Florida Senate - 2020                                      SB 66
       By Senator Cruz
       18-00091-20                                             202066__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to student loans and scholarship
    3         obligations of health care practitioners; amending s.
    4         456.072, F.S.; establishing that a health care
    5         practitioner’s failure to repay a student loan or to
    6         comply with service scholarship obligations does not
    7         constitute grounds for disciplinary action; removing a
    8         civil fine; amending s. 456.0721, F.S.; removing the
    9         requirement that the Department of Health investigate
   10         and prosecute health care practitioners for failing to
   11         repay a student loan or to comply with scholarship
   12         service obligations; removing the requirement that the
   13         department include specified information related to
   14         such investigations and prosecutions in an annual
   15         report; providing an effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Paragraph (k) of subsection (1) of section
   20  456.072, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   21         456.072 Grounds for discipline; penalties; enforcement.—
   22         (1) The following acts shall constitute grounds for which
   23  the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) may be
   24  taken:
   25         (k) Failing to perform any statutory or legal obligation
   26  placed upon a licensee. For purposes of this section, failing to
   27  repay a student loan issued or guaranteed by the state or the
   28  Federal Government in accordance with the terms of the loan or
   29  failing to comply with service scholarship obligations is not
   30  shall be considered a failure to perform a statutory or legal
   31  obligation, and the minimum disciplinary action imposed shall be
   32  a suspension of the license until new payment terms are agreed
   33  upon or the scholarship obligation is resumed, followed by
   34  probation for the duration of the student loan or remaining
   35  scholarship obligation period, and a fine equal to 10 percent of
   36  the defaulted loan amount. Fines collected shall be deposited
   37  into the Medical Quality Assurance Trust Fund.
   38         Section 2. Section 456.0721, Florida Statutes, is amended
   39  to read:
   40         456.0721 Practitioners in default on student loan or
   41  scholarship obligations; investigation; report.—The Department
   42  of Health shall obtain from the United States Department of
   43  Health and Human Services information necessary to investigate
   44  and prosecute health care practitioners for failing to repay a
   45  student loan or comply with scholarship service obligations
   46  pursuant to s. 456.072(1)(k). The department shall obtain from
   47  the United States Department of Health and Human Services a list
   48  of default health care practitioners each month, along with the
   49  information necessary to investigate a complaint in accordance
   50  with s. 456.073. The department may obtain evidence to support
   51  the investigation and prosecution from any financial institution
   52  or educational institution involved in providing the loan or
   53  education to the practitioner. The department shall report to
   54  the Legislature as part of the annual report required by s.
   55  456.026, the number of practitioners in default, along with the
   56  results of the department’s investigations and prosecutions, and
   57  the amount of fines collected from practitioners prosecuted for
   58  violating s. 456.072(1)(k).
   59         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.