Changes in the law, passed during the 2010 legislative session (Chapter Law 2010-114), significantly modifies the background screening and hiring process for many service providers regulated by a variety of state agencies including health care providers licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) under Chapter 408, Part II, Florida Statutes (F.S.)
According to section 943.0525, F.S., the Criminal Justice Information Program will not allow Level II screenings unless there is statutory authority to do so. The following persons are required to undergo Level II screening in accordance with section 408.809, F.S.:
- Licensee if the licensee is an individual [Reference 408.809(1)(a)]
- Administrator or a similarly titled person who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the provider. For example in a clinical laboratory, the Laboratory Director is the person designated with the day-to-day responsibilities of operation. [Reference 408.809(1)(b)]
- Financial officer or similarly titled individual who is responsible for the financial operation of the licensee or provider. [Reference 408.809(1)(c)]
- Controlling interests – may be required to be screened if the agency has reason to believe the person has been convicted of a disqualifying offense. [Reference 408.809(1)(d)]. A controlling interest is defined as the applicant or licensee; a person or entity that serves as an officer of, is on the board of directors of, or has a 5-percent or greater ownership interest in the applicant or licensee; or a person or entity that serves as an officer of, is on the board of directors of, or has a 5-percent or greater ownership interest in the management company or other entity, related or unrelated, with which the applicant or licensee contracts to manage the provider. The term does not include a voluntary board member.
- Employees that are expected to provide direct care or services or have access to client property, funds or living areas. [Reference 408.809 (1)(e)]
- Contractors expected to provide personal care or personal services directly to clients. Evidence of contractor screening may be retained by the contractor’s employer or the licensees (provider). [408.809 (1)(e)]
- Other persons required under the authorizing statutes to be screening including the medical director and all health care practitioners for a licensed health care clinic (see chart for details).
- Volunteers for a mental health provider licensed under chapter 394, F.S. which includes Crisis Stabilization Units, Residential Treatment Facilities, and Residential Treatment Centers for Children and Adolescents, must undergo Level 2 screening unless they work less than 10 hours/month and are within the line of sight of an employee that has successfully completed a Level 2. [Reference: 394.4572]
- Volunteers for a hospice provider are considered employees of the hospice in accordance with Rule 58A-2.002(6) and therefore must undergo Level 2 screening if they will provide personal care or services directly to clients or have access to client funds, personal property or living areas.
- Students – Section 394.4572(1), Florida Statutes regarding screening of mental health personnel states that all program directors, professional clinicians, staff members, and volunteers working in public or private mental health programs and facilities who have direct contact with individuals held for examination or admitted for mental health treatment must undergo Level 2 screening in accordance with section 435.04 and section 408.809, F.S. with the exception of students who are interning in a mental health facility licensed under chapter 395, where the primary purpose of the facility is not the treatment of minors. These individuals are exempt from the screening requirements if they are under direct supervision in the actual physical presence of a licensed health care professional.
The Agency for Health Care Administration does not have statutory authority to screen students interning with a health care provider other than in the situation described above.
- Children under Age 18 – The law does not change based on the age of the employee/contractor. If a child under 18 years of age meets the definition of one of the positions above he/she must undergo the same screening as a person over age 18.
Who is Required to be Screened