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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 02-38




[49 PA. CODE CHS. 16 AND 18]

Licensure, Certification, Examination and Registration Fees

[32 Pa.B. 249]

   The State Board of Medicine (Board) amends §§ 16.13, 16.13a, 16.17 and 18.303 by revising certain application fees to read as set forth at 31 Pa.B. 2181 (April 21, 2001).

A.  Effective Date

   The amendments will be effective upon publication of the final-form regulations in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

B.  Statutory Authority

   The final-form amendments are authorized under section 6 of the Medical Practice Act (act) (63 P. S. § 422.6), which directs the Board to establish fees by regulation. That same provision requires the Board to increase fees to meet or exceed projected expenditures if the revenues are not sufficient to meet expenditures over a 2-year period.

C.  Background and Purpose

   Section 6 of the act requires the Board to set fees by regulation so that revenues meet or exceed expenditures over a biennial period. General operating expenses of the Board are funded through biennial license renewal fees. Expenses related to applications or services which are provided directly to individual licensees or applicants are excluded from general operating revenues and are funded through fees in which the cost of providing the service forms the basis for the fee.

   A recent systems audit of the operations of the Board within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs determined that current application and service fees do not accurately reflect the actual cost of processing applications and providing other services.

   In final-form amendments, fees for the services identified would be adjusted to allocate costs to those who use the service or submit an application. The Board would continue to apportion its enforcement and operating costs to the general licensing population when the Board makes its biennial reconciliation of revenues and expenditures.

   The final-form amendments also consolidate all fees under one section and eliminate references to Nationally established examination fees over which the Board has no control or involvement.

D.  Summary of Comments and Responses to Proposed Rulemaking

   Proposed rulemaking was published at 31 Pa.B. 2181 followed by a 30-day public comment period. The Board did not receive comments from the general public or the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee (SCP/PLC). However, the Board received a report from the House Professional Licensure Committee (HPLC) and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).

   The HPLC and IRRC noted that, according to Annex A, the fee for biennial renewal as a drugless therapist appeared to increase from $25 to $35 and the fee for annual renewal of a graduate license appeared to increase from $10 to $15, although these increases were not shown in the description of proposed amendments in the proposed rulemaking.

   The final-form amendments do not increase these fees. Rather, the amendments proposed at 31 Pa.B. 2181 contained typographical errors in the portion of the section being deleted by the proposed amendment. Currently, the fee for biennial renewal as a drugless therapist is $35 and the fee for annual renewal of a graduate license is $15.

   The HPLC and IRRC also noted that the $5 fee for registration of additional physician assistant supervisors appeared to be a new fee, but was not listed in the description of proposed amendments in the proposed amendments. This was an error; it should have been listed as a new fee. As noted in the fee report form, the current fee for registration of physician assistant supervisors will be reduced from $55 to $35, and the fee for additional physician assistant supervisors (beyond the one substitute included on the application form), will be $5 each. The $5 charge will cover the cost of staff time necessary to verify the licensure status of the proposed supervisor, verify the fee, enter the information into the computer system and issue an approval letter.

E.  Compliance with Executive Order 1996-1

   In accordance with Executive Order 1996-1, ''Regulatory Review and Promulgation,'' in drafting and promulgating the amendments, the Board considered the least restrictive alternative to regulate costs for services requested by licensees and applicants.

F.  Fiscal Impact and Paperwork Requirements

   The final-form amendments will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The fees will have a modest fiscal impact on those members of the private sector who apply for services from the Board. The final-form amendments will impose no additional paperwork requirements upon the Commonwealth, its political subdivisions or the private sector.

G.  Sunset Date

   The Board continuously monitors the cost effectiveness of its regulations. Therefore, no sunset date has been assigned.

H.  Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on March 27, 2001, the Board submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking published at 31 Pa.B. 2181, to IRRC and to the Chairpersons of the HPLC and the SCP/PLC for review and comment.

   Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC and the Committees were provided with copies of the comments received during the public comment period, as well as other documents when requested. In preparing this final-form rulemaking, the Board has considered the comments received from IRRC, the Committees and the public.

   Under section 5.1(d) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(d)), on November 20, 2001, this final-form rulemaking was approved by the HPLC and deemed approved by the SCP/PLC on November 27, 2001. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on December 6, 2001, and approved the final-form rulemaking.

I.  Contact Person

   Further information may be obtained by contacting Joanne Troutman, Board Administrator, State Board of Medicine, P. O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649, (717) 783-1400.

J.  Findings

   The Board finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of the proposed rulemaking was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder at 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  A public comment period was provided as required by law and all comments were considered.

   (3)  These amendments do not enlarge the purpose of the proposed rulemaking published at 31 Pa.B. 2181.

   (4)  These amendments are necessary and appropriate for administration and enforcement of the authorizing act identified in Part B of this Preamble.

K.  Order

   The Board, acting under its authorizing statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Board, 49 Pa. Code Chapter 16, are amended by amending §§ 16.13 and 16.17 and by deleting §§ 16.13a and 18.303 to read as set forth at 31 Pa.B. 2181.

   (b)  The Board shall submit this order and 31 Pa.B. 2181 to the Office of General Counsel and to the Office of the Attorney General as required by law.

   (c)  The Board shall certify this order and 31 Pa.B. 2181 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  This order shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.


   (Editor's Note:  For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, relating to this document, see 31 Pa.B. 6998 (December 22, 2001).)

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 16A-4910 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-38. Filed for public inspection January 11, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]

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