HJ84: Medical doctors; joint subcommittee to study current and impending severe shortage in State.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 84
Offered January 11, 2012
Prefiled January 10, 2012
Establishing a joint subcommittee to study the current and impending severe shortage of medical doctors in Virginia. Report.
Patron-- Purkey

Committee Referral Pending

WHEREAS, medical and health care experts have warned of a critical shortage of up to 200,000 medical doctors in the United States by 2020; and

WHEREAS, a medical doctor must complete nearly a decade of education and training, including four years of medical school and four to five years of residency training, in order to qualifying for licensure; and

WHEREAS, while demand for medical care services has increased rapidly as a result of a growing population, the supply of doctors has remained limited; and

WHEREAS, health manpower projections indicate that Virginia will experience a severe shortage of qualified health care providers on par with the worst national predictions; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That a joint subcommittee be established to study the current and impending severe shortage of medical doctors in Virginia. The joint subcommittee shall consider the impact of the current and projected shortage of medical doctors on the health care system in the Commonwealth and identify options to prepare for and remedy the shortage.

The joint subcommittee shall have a total membership of 13 members that shall consist of six legislative members, two nonlegislative citizen members, and five ex officio members. Members shall be appointed as follows: four members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; two members of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; one nonlegislative citizen member, who shall be a representative of the Medical Society of Virginia, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates; and one nonlegislative citizen member, who shall be a representative of the Old Dominion Medical Society, to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. The Director of the Department of Health Professions, the Executive Director of the Board of Medicine, the Executive Director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the Dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, and the Dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine or their designees, shall serve ex officio with voting privileges. Nonlegislative citizen members of the joint subcommittee shall be citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Unless otherwise approved in writing by the chairman of the joint subcommittee and the respective Clerk, nonlegislative citizen members shall only be reimbursed for travel originating and ending within the Commonwealth of Virginia for the purpose of attending meetings. If a companion joint resolution of the other chamber is agreed to, written authorization of both Clerks shall be required. The joint subcommittee shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman from among its membership, who shall be members of the General Assembly.

In conducting its study, the joint subcommittee shall (i) determine whether a shortage of medical doctors exists in the Commonwealth, by specialty and by geographical region; (ii) project the future need for medical doctors in Virginia over the next 10 years by field of specialty; (iii) identify and assess factors that contribute to the shortage of medical doctors, including factors related to medical school admissions, the costs of medical education, and the effect of excessive malpractice insurance premiums, malpractice laws and caps, the shortage of nurses, and ancillary regulations such as requirements related to Certificates of Public Need; and (iv) consider other related matters as the joint subcommittee may deem necessary. The joint subcommittee also shall identify the medical specialty fields primarily affected by the shortage of doctors and recommend ways to alleviate such problems.

Administrative staff support shall be provided by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Delegates. Legal, research, policy analysis, and other services as requested by the joint subcommittee shall be provided by the Division of Legislative Services. Technical assistance shall be provided by the Board of Medicine, the Department of Health Professions, and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the joint subcommittee for this study, upon request.

The joint subcommittee shall be limited to four meetings for the 2012 interim and four meetings for the 2013 interim, and the direct costs of this study shall not exceed $14,180 for each year without approval as set out in this resolution. Of this amount an estimated $500 is allocated for speakers, materials, and other resources. Approval for unbudgeted nonmember-related expenses shall require the written authorization of the chairman of the joint subcommittee and the respective Clerk. If a companion joint resolution of the other chamber is agreed to, written authorization of both Clerks shall be required.

No recommendation of the joint subcommittee shall be adopted if a majority of the House members or a majority of the Senate members appointed to the joint subcommittee (i) vote against the recommendation and (ii) vote for the recommendation to fail notwithstanding the majority vote of the joint subcommittee.

The joint subcommittee shall complete its meetings for the first year by November 30, 2012, and for the second year by November 30, 2013, and the chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the next Regular Session of the General Assembly for each year. Each executive summary shall state whether the joint subcommittee intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summaries and reports shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

Implementation of this resolution is subject to subsequent approval and certification by the Joint Rules Committee. The Committee may approve or disapprove expenditures for this study, extend or delay the period for the conduct of the study, or authorize additional meetings during the 2011 and 2012 interims.