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Florida Statute 408.809 on offenses to be prohibited by AHCA based on Level 2 Background Screening results

408.809 Background screening; prohibited offenses.—

 

(1) Level 2 background screening pursuant to chapter 435 must be conducted through the agency on each of the following persons, who are considered employees for the purposes of conducting screening under chapter 435:

 

(a) The licensee, if an individual.

(b) The administrator or a similarly titled person who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the provider.

(c) The financial officer or similarly titled individual who is responsible for the financial operation of the licensee or provider.

(d) Any person who is a controlling interest if the agency has reason to believe that such person has been convicted of any offense prohibited by s. 435.04. For each controlling interest who has been convicted of any such offense, the licensee shall submit to the agency a description and explanation of the conviction at the time of license application.

(e) Any person, as required by authorizing statutes, seeking employment with a licensee or provider who is expected to, or whose responsibilities may require him or her to, provide personal care or services directly to clients or have access to client funds, personal property, or living areas; and any person, as required by authorizing statutes, contracting with a licensee or provider whose responsibilities require him or her to provide personal care or personal services directly to clients. Evidence of contractor screening may be retained by the contractor’s employer or the licensee.

 

(2) Every 5 years following his or her licensure, employment, or entry into a contract in a capacity that under subsection (1) would require level 2 background screening under chapter 435, each such person must submit to level 2 background rescreening as a condition of retaining such license or continuing in such employment or contractual status. For any such rescreening, the agency shall request the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the person’s fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history record check. If the fingerprints of such a person are not retained by the Department of Law Enforcement under s. 943.05(2)(g), the person must file a complete set of fingerprints with the agency and the agency shall forward the fingerprints to the Department of Law Enforcement for state processing, and the Department of Law Enforcement shall forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history record check. The fingerprints may be retained by the Department of Law Enforcement under s. 943.05(2)(g). The cost of the state and national criminal history records checks required by level 2 screening may be borne by the licensee or the person fingerprinted. Proof of compliance with level 2 screening standards submitted within the previous 5 years to meet any provider or professional licensure requirements of the agency, the Department of Health, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Children and Family Services, or the Department of Financial Services for an applicant for a certificate of authority or provisional certificate of authority to operate a continuing care retirement community under chapter 651 satisfies the requirements of this section if the person subject to screening has not been unemployed for more than 90 days and such proof is accompanied, under penalty of perjury, by an affidavit of compliance with the provisions of chapter 435 and this section using forms provided by the agency.

 

(3) All fingerprints must be provided in electronic format. Screening results shall be reviewed by the agency with respect to the offenses specified in s. 435.04 and this section, and the qualifying or disqualifying status of the person named in the request shall be maintained in a database. The qualifying or disqualifying status of the person named in the request shall be posted on a secure website for retrieval by the licensee or designated agent on the licensee’s behalf.

 

(4) In addition to the offenses listed in s. 435.04, all persons required to undergo background screening pursuant to this part or authorizing statutes must not have an arrest awaiting final disposition for, must not have been found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, and must not have been adjudicated delinquent and the record not have been sealed or expunged for any of the following offenses or any similar offense of another jurisdiction: 

 

(a) Any authorizing statutes, if the offense was a felony.

(b) This chapter, if the offense was a felony.

(c) Section 409.920, relating to Medicaid provider fraud.

(d) Section 409.9201, relating to Medicaid fraud.

(e) Section 741.28, relating to domestic violence.

(f)  Section 817.034, relating to fraudulent acts through mail, wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photooptical systems.

(g) Section 817.234, relating to false and fraudulent insurance claims.

(h) Section 817.505, relating to patient brokering.

(i)  Section 817.568, relating to criminal use of personal identification information.

(j)  Section 817.60, relating to obtaining a credit card through fraudulent means.

(k)    Section 817.61, relating to fraudulent use of credit cards, if the offense was a felony.

(l)  Section 831.01, relating to forgery.

(m)  Section 831.02, relating to uttering forged instruments.

(n) Section 831.07, relating to forging bank bills, checks, drafts, or promissory notes.

(o) Section 831.09, relating to uttering forged bank bills, checks, drafts, or promissory notes.

(p) Section 831.30, relating to fraud in obtaining medicinal drugs.

(q) Section 831.31, relating to the sale, manufacture, delivery, or possession with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver any counterfeit controlled substance, if the offense was a felony.

 

A person who serves as a controlling interest of, is employed by, or contracts with a licensee on July 31, 2010, who has been screened and qualified according to standards specified in s. 435.03 or s. 435.04 must be rescreened by July 31, 2015. The agency may adopt rules to establish a schedule to stagger the implementation of the required rescreening over the 5-year period, beginning July 31, 2010, through July 31, 2015. If, upon rescreening, such person has a disqualifying offense that was not a disqualifying offense at the time of the last screening, but is a current disqualifying offense and was committed before the last screening, he or she may apply for an exemption from the appropriate licensing agency and, if agreed to by the employer, may continue to perform his or her duties until the licensing agency renders a decision on the application for exemption if the person is eligible to apply for an exemption and the exemption request is received by the agency within 30 days after receipt of the rescreening results by the person.

 

(5) The costs associated with obtaining the required screening must be borne by the licensee or the person subject to screening. Licensees may reimburse persons for these costs. The Department of Law Enforcement shall charge the agency for screening pursuant to s. 943.053(3). The agency shall establish a schedule of fees to cover the costs of screening.

 

(6)(a) As provided in chapter 435, the agency may grant an exemption from disqualification to a person who is subject to this section and who: 

 

1. Does not have an active professional license or certification from the Department of Health; or

2. Has an active professional license or certification from the Department of Health but is not providing a service within the scope of that license or certification.

 

(b) As provided in chapter 435, the appropriate regulatory board within the Department of Health, or the department itself if there is no board, may grant an exemption from disqualification to a person who is subject to this section and who has received a professional license or certification from the Department of Health or a regulatory board within that department and that person is providing a service within the scope of his or her licensed or certified practice.

 

(7) The agency and the Department of Health may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section, chapter 435, and authorizing statutes requiring background screening and to implement and adopt criteria relating to retaining fingerprints pursuant to s. 943.05(2).

 

(8) There is no unemployment compensation or other monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action for damages arising against, an employer that, upon notice of a disqualifying offense listed under chapter 435 or this section, terminates the person against whom the report was issued, whether or not that person has filed for an exemption with the Department of Health or the agency.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2006-192; s. 50, ch. 2009-223; s. 21, ch. 2010-114.

 

1Note.—Section 58, ch. 2010-114, provides that “[t]he changes made by this act are intended to be prospective in nature. It is not intended that persons who are employed or licensed on the effective date of this act be rescreened until such time as they are otherwise required to be rescreened pursuant to law, at which time they must meet the requirements for screening as set forth in this act.”

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AHCA Background Screening

AHCA Background Screening and Prohibited Offenses as stated in Florida Administrative Code 59A-35.090 Prev

59A-35.090 Background Screening

 

(1) Definitions:

 

(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: bgscreen@ahca.myflorida.com. 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.