit revenue pursuant to this section. The department shall maintain separate accounts in the trust fund used by the department to implement this chapter for every profession within the department. To the maximum extent possible, the department shall directly charge all expenses to the account of each regulated profession. For the purpose of this subsection, direct charge expenses include, but are not limited to, costs for investigations, examinations, and legal services. For expenses that cannot be charged directly, the department shall provide for the proportionate allocation among the accounts of expenses incurred by the department in the performance of its duties with respect to each regulated profession. The regulation by the department of professions, as defined in this chapter, shall be financed solely from revenue collected by it from fees and other charges and deposited in the Medical Quality Assurance Trust Fund, and all such revenue is hereby appropriated to the department. However, it is legislative intent that each profession shall operate within its anticipated fees. The department may not expend funds from the account of a profession to pay for the expenses incurred on behalf of another profession, except that the Board of Nursing must pay for any costs incurred in the regulation of certified nursing assistants. The department shall maintain adequate records to support its allocation of agency expenses. The department shall provide any board with reasonable access to these records upon request. On or before October 1 of each year, the department shall provide each board an annual report of revenue and direct and allocated expenses related to the operation of that profession. The board shall use these reports and the department's adopted long-range plan to determine the amount of license fees. A condensed version of this information, with the department's recommendations, shall be included in the annual report to the Legislature prepared under s. 456.026.
(9) The department shall provide a condensed management report of budgets, finances, performance statistics, and recommendations to each board at least once a quarter. The department shall identify and include in such presentations any changes, or projected changes, made to the board's budget since the last presentation.
(10) If a duplicate license is required or requested by the licensee, the board or, if there is no board, the department may charge a fee as determined by rule not to exceed $25 before issuance of the duplicate license.
(11) The department or the appropriate board shall charge a fee not to exceed $25 for the certification of a public record. The fee shall be determined by rule of the department. The department or the appropriate board shall assess a fee for duplicating a public record as provided in s. 119.07(1)(a) and (b).
History.--s. 49, ch. 92-33; s. 23, ch. 93-129; s. 58, ch. 97-261; s. 80, ch. 99-397; s. 55, ch. 2000-160; ss. 32, 164, ch. 2000-318; s. 73, ch. 2001-62; s. 6, ch. 2001-277.
Note.--Former s. 455.220; s. 455.587.