The Florida Department of Health, through its Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA), determines that health care practitioners meet minimum competency requirements. The division, in conjunction with 22 boards and 6 councils, is responsible for regulatory activities of 200-plus license types in 41 health care professions and 8 types of facilities. MQA's three core business processes are the licensure of and enforcement of laws and rules governing Florida's 1,083,767 health care practitioners and facilities, as well as providing information and data to the public.
Licensure activities include preparing and administering licensure examinations; issuing and renewing licenses; tracking licensure conditions and restrictions; monitoring compliance with continuing education and financial responsibility requirements; and evaluating and approving training programs and continuing education providers.
Enforcement activities include receiving, analyzing, and investigating complaints and reports; tracking licensees' compliance with disciplinary sanctions; inspecting health care facilities; issuing citations and emergency suspension and restriction orders; conducting disciplinary proceedings; and combating unlicensed activity.
Information and data activities include providing easy access to licensure and disciplinary information and ensuring that data is accurate, timely, consistent and reliable; and collecting and reporting workforce data.
All costs of regulating health care professions and practitioners are financed solely by licensees and licensure applicants in the form of fees and fines. These fees and fines are deposited to the Medical Quality Assurance trust fund (Chapter 456 professions).
VALUES - "I CARE" MQA
Lola Pouncey, Bureau Chief
The Bureau of Operations serves as operational and infrastructural support to the Division of Medical Quality Assurance and the health care regulatory boards. It is comprised of a bureau chief and six offices:
Business Operations – Marybeth Le, Manager
Business Operations provides centralized administrative supportive services which include oversight responsibility for procurement and reimbursement services and meeting planning for 22 regulatory boards and six councils.
Web Support Services – Rich Smith, Manager
Web Support Services maintains the Internet site for the Division of Medical Quality Assurance and the health care regulatory boards. It is responsible for designing an intuitive user interface that provides access to information in a clear and simple format utilizing videos, social networking and news feeds, as well as managing the web content management system and web hosting service used by the health care regulatory boards.
Systems Support Services– Candy Tyre, Manager
System Support Services maintains and provides technical support for the licensure and enforcement database and document imaging systems, evaluates and recommends improvements to the accuracy, reliability, validity, and consistency of data maintained by the Division of Medical Quality Assurance, as well as coordinates renewal events and disseminates renewal notification to licensed health care practitioners.
Licensure Support Services – Gwen Bailey, Manager
Licensure Support Services provides oversight responsibility of the Division’s communication support, as well as manages all services related to issuing and maintaining a health care license in Florida, including handling the revenue functions for the health care regulatory boards.
Practitioner Reporting and Examination Services – Jennifer Wenhold, Manager
Practitioner Reporting and Examination Services monitors all national examination and vendor contracts, as well as plans, coordinates and directs the development, scheduling, scoring, score reporting, post-examination reviews, defense, and security of all examinations administered by the department. It also issues renewal denial orders, conducts Florida Department of Law Enforcement background screenings, queries the National Practitioner Data Bank, and reports disciplinary adverse actions taken against all licensees by the health care regulatory boards to the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank.
Central Records – Amy Carraway, Manager
Central Records has been designated by the Department’s Office of General Counsel as Custodian of Records to index, serve and maintain legal documents, as well as prepares appeal records and respond to public record requests for board orders and other legal documents; provides licensure support documents; manages the electronic storage of licensure and disciplinary files.
Lucy Gee, Division Director
The Director’s Office serves as a support unit for the entire division. This office handles project management, financial analysis, budget and cash administration, review of personnel rules, policies and procedures as well as legislative, correspondence and public records tracking. The Director's Office has four units:
Strategic Planning Services – Charlene Willoughby, Manager
The Strategic Planning Services Unit (SPS) manages MQA’s strategic plan. This involves monitoring and analyzing performance (through our balanced scorecards), identifying improvement opportunities, and managing resulting performance improvement initiatives. SPS also supports division improvements through project management, process mapping and analysis, development and management of performance measures, staff development, Sterling development, oversight of
legislative implementation, marketing campaigns, and customer survey development and analysis.
Trust Fund Management – Melinda Simmons, Budget Analyst
The Trust Fund Management Unit handles MQA’s budget, cash and rate administration, financial analysis and reporting and accounting and finance policy implementation.
Personnel Management – Britt Keen
The Personnel Management Unit reviews and advises managers on all personnel actions, personnel proposals and requests, classification actions, personnel rules, policies and procedures and personnel issues. The unit also maintains MQA’s table of organization, insures compliance with personnel rules, policies and procedures, coordinates division-wide personnel assignments and serves as the division liaison between MQA and HRM.
