March 31, 2011

The Florida Department of Health Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA) 2009-2010 Annual Report noted that during fiscal year 2009-2010 nearly 30% of the cases presented to probable cause (investigating) panels resulted in a finding of probable cause compared to 21.5% in the previous fiscal year. There was also a 15% increase in the number of emergency orders issued restricting or suspending the practice of a health professional considered an immediate danger to the public.

With regard to medical malpractice during fiscal year 2009-2010, MQA received 278 civil court claims, 1,932 closed claims, and 311 closed-claims (non-discipline) related to medical malpractice claims against medical doctors.

As of June 1, 2010, there were 8,069 open complaints, investigations, and prosecutions being handled by MQA. There were 5,177 complaints received concerning medical doctors during fiscal year 2009-2010. Only 35 licensed medical doctors were subject to emergency orders during the same period and only 13 had their licenses revoked.

Eleven percent (11%) of MQA’s customer service inquiries were related to complaints regarding practitioners. There were 42,845 active in-state medical doctors licensed in Florida during fiscal year 2009-2010 (compared to 186,299 in-state registered nurses who were active and licensed in Florida). There were a total of 783,932 in-state active licensed practitioners of all types and 8,215 active licensed pharmacies under the auspices of MQA during fiscal year 2009-2010.

There were 2,853 medical doctor applications received, and 2,634 initial licenses issued, during fiscal year 2009-2010 (there were 18,762 registered nurse applications  received and 15,490 initial licenses issued during the same period). MQA received 131,462 licensure applications during fiscal year 2009-2010, representing an increase of nearly 17% over the number from the prior year and 33% more that two years prior.  MQA issued 38,192 more initial licenses than in the prior fiscal year (a 47% increase), mostly attributable to the first-time licensure of pharmacy technicians.

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