The Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA) is dedicated
to the mission of the Florida Department of Health to protect,
promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through
integrated state, county and community efforts. Working in
conjunction with 22 boards and six councils, MQA licenses
and regulates seven types of health care facilities and more
than 200 license types in over 40 health care professions. The
2014-2015 Annual Report for MQA, as required by Section
456.026, Florida Statutes, contains the division’s long-range
plan, performance data and statistics related to the regulation
of health care practitioners and facilities established in Section
20.43(3)(g), Florida Statutes. Additionally, this report includes
financial information relating to the division’s revenues,
expenditures, cash balances and adequacy of existing fees
for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The information provided in
this report is organized around MQA’s three key processes of
licensure, enforcement, and information, with an emphasis on
In the area of licensure, MQA strives to meet the demand of
the growing health care industry. The population of licensed
health care practitioners in Florida increased by 15.9 percent
since 2010, while the resident population of Florida increased
by only 5.5 percent. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, MQA
increased its efficiency and accuracy through performance
improvement initiatives by reducing regulations and barriers to
licensure that restrict opportunity for health care professionals.
By streamlining processes, the average time to license a
qualified applicant is currently less than two days.
The Department is committed to making Florida a welcome
place to live and work for our armed forces. MQA completed
the first full fiscal year of implementing the expedited licensing
application process for veterans through the Veterans
Application for Licensure Online Response (VALOR) system.
During 2014-2015, 1,043 military veterans were licensed
through this system. Additionally, 268 military spouses were
licensed through the initial licensure fee waiver program.
Combined, these licensing options saved over $161,449 for
those who have served our country.
In order to keep up with the growing health care industry,
the Department has strengthened its investigative and
enforcement measures to ensure the safety of Florida’s
residents and visitors. Through these efforts, MQA is able
to provide stronger evidence for cases which result from
an administrative complaint. During the 2014-2015 fiscal
year, MQA investigators followed up on 26,948 complaints
that resulted in 236 emergency orders restricting and/or
suspending licenses of health care practitioners for serious
violations that posed a danger to patients and the general
public. Additionally, inspectors visited 28,165 locations
where health care is being practiced to check for violations.
Unlicensed activity investigators investigated 1,094 tips
regarding unlicensed practices and issued 398 cease and
desist orders, a 72 percent increase compared to the last
In the area of information, MQA tracked, monitored, and
responded to more than 7,778 (opened and closed public
record requests with an average response time of 12.48
days. Through its commitment to providing excellent customer
service, MQA’s Customer Call Center received and responded
to 384,627 calls. Additionally, customers have the option to
provide feedback through the Online Customer Service System.
The division monitors this system daily and customers receive
a timely response within three days of their initial request.
This year, the division continued the Are You Renewal Ready?
initiative, which works to educate licensees about the renewal
process and continuing education/continuing medical
education (CE/CME) requirements. CE/CME requirements are
intended to encourage health care professionals to maintain
competence, expand their foundations of knowledge and stay
up-to-date on new and developing areas of their field. Starting
with license renewal cycles in 2015, health care practitioners
must report continuing CE/CME course hours at the time of
renewal to renew their licenses.
Additionally, MQA has actively raised awareness within the
practitioner communities about the Healthiest Weight Florida
initiative. The division, through its boards and councils,
continues to share information and promotional materials
for dissemination. MQA continues to facilitate conversations
about healthy weight between health care practitioners and the