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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.

 

Categories
VECHS Program

Jessica Lunsford Act. Level 2 Backgroud Screening for School Districts and Private Schools.

The Jessica Lunsford Act was passed by the 2005 Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Bush following the assault and murder of Jessica Lunsford in Homosassa Springs, Florida. This crime was allegedly committed by an individual who had at one time worked as a subcontracted mason at Jessica Lunsford’s school. The Act focused primarily on increasing the measures used to monitor sexual offenders or predators. However, part of the Act specifically related to individuals with access to school district campuses. This Technical Assistance Paper (TAP) is to provide assistance to districts and contractual personnel to implement s. 1012.465, Florida Statutes, as amended by the 2005 Legislature.

 

Section 1012.465, Florida Statutes, now states:


(1) Non-instructional school district employees or contractual personnel who are permitted access on school grounds when students are present, who have direct contact with students or who have access to or control of school funds must meet Level 2 screening requirements as described in s. 1012.32, F.S. Contractual personnel shall include any vendor, individual, or entity under contract with the school board.
The statute, as amended, applies to three categories of either non-instructional or contractual personnel, all of whom must meet Level 2 background screening requirements, including those:


1. Who are permitted access on school grounds when students are present,
2. Who have direct contact with students, or
3. Who have access to or control of school funds.
The statute applies to such persons employed or contracted with any Florida public school district in any Florida public school, including:
-Traditional Public Schools
-Charter Schools
-Alternative Schools

District Responsibilities

 

1. Background Screening:
School districts must conduct the fingerprinting/background screening of noninstructional or contractual personnel at a location designated by the district using the code (ORI – Originating Agency Identifier) issued to the district by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), and determine whether the individual has been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude.

 

2. Verification of Personnel on School Campuses:
For affected persons, each district must establish policies and procedures to ensure that only individuals who have undergone a background screening and have been approved to come on campus are allowed access on school grounds when students are present, or to have direct contact with students, or to have access or control over school funds.
In addition, each district must establish communication policies and procedures to ensure that all pertinent parties are notified when an individual terminates service with the district.

 

3. Sharing of Records:
Districts may share background screening results with other public school districts and are encouraged to do so to reduce the time and fiscal impact on certain service providers who may be providing contractual services in multiple districts.
Such persons may include:
– Vendors, including soda/milk/snack vendors under contract with the district
-Sports officials
-Construction contractors and subcontractors
-Senior ring, photography, or yearbook vendors

 

Should districts choose to share records, it is recommended that the cooperating districts execute a Memorandum of Understanding which clearly spells out the role to be played by each district. Any employee provided access to criminal history records should be cautioned as to the confidentiality of the information contained within the record, and should not discuss such information outside of those also legally allowed access to such record.

 

4. Maintenance of Records:
After receiving the initial background check results from the FDLE, the original submitting district will thereafter be electronically notified by FDLE, in writing, of any new arrests. The original submitting district should forward the arrest information to any districts with which they have shared the criminal record. In addition, s. 1012.32(3), F.S., requires each school district to inform the FDLE of any change in the affiliation, employment, or contractual status of an individual previously fingerprinted.

 

The prints of an individual who terminates service with a district and is later reengaged to provide additional services must be re-submitted to the FDLE. Those individuals who provide services on a periodic basis pursuant to an on-going contract and who do not effectively break service should continue to have their arrest record results transmitted to the district by the FDLE.

 

The requirements applicable to those entities receiving fingerprint background check results are set forth in Rule 11C-6.010, promulgated by the FDLE pursuant to authority in s. 1012.32(3), F.S.

 

IDENTICO LLC provides background screening services to several private schools, whose background screening policies are based on National Child Protection Act (NCPA) as well as on Jessica Lunsford Act. Such private educational entities are qualified to obtain Level II background screening through VECHS program. Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) program allows for qualified entities to obtain state and national criminal history record checks on individuals working with children, the elderly or the disabled.Under the NCPA and Florida statute, a “qualified entity” is a business or organization, whether public, private, for profit, not-for-profit, or voluntary, that provides care or care placement services, including a business or organization that licenses or certifies others to provide care or care placement services. “Care” means the provision of care, treatment, education, training, instruction, supervision, or recreation to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities.

 

If you work or volunteer for “qualified entity” and VECHS screening is required as part of your employment or volunteerism, please contact us today.  IDENTICO is FDLE authorized Live Scan vendor serving South Florida.  With any question related to Level 2 background checks please call us at (954) 239-8590 or visit us online at www.myidentico.com for more information. We provide Mobile Fingerprinting Services and would come to your facility to fingerprint any size groups. Visit our office located at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021 for all fingerprinting, background screening or drug testing needs.

 

Categories
AHCA Background Screening

Fingerprinting and Level 2 Background Check for Nursing Homes in Florida

The Level 2 Background Screening for Nursing Homes is required by AHCA and based on F.S. 400.215. Statute says

 

(1) The agency shall require level 2 background screening for personnel as required in s. 408.809(1)(e) pursuant to chapter 435 and s. 408.809.

 

(2) The agency shall, as allowable, reimburse nursing facilities for the cost of conducting background screening as required by this section. This reimbursement is not subject to any rate ceilings or payment targets in the Medicaid Reimbursement plan.

 

The Legislature recognizes that there is a need to require the fingerprint based background check for the staff and administration of Nursing Homes in Florida. Therefore, the Legislature deems it necessary in the interest of the public health to screen the staff of Nursing Homes in this state.

