59A-35.090 Background Screening
(a) “Arrest Report” means the detailed narrative written by the arresting law enforcement officer explaining the circumstances of the arrest.
(b) “Disposition” means the sentencing or other final settlement of a criminal case which shall include, regardless of adjudication, a plea of nolo contendere or guilty, or a conviction by a judge or jury.
(c) “Disqualifying Offense” means any criminal offense prohibited in Section 435.03, 435.04 or 408.809(5), F.S.
(d) “Exemption from Disqualification” means an exemption granted by the Agency following a review of the Application for Exemption, AHCA Form 3010-0019, October 2009, hereby incorporated by reference, and an informal hearing, if appropriate, during which the individual must present clear and convincing evidence to support a reasonable belief that he or she has been rehabilitated and does not present a danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the patient or individual as described in Section 435.07, F.S.
(e) “FBI” means the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
(f) “FDLE” means the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
(g) “Level 1 Screening” means an assessment of the criminal history record obtained from the FDLE to determine whether screened individuals have any disqualifying offenses pursuant to Section 435.03 or 408.809(5), F.S. An analysis and review of court dispositions and arrest reports may be required to make a final determination.
(h) “Level 2 Screening” means an assessment of the criminal history record obtained through a fingerprint search through the FDLE and FBI to determine whether screened individuals have any disqualifying offenses pursuant to Section 435.04 or 408.809(5), F.S. An analysis and review of court dispositions and arrest reports may be required to make a final determination.
(2) Processing Screening Requests, Required Documents and Fees.
(a) A provider may conduct Level 1 background screening for employees either directly through the FDLE or through the Agency. Requests through the Agency must be submitted using the Agency’s background screening website at: http://www.ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/Long_Term_Care/Background_S creening/logon.shtml. A user code and password is required for use of this site. A request for a Level 1 screening through the Agency must be accompanied by the cost required by the FDLE to pay for the cost of processing the request.
(b) Persons required to undergo Level 2 background screening must submit an Applicant Fingerprint Card, incorporated herein by reference, and available from the appropriate Agency licensure unit or by submitting a request to: firstname.lastname@example.org. A health care provider licensed pursuant to this chapter may submit a Level 2 request and make payment electronically or by mail. A request for a Level 2 screening through the Agency must be accompanied by the cost required by the FDLE and the FBI to pay for the cost of processing the request.
1. Electronic submissions must be made through the Agency’s background screening web site. The completed fingerprint card must be mailed to the Background Screening Unit at 2727 Mahan Drive, MS 40,Tallahassee, Florida 32308.
2. Mailed requests must be submitted to the Background Screening Unit at 2727 Mahan Drive, MS 40, Tallahassee, Florida 32308.
3. If a fingerprint card is rejected by the FBI due to illegible prints, the individual must submit a second fingerprint card in accordance with the guidelines established by the FBI. The second card must be submitted to the Agency within 21 days of the Agency’s request or the screening request will be considered withdrawn. If withdrawn, the individual must submit a new fingerprint card accompanied by the required fee.
(3) Screening of Administrators, Owners, Chief Financial Officers and Controlling Interests.
(a) Persons required to undergo Level 2 background screening in accordance with a licensure application, must submit the completed and signed fingerprint card and screening fee with an application for licensure to the appropriate Agency licensing unit.
(b) As an alternative to a new background screen, persons required to undergo Level 2 background screening in accordance with Section 408.809, F.S., that have been screened within the previous 5 years by the Agency, Department of Health, Department of Children and Family Services, Agency for Persons with Disabilities or Department of Financial Services, or if the applicant has a certificate of authority to operate a continuing care retirement community, may submit to the appropriate Agency licensing unit:
1. A copy of the background screening result, and
2. An Affidavit of Compliance with Background Screening Requirements, AHCA Form 3100-0008, October 2009, herein incorporated by reference, and available from the Agency for Health Care Administration at: http://www.ahca.myflorida.com/Publications/Forms/HQA.shtml.
(4) Results of Screening and Notification.
(a) Final results of background screening requests will be provided to the requesting provider through the Agency’s secure web site.
(b) When the dispositional information of a potentially disqualifying offense is unclear or not present in a criminal history from a Level I request, a notice will be sent to the requesting licensee or entity to obtain the arrest report and dispositional information from the individual being screened. The information must then be forwarded to the Agency for a final determination or show such information cannot be obtained. If a Level 2 criminal history is incomplete, a certified letter will be sent to the individual being screened requesting the arrest report and dispositional information. If the letter is returned unclaimed, a copy of the letter will be sent by regular mail. For Level 1 and Level 2, the missing information must be filed with the Agency within 30 days of the Agency’s request, or the individual is subject to automatic disqualification in accordance with Section 435.05(1)(d), F.S.
(c) When the Agency or the provider obtains information indicating an individual has a disqualifying offense pursuant to Chapter 435, F.S., the individual is prohibited from working in a position that requires background screening until such time as the individual has applied for and been determined to be exempt from such disqualification.
(d) An alleged offense is not disqualifying until such time as there has been a disposition.
(5) Exemption from Disqualification.
(a) Requests for an exemption from disqualification shall be submitted in writing to the Agency using the “Application for Exemption from Disqualification” AHCA Form 3010-0019, October 2009. This form may be obtained from the Agency for Health Care Administration, Background Screening Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive, MS #40, Tallahassee, Florida 32308 or through the Agency’s website at: http://www.ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/Long_Term_Care/Background_Screening/exemption.shtml.
(b) Individuals that are licensed or certified in a profession under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health must apply for an exemption to the appropriate licensing or certifying board at the Department of Health unless the individual will be working in a position other than for which they are licensed or certified.
(c) The individual shall bear the burden of setting forth clear and convincing evidence of rehabilitation which includes any information indicating the individual presents no danger to the safety or well being of others. The individual must present such evidence as arrest reports, court dispositions, parole/probation information, letters from employers, and personal references. Other documents that may be included are records of successful participation in a rehabilitation program, further education or training, community or church involvement, special awards or recognition or testimony by self or others.
(d) An “Application for Exemption” will not be reviewed until all required documents are obtained. If the application is deemed incomplete after 30 days of receipt by the Agency, the application will be withdrawn.
(e) In deciding whether to grant or deny an exemption request, the Agency shall consider factors such as the facts and circumstances surrounding the disqualifying offense(s), the nature of the harm to the victim, whether the individual is on probation or parole, whether restitution has been made, the length of time since the last offense, the history of the person since the disqualifying offense(s), work experience, personal references, performance evaluations, probation or parole violations, education, other evidence of rehabilitation, and the honesty and candor of the disqualified individual.
(f) Any exemption granted by the Agency is limited to the disqualifying offense or offenses committed prior to the date of the request for exemption.
(g) The Agency shall void any exemption granted to an individual when there is evidence that information which would adversely affect the decision was not made available at the time of the determination or there is a disposition of a new disqualifying offense since the date the exemption was granted.
(6) Unless otherwise specified, information requested pursuant to this section must be filed with the Agency within 21 days of the Agency’s request.
Rulemaking Authority 408.819 FS. Law Implemented 408.809, 408.810 FS. History–New 7-14-10.