Today, Governor Rick Scott announced fee reductions for the licensing of certain health care professionals. Due to efficiencies found and the streamlining of processes, both the Florida Board of Medicine and Florida Board of Nursing identified excess fees and are passing this on as a cost savings to licensees.
Governor Scott said, "The physicians and nurses in our state work hard to provide high quality medical care to Florida families and this fee reduction will result in $7.75 million in savings for our heath care professionals. These reductions highlight our commitment to making Florida the best state in the nation to live and work, will allow more Floridians to keep their hard earned money."
The Board of Medicine will reduce the physician license renewal fee for the next biennium from $360 to $250. Physicians renewing their license in 2015 or 2016 will pay this lower fee, which has the potential to produce up to $6 million in savings that can be reinvested into Florida's economy by these medical professionals.
The Florida Board of Nursing reduced the initial application and initial license fee effective July 1, 2014. Applicants for initial licensure as a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse will now pay $100 instead of $165. It is estimated these fee reductions will result in a cost savings to new licensees of approximately $1.75 million each fiscal year.
"The Florida Department of Health appreciates Governor Rick Scott's leadership to find ways to reduce fees for Florida businesses. I applaud the Board of Medicine's and Board of Nursing's actions to reduce the fees for these valued health care professionals," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. "We will continue to find ways to help physicians and nursing professionals provide care for Florida's children, adults and families."
"The Board of Medicine supports an opportunity economy in which every Florida physician can pursue the dream of practicing medicine in the Sunshine State," said Board of Medicine Chair, Dr. Nabil El Sanadi. "We will continue to search for ways to support the increase of licensed medical professionals in the state of Florida."
Board of Nursing Chair, Lavigne A. Kirkpatrick, BS, RN, said, "The Board of Nursing was pleased to be able to offer this fee reduction as a way to encourage more recent nursing graduates to apply for licensure in Florida. Our nursing professionals are the key to quality health care for all residents and visitors in the state and we will continue to look for ways to ease the licensure process."
"One goal of the Florida Medical Association (FMA) is to enhance the quality and availability of health care in Florida," said Dr. Alan Harmon, FMA President. "This fee reduction recognizes the financial commitments that physicians make in our state, and represents one small way in which the Board of Medicine can express appreciation for their service and dedication to the residents and visitors in Florida."
Willa Fuller, Executive Director of the Florida Nurses Association, said, "We welcome this action on behalf of all nurses in Florida, particularly those recent graduates who may find the path to licensure eased by the reduced fees."
Medical professionals who practice in the state of Florida are required to be licensed. These licenses are renewed every two years. For more information on the license renewal process, please visit the Board of Medicine website at www.flboardofmedicine.gov or the Board of Nursing website at www.flboardofnursing.gov.
The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.