(1)(a) Any person desiring to be licensed in a profession within the jurisdiction of the department shall apply to the department in writing to take the licensure examination. The application shall be made on a form prepared and furnished by the department. The application form must be available on the World Wide Web and the department may accept electronically submitted applications beginning July 1, 2001. The application shall require the social security number of the applicant, except as provided in paragraph (b). The form shall be supplemented as needed to reflect any material change in any circumstance or condition stated in the application which takes place between the initial filing of the application and the final grant or denial of the license and which might affect the decision of the department. If an application is submitted electronically, the department may require supplemental materials, including an original signature of the applicant and verification of credentials, to be submitted in a nonelectronic format. An incomplete application shall expire 1 year after initial filing. In order to further the economic development goals of the state, and notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the department may enter into an agreement with the county tax collector for the purpose of appointing the county tax collector as the department’s agent to accept applications for licenses and applications for renewals of licenses. The agreement must specify the time within which the tax collector must forward any applications and accompanying application fees to the department.
(b) If an applicant has not been issued a social security number by the Federal Government at the time of application because the applicant is not a citizen or resident of this country, the department may process the application using a unique personal identification number. If such an applicant is otherwise eligible for licensure, the board, or the department when there is no board, may issue a temporary license to the applicant, which shall expire 30 days after issuance unless a social security number is obtained and submitted in writing to the department. Upon receipt of the applicant’s social security number, the department shall issue a new license, which shall expire at the end of the current biennium.
(2) Before the issuance of any license, the department shall charge an initial license fee as determined by the applicable board or, if there is no board, by rule of the department. Upon receipt of the appropriate license fee, the department shall issue a license to any person certified by the appropriate board, or its designee, as having met the licensure requirements imposed by law or rule. The license shall consist of a wallet-size identification card and a wall card measuring 61/2 inches by 5 inches. The licensee shall surrender to the department the wallet-size identification card and the wall card if the licensee’s license is issued in error or is revoked.
(3)(a) The board, or the department when there is no board, may refuse to issue an initial license to any applicant who is under investigation or prosecution in any jurisdiction for an action that would constitute a violation of this chapter or the professional practice acts administered by the department and the boards, until such time as the investigation or prosecution is complete, and the time period in which the licensure application must be granted or denied shall be tolled until 15 days after the receipt of the final results of the investigation or prosecution.
(b) If an applicant has been convicted of a felony related to the practice or ability to practice any health care profession, the board, or the department when there is no board, may require the applicant to prove that his or her civil rights have been restored.
(c) In considering applications for licensure, the board, or the department when there is no board, may require a personal appearance of the applicant. If the applicant is required to appear, the time period in which a licensure application must be granted or denied shall be tolled until such time as the applicant appears. However, if the applicant fails to appear before the board at either of the next two regularly scheduled board meetings, or fails to appear before the department within 30 days if there is no board, the application for licensure shall be denied.
(4) When any administrative law judge conducts a hearing pursuant to the provisions of chapter 120 with respect to the issuance of a license by the department, the administrative law judge shall submit his or her recommended order to the appropriate board, which shall thereupon issue a final order. The applicant for licensure may appeal the final order of the board in accordance with the provisions of chapter 120.
(5) A privilege against civil liability is hereby granted to any witness for any information furnished by the witness in any proceeding pursuant to this section, unless the witness acted in bad faith or with malice in providing such information.
(6) As a condition of renewal of a license, the Board of Medicine, the Board of Osteopathic Medicine, the Board of Chiropractic Medicine, and the Board of Podiatric Medicine shall each require licensees which they respectively regulate to periodically demonstrate their professional competency by completing at least 40 hours of continuing education every 2 years. The boards may require by rule that up to 1 hour of the required 40 or more hours be in the area of risk management or cost containment. This provision shall not be construed to limit the number of hours that a licensee may obtain in risk management or cost containment to be credited toward satisfying the 40 or more required hours. This provision shall not be construed to require the boards to impose any requirement on licensees except for the completion of at least 40 hours of continuing education every 2 years. Each of such boards shall determine whether any specific continuing education requirements not otherwise mandated by law shall be mandated and shall approve criteria for, and the content of, any continuing education mandated by such board. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the board, or the department when there is no board, may approve by rule alternative methods of obtaining continuing education credits in risk management. The alternative methods may include attending a board meeting at which another licensee is disciplined, serving as a volunteer expert witness for the department in a disciplinary case, or serving as a member of a probable cause panel following the expiration of a board member’s term. Other boards within the Division of Medical Quality Assurance, or the department if there is no board, may adopt rules granting continuing education hours in risk management for attending a board meeting at which another licensee is disciplined, for serving as a volunteer expert witness for the department in a disciplinary case, or for serving as a member of a probable cause panel following the expiration of a board member’s term.
(7) The boards, or the department when there is no board, shall require the completion of a 2-hour course relating to prevention of medical errors as part of the biennial renewal process. The 2-hour course counts toward the total number of continuing education hours required for the profession. The course must be approved by the board or department, as appropriate, and must include a study of root-cause analysis, error reduction and prevention, and patient safety. In addition, the course approved by the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine must include information relating to the five most misdiagnosed conditions during the previous biennium, as determined by the board. If the course is being offered by a facility licensed pursuant to chapter 395 for its employees, the board may approve up to 1 hour of the 2-hour course to be specifically related to error reduction and prevention methods used in that facility.
(8) The respective boards within the jurisdiction of the department, or the department when there is no board, may adopt rules to provide for the use of approved videocassette courses, not to exceed 5 hours per subject, to fulfill the continuing education requirements of the professions they regulate. Such rules shall provide for prior approval of the board, or the department when there is no board, of the criteria for and content of such courses and shall provide for a videocassette course validation form to be signed by the vendor and the licensee and submitted to the department, along with the license renewal application, for continuing education credit.
(9) Any board that currently requires continuing education for renewal of a license, or the department if there is no board, shall adopt rules to establish the criteria for continuing education courses. The rules may provide that up to a maximum of 25 percent of the required continuing education hours can be fulfilled by the performance of pro bono services to the indigent or to underserved populations or in areas of critical need within the state where the licensee practices. The board, or the department if there is no board, must require that any pro bono services be approved in advance in order to receive credit for continuing education under this subsection. The standard for determining indigency shall be that recognized by the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines produced by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The rules may provide for approval by the board, or the department if there is no board, that a part of the continuing education hours can be fulfilled by performing research in critical need areas or for training leading to advanced professional certification. The board, or the department if there is no board, may make rules to define underserved and critical need areas. The department shall adopt rules for administering continuing education requirements adopted by the boards or the department if there is no board.
(10) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, an elected official who is licensed under a practice act administered by the Division of Medical Quality Assurance may hold employment for compensation with any public agency concurrent with such public service. Such dual service must be disclosed according to any disclosure required by applicable law.
(11) In any instance in which a licensee or applicant to the department is required to be in compliance with a particular provision by, on, or before a certain date, and if that date occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, then the licensee or applicant is deemed to be in compliance with the specific date requirement if the required action occurs on the first succeeding day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
(12) Pursuant to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each party is required to provide his or her social security number in accordance with this section. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained through this requirement shall be limited to the purpose of administration of the Title IV-D program for child support enforcement.
(13) The department shall waive the initial licensing fee, the initial application fee, and the initial unlicensed activity fee for a military veteran or his or her spouse at the time of discharge, if he or she applies to the department for an initial license within 60 months after the veteran is honorably discharged from any branch of the United States Armed Forces. The applicant must apply for the fee waiver using a form prescribed by the department and must submit supporting documentation as required by the department.