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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

performance-driven results.

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

fiscal year.

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

general public.