 

If the Nursing Home where you work or manage is located in Miami, Broward, Palm Beach or Martin counties, please call IDENTICO today, for in office or mobile unit appointment. IDENTICO is FDLE approved Live Scan vendor, and we use electronic fingerprinting solutions in transmitting your fingerprints for FBI Level 2 Background Check and AHCA will get the results of screening in as less as 72 hours. The cost of screening is $80.00. Visit our official website www.myidentico.com or call us today (954) 239-8590. We have an open door policy at our office located at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021, however if you would like to schedule an appointment at certain time, please visit http://www.myidentico.com/hitappoint/ and we’ll serve you first regardless of any wait line.

 

Sincerely,

IDENTICO LLC.

Categories
APD Background Screening

How to apply for AHCA’s Exemption from Disqualification?

First of all who must apply for an exemption?

 

Any individual employed or seeking employment with a health care provider licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration that has been notified by the employer that they have been found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendre to any of the criminal offenses listed in sections 435.03(2) , 435.04(2), and 408.809 Florida Statutes.

 

The health care providers that may require you to have an exemption in order to work are:

 

 

Adult Day Care Center Health Care Services Pool
Adult Family Care Home Home Health Agency
Assisted Living Facility Home Medical Equipment
Community Mental Health Homemaker/Companion Service
Crisis Stabilization Unit Hospice
Health Care Clinic ICF/DD

Nurse Registry                                                  Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care

Nursing Homes                                                 Residential Treatment Facility/Center

 

NOTE: Even if you have received an exemption from disqualification from another state agency, you are still required to apply for an exemption through this Agency. Proof of exemption must be provided with the application. The Agency will take into consideration any exemption that is granted through another state agency when making a decision

 

Who is eligible for an exemption?

 

A person is not eligible to apply for an Exemption from Disqualification until:

 

  • He/she has been lawfully released from confinement, probation or other sanction for a disqualifying misdemeanor criminal offense;
  • At least 3 years after he/she has been lawfully released from confinement, probation or other sanction for a disqualifying felony criminal offense.Persons designated as sexual predators, sexual offenders or career offenders are not eligible for an Exemption from Disqualification.You must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that you will not present a danger if employed within the healthcare field. Types of information that must be submitted with your application include:
    • A completed Level 2 screening (If the screening was conducted through the Agency a copy will be on file. If you need to request a screening, please follow instruction found in this document under How to Request a Level 2 Screening)
    • Arrest reports for all arrests
    • Court dispositions for all arrests
    • A letter from parole or probation regarding your current status
    • 3-5 letters of reference (at least one must be from a current or recent employer on the employer’s letterhead)
    • Any information regarding counseling, education, technical training, employment history, community involvement, awards or special recognition

 

What will be considered when granting an exemption?

  • the circumstances surrounding the criminal incident for which an exemption is sought;
  • the time period that has elapsed since the incident;
  • the nature of the harm caused to the victim;
  • a history of the employee since the incident; and
  • any other evidence or circumstances indicating that the individual is leading a positive lifestyle.

 

How to apply for an exemption.

 

An “Application for Exemption”, AHCA Form #3110-0019, must be completed and returned along with ALL required documents noted on the Checklist that is included with the application.

For your convenience you may download the exemption application from the following link:

 

Download: AHCA Background Screening Application for Exemption

 

When you submit the application, be sure to include all the required documents or a statement as to why a document is not included with the application. AN INCOMPLETE APPLICATION WILL RESULT IN A DELAY IN THE PROCESSING AND FINAL DECISION OF THE CASE.

 

How long does the process take?

An Application for Exemption will not be reviewed until ALL the required documents are received by the Agency.

If there is missing information on the application or required documents :

 

You will receive an Incomplete Notice by certified mail. You have 30 days from receipt of that notice to send the missing information to the Agency. If it will take longer than 30 days, contact the analyst reviewing your case (name is on the incomplete notice) to request an extension. If all the information is not received within 30 days, your case will be CLOSED and you will have to send in a new application.

Once the application and all documentation are complete you will receive one of the following:

  • Hearing Notice – a personal interview will be scheduled with the hearing committee in order to make a determination. The initial hearing is generally held by telephone and is an informal process in which the committee will ask specific questions regarding your criminal/abuse history, work history, and reasons for wanting to work within the healthcare field.

 

Upon completion of the hearing, a recommendation is made by the committee to either grant or deny the application. The Agency’s Secretary or his delegate makes the final decision. The applicant is then notified by mail regarding the decision.

 

  • Grant Letter – The issuance of a grant letter provides eligibility for employment with a health care provider. The granting of an exemption by any State Department (including this Agency) does not change the results of a background screening or clear your criminal history. The exemption only provides eligibility for employment despite the presence of a disqualifying offense(s). The applicant must provide a copy of the grant letter to each potential health care employer.

 

If you receive a judgment for a disqualifying criminal offense after the date exemption is granted, the exemption will be voided and your employer (if a health care provider) will be notified that you are no longer eligible to work.

 

  • Denial Letter – is issued when the head of the Agency has determined that the safety of the patients/residents of a health care provider may be at risk. Under the provisions of Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, you may appeal the agency’s decision. The information for appealing the decision will be included with your letter. You have 21 days from receipt of the denial letter to request an appeal.

 

Where to send the application:

  • The Agency reviews applications and makes decisions for Exemptions for unlicensed personnel working for a health care provider.

If you are seeking employment in a health care provider as a:

  • facility owner, administrator or chief financial officer;
  • staff person that is uncertified or unlicensed

     

    Send your application to:

    Background Screening Unit 

     

    Agency for Healthcare Administration
    2727 Mahan Drive MS #40
    Tallahassee, FL 32308
    (850) 412-4503