Background Screening Concerns: Exemption Applications with AHCA and DOH
If you have a criminal record and are concerned about being able to work in the field of healthcare in Florida, you should know that there is a background screening exemption process by which you can seek help to get an exemption to allow you to work. The exemption is known as an “exemption from disqualification.” And while it’s not a simple process, there is hope if you can document what happened, provide official documentation, and demonstrate certain things to either the Department of Health (DOH) or Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
We represent individuals who have criminal charges in their background and are seeking professional help with preparation of the AHCA or DOH Exemption from Disqualification Application, representation at board meetings and hearings, and appeals of denials.
Phipps and Howell has extensive experience with background screening Exemption applications. Clients retain our services to assist them with the application process and to argue their case for an exemption before an AHCA hearing panel or credentials committees of their DOH professional board. Because the law requires that you must prove your entitlement to an exemption by “clear and convincing evidence” we work hard to make sure that your application has all of the appropriate supporting documentation. We also submit written information relevant to the legal requirements for obtaining an exemption.
Florida law governs this process and certain criteria must be met in order to prove your right to an exemption. Some