Community Budget Issue Requests - Tracking Id #1180FY0001

Florida Poison Information Network - CMS/DOH












Vincent Speranza


Tampa General Hospital











Project Title:

Florida Poison Information Network - CMS/DOH

Date Submitted:

2/19/01 9:47:02 AM












Rudolfo Garcia, Ronald Silver














Statewide Interest:

See project description for statewide impact.













Tampa General Hospital, Shands/Jacksonville, Jackson Memoria


Vincent Speranza


2 Columbia Drive, 655 West 8th Street, 1600 NW 12th Avenue

Contact Phone:

(813) 844-7044



Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami 33606

















Dade, Duval, Hillsborough














Service Area:

Private Organization
















Project Description:








Enhance the existing funds for the three statewide poison information centers to provide for increased workload and expense of continuing operation of emergency information service.  Call volume has increased over 48% in the past five years while funding has increased only 17%.

The Issues:

State funding has remained nearly level over the past few years as call volumes have increased and the cost of providing this emergency care system has dramatically increased due to amplified workload.


                                                1995/1996                   1999/2000                   Difference                     % Change

Calls                             111,551                       164,686                       53,135             + 48%

Total SPI FTE              27                    31                    4                      + 15%

Calls/FTE                     4131                5312                1181                + 29%

State Budget                 $3,119,896                  $3,658,378                  $538,482                     + 17%


?          In 1995-96, the Florida Poison Information Network answered 111,551 calls for assistance with an operating budget of $3,119,896.

?          By 2000, the call volume had increased to 164,686 (+ 48%) with a State-allocated operating budget of $3,658,378 (+ 17%).

?          During the same time period, the total number of "Specialists in Poison Information" handling the calls increased from 27 to 31 (+ 15%), and their call/FTE ratio (measure of workload) was increased 29% to 5312 calls/FTE in 1999-2000.

?          Increased workload without commensurate enhancement of resources has caused continual shrinkage of the available operating budget for core services of the Network over the past 5 years.


Additional Workload Increases and Financial Drain Issues:

?          In recent legislative sessions, a mandate to integrate the EMS/911 and Poison Network systems was adopted.  Going into effect in October 1999, the Network has witnessed an annualized increase of 14,600 calls (+ 9%) over and above normal volume increases induced by rising Florida population and public awareness of the Network's free services.

?          Follow-up calls to assess recommendations given for care have dramatically increased.  State-allocated budgets currently provide for approximately 50% of those assessment calls actually made.

?          Host institution-mandated increases in personnel salary and benefits have to be absorbed even though State allocations for cost-of-living increases are not considered.

?          Newly approved national poison center certification criteria (by the American Association of Poison Control Centers) have mandated a two-fold increase in the time the medical director must spend physically present in the poison center.  If this is not maintained, AAPCC certification can be withdrawn.  According to legislative mandate, loss of AAPCC certification equates with loss of State funding.

?          The same new AAPCC criteria have mandated quality improvement outcome-based programs (thereby an increase in workload for current staffing) be established which monitor customer satisfaction at the home and health care institution level.













Measurable Outcome Anticipated:






The poison center state grant is a unit cost contract.  Each center contracts to provide the following units of service based on a fixed price (unit cost) per year:


                                                            Center              Network total               Provided 1999-2000

Total Telephone Calls               46,336             139,008                       164,868                       (+ 25,678)

Educational Programs               150                  450                  1414                (+ 964)

Critical Case Consultations                   750                  2250                3231                (+ 981)

Follow-up Calls                                    7,254               21,762                         86,632                         (+ 61,870)


Each center employs an on-line data collection program to enter and chart each unit of activity as provided by each Poison Center.  Each center utilizes the same software and is linked via a wide area network to provide both individual center and statewide (network) reports.  Annually each center provides a significantly greater number of units of service from each category without reimbursement.


The anticipated measurable outcome is a decrease in healthcare expenditure related to Emergency Department visits and ambulance runs.  Poison Center-guided management facilitates in-home treatment of poisonings in the majority of cases. The Florida Poison Information Center Network saves approximately $7.00 in health care expenditures for every $1.00 invested in the poison information system and ranks second only to childhood immunization programs in their ability to save health care dollars.  A Department of Health and Human Service Study from 1994 projected these savings per intervention:


Intervention:      Medical cost Savings/Dollar Spent:

Childhood Immunizations          $7.40

Poison Information Centers       $7.00

Bicycle Helmet Program           $2.00

Child Safety Seat Program        $2.00

Smoke Detector Program         $1.50

Regional Trauma Program         $1.15


The Florida Poison Information Network phone call costs approximately $17 compared to the national average of roughly $32 per phone call.  This makes our poison center network a model for efficiency nationally.












Amount requested from the State for this project this year:






















Total cost of the project:
















Request has been made to fund:















Type of funding match:








Total Cash Amount:















Was this project previously funded by the State?





Fiscal Year:















Is future-year funding likely to be requested?














Was this project included in an Agency's Budget Request?




Was this project included in the Governor's Recommended Budget?













Is there a documented need for this project?






Increase in the volume of poison control calls in Florida.











Was this project request heard before a publicly noticed meeting of a body of elected officials (municipal, county, or state)?




Hearing Body:

Hillsborough Legislative Delegation


Meeting Date: