Florida Legislature Passes Bill To Relax Healthcare License Restrictions
The Florida Legislature unanimously passed HB 653 which relaxes some of the draconian exclusions enacted under SB 1986, which went into effect on July 1, 2009. SB 1986, which added provisions to Chapter 456, Florida Statutes, among others, prevented numerous healthcare providers from obtaining or renewing licenses based on prior criminal convictions, which could have occurred decades earlier.
As of this writing (March 16, 2012), HB 653 has been passed unanimously by the Florida Legislature, but awaits the Governor's signature.
Under HB 653, the professional boards within the Department of Health (such as the Board of Medicine, Board of Nursing, Board of Psychology, Board of Massage Therapy, etc.) now will, if signed by the Governor, only prohibit the renewal or granting of a health professional's license, certificate or registration, if the individual:
1. Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or no contest to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under Chapters 409 (Medicaid offenses), 817 (theft or fraud) or 893 (drug offenses), Florida Statutes, or similar laws in other jurisdictions, unless the individual successfully completed a drug court program for the felony and provides proof that the plea was withdrawn or the charges were dismissed, or unless the sentence and any related period of probation for such conviction or plea ended:
- For first and second degree felonies, more than fifteen (15) years before the date of application;
- For third degree felonies, more than ten (10) years before the date of application, except for third degree felonies under Section 893.13(6)(a), Florida Statutes; and
- For third degree felonies under Section 893.13(6)(a), Florida Statutes, more than five (5) years before the date of application.
2. Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or no contest to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under 21 U.S.C. Sections 801-970 or 42 U.S.C. Sections 1395-1396 (federal M
edicare & Medicaid offenses), unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such convictions or plea ended more than fifteen (15) years before the date of application; Florida Legislature Passes Bill To Relax Healthcare License Restrictions