Florida Board Of Medicine Defers On Physician Licensing Fees

Aug 7, 2020

<p> 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. </p> </p> 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.  </p> </p>  “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.” </p> </p>  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. </p> </p>   “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.” </p> </p>  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 2018-19 fiscal year data, is being updated and suggested that board members should have the benefit of up-to-date data before making a decision. </p>