Physician board defers on waiving license fees
Sunday, August 9, 2020
Posted by: DCMA
The News Service of Florida
By NSF Staff
Citing budgetary concerns, members of the Florida Board of Medicine delayed until October a decision on a request to waive physician licensure and renewal fees for the next two years.
Board of Medicine Executive Director Claudia Kemp said she had a conversation with a state budget official who flagged the request, which was made by Florida Medical Association.
“She felt that if we did this (waived licensure fees), we would be operating in a deficit,” Kemp told members of the Board of Medicine, which held an all-day meeting Friday. “But I’d like you to see some actual projections so you can make an informed decision.”
Noting that physicians are under increased stress --- including financial distress --- due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders of the Florida Medical Association sent a letter in July asking that the board waive the fees. Appearing at Friday’s meeting, FMA Assistant General Counsel Mary Thomas said the board --- which relies on licensure fees for its budget --- has traditionally had surpluses, and she asked board members to eliminate or “drastically reduce” the fees over the next two years.
“More than ever, physicians are under extreme personal, professional and financial stress,” Thomas said. “The FMA hopes the board will take this opportunity to make a positive impact.”
A 2019 report projected the Board of Medicine will have a $21 million surplus over the next two years. But Kemp said the report, based on 2018-2019 fiscal year data, is being updated and suggested that board members should have the benefit of up-to-date data before making a decision.