The Secretary shall establish a program, including a uniform health professions data reporting system, to collect, compile, and analyze data on health professions personnel which program shall initially include data respecting all physicians and dentists in the States. The Secretary is authorized to expand the program to include, whenever he determines it necessary, the collection, compilation, and analysis of data respecting pharmacists, optometrists, podiatrists, veterinarians, public health personnel, audiologists, speech pathologists, health care administration personnel, nurses, allied health personnel, medical technologists, chiropractors, clinical psychologists, professional counselors, and any other health personnel in States designated by the Secretary to be included in the program. Such data shall include data respecting the training, licensure status (including permanent, temporary, partial, limited, or institutional), place or places of practice, professional specialty, practice characteristics, place and date of birth, sex, and socioeconomic background of health professions personnel and such other demographic information regarding health professions personnel as the Secretary may require.
In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary shall collect available information from appropriate local, State, and Federal agencies and other appropriate sources.
The Secretary shall conduct or enter into contracts for the conduct of analytic and descriptive studies of the health professions, including evaluations and projections of the supply of, and requirements for, the health professions by specialty and geographic location. Such studies shall include studies determining by specialty and geographic location the number of health professionals (including allied health professionals and health care administration personnel) who are members of minority groups, including Hispanics, and studies providing by specialty and geographic location evaluations and projections of the supply of, and requirements for, health professionals (including allied health professionals and health care administration personnel) to serve minority groups, including Hispanics.
Any entity which maintains a record of personal data and which receives a request from the Secretary or a program entity for such data for purposes of this section shall not transfer any such data to the Secretary or to a program entity unless the individual whose personal data is to be so transferred gives an informed consent for such transfer.
The Secretary shall provide technical assistance to the States and political subdivisions thereof in the development of systems (including model laws) concerning confidentiality and comparability of data collected pursuant to this section.
In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary may make grants, or enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with, and provide technical assistance to, any nonprofit entity in order to establish a uniform allied health professions data reporting system to collect, compile, and analyze data on the allied health professions personnel.