Florida adds new teaching hospital designation

Four hospitals in Florida will attain the new designation as behavioral health teaching hospitals, with four more eligible for the status if they meet the necessary qualifications.

The new designation and funding framework stems from Senate Bill 330, part of the "Live Healthy" legislative package signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis March 21. The legislation is set to take effect July 1. 

Here are five things to know about the teaching hospital designation and newly signed legislation: 

1. The legislation initially designates four behavioral health teaching hospitals: 

  • Tampa General, affiliated with the University of South Florida;
  • UF Health Shands Hospital, affiliated with the University of Florida;
  • UF Health Jacksonville, affiliated with the University of Florida; 
  • and Jackson Memorial Hospital, affiliated with the University of Miami. 

2. Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration can designate up to four more behavioral health teaching hospitals between July 1, 2025, and July 1, 2027. The designation lasts for two years with a renewal process. 

3. To be designated as a behavioral health teaching hospital, a hospital must operate already operate as a teaching hospital, provide behavioral health services and:

  • offer an ACGME accredited psychiatric residency program and either offer or have applied for approval to establish an accredited postdoctoral clinical psychology fellowship program; 
  • establish and maintain an affiliation with a Florida university and an accredited Florida-based medical school to develop and maintain integrated workforce development programs that cover the entire continuum of behavioral health care;
  • develop a plan to create and maintain integrated workforce development programs with the affiliated university's colleges or schools, and to oversee clinical care provided by participating students.

4. The legislation earmarks $6 million in recurring funds for the AHCA to fund residency positions at $150,000 each and another $2 million in recurring funds for the state to provide each behavioral health teaching hospital with up to $500,000 through its new Training, Education, and Clinicals in Health funding program.

5. The legislation also establishes the Florida Center for Behavioral Health Workforce within the University of South Florida's Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute in Tampa, which will analyze workforce supply and demand dynamics within behavioral health professions across the state.

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