Legislative and Correspondence Tracking – Sylvia Sanders
The Legislative and Correspondence Tracking Unit serves as the division’s liaison for legislative proposals, correspondence and board appointments as well as providing front desk service for the
Susie Love, Bureau Chief of Enforcement
To protect the public from incompetent, unethical, or impaired practitioners, MQA analyzes complaints and reports involving potential misconduct of a licensee and initiates investigations when appropriate. The MQA Enforcement bureau consists of three units:
Consumer Services & Compliance Management Unit – Amie Rice, Chief
Consumer Services is the central intake unit for receipt of complaints and statutorily required reports against the practitioners regulated by the Department of Health. All complaints are reviewed to determine if they are legally sufficient for investigation. A complaint is legally sufficient if it contains ultimate facts that show that a violation of chapter 456, Florida Statutes, of any of the practice acts relating to the professions regulated by the department, or of any rule adopted by the department or a regulatory board in the department has occurred. Consumers can call 1-888-419-3456 to obtain complaint forms.Investigative Services Unit – Jeane Clyne, Chief
Compliance Management monitors probation, the payment of fines and costs, completion of continuing education, and other discipline contained in citations and final orders. The unit also ensures the correct disciplinary status is displayed for the public and cleared upon successful completion of the discipline.
Investigative Services (ISU) investigates legally sufficient complaints and conducts inspections of facilities regulated by the department. At the completion of an investigation, an Investigative Report is sent to the Prosecution Services Unit. MQA has satellite offices that house investigators and facilities inspectors. These 12 satellite offices are located in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Hollywood, Ft. Myers, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Alachua, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Pensacola.
The Unlicensed Activity Program (ULA) within Investigative Services protects Florida residents and visitors from the potentially serious and dangerous consequences that may result from the actions of an unlicensed person, including further injury, disease or even death. The program works in conjunction with law enforcement and the state attorney’s offices to prosecute individuals practicing without a license.
Prosecution Services Unit – Carol Gregg, Acting Deputy General Counsel
The Prosecution Services Unit is responsible for the prosecution of cases resulting from complaints filed against health care practitioners regulated by the Department of Health. This unit receives and processes all cases investigated by the Consumer Services Unit and the Investigative Services Unit. The process includes review of completed investigations, preparation of cases for presentation to a probable cause panel, filing of administrative complaints against health care practitioners when probable cause is determined, prosecution of formal charges or resolution of the case through informal dispute resolution mechanisms, litigation of cases involving attorney fee issues, handling of appellate matters, and preparation of emergency suspension or restriction orders to be issued upon approval of the State Surgeon General.
Cassandra G. Pasley, Bureau Chief
The Bureau of Health Care Practitioner Regulation (HCPR) is comprised of a bureau chief and seven offices under the supervision of Executive Directors. The bureau regulates 43 health care professions through coordination with 22 boards and 6 councils. The Executive Directors serve in an administrative liaison capacity to the designated boards and councils, whose responsibilities include approving or denying applicants for licensure and reviewing cases related to pending disciplinary action against health care practitioners and permittees.
Board members share authority with the department for developing rules for licensure, establishing exams, setting fees, establishing guidelines for discipline, and reducing the unlicensed practice of health care professions. Seven board offices evaluate applications for licensure and examination, conduct board meetings, administer policy and determine probable cause in disciplinary actions, issue final orders in imposing discipline, review and approve continuing education providers and courses, and prepare communications for licensees and other interested parties. The seven offices are shown by profession:
- Joe Baker, Jr., Executive Director
Certified Nursing Assistants and Nursing
- Bruce Deterding, Executive Director
Chiropractic Medicine, Clinical Laboratory Personnel, Medical Physicists, Nursing Home Administrators, Optometry, Orthotists and Prosthetists, and Podiatric Medicine
- Sue Foster, Executive Director
Athletic Trainers, Certified Master Social Workers, Clinical Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling, Dental Hygienists, Dental Laboratories, Dentists, Hearing Aid Specialists, and Opticianry
- Allen Hall, Executive Director
Dietetics and Nutrition, Electrolysis, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Psychology, Respiratory Care, and School Psychology
- Anthony Jusevitch, Executive Director
Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Midwifery, Osteopathic Medicine, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
- Joy Tootle, Executive Director
Anesthesiologist Assistants, Medicine, Naturopaths, Office Surgery Registration, Pain Management Clinic Registration and Physician Assistants
- Mark Whitten, Executive Director
EMTs, Paramedics, Pharmacies, Pharmacists, and Radiologic Technologists
|MISSION:||To protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.|
|VISION:||To be the Healthiest State in the Nation|
|PURPOSE:||To protect the public and make Florida the healthiest state in the nation through health care licensure, enforcement, and information.|
|FOCUS:||To be the nation's leader in quality health care regulation.|
|VALUES:||I CARE (Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Responsiveness, Excellence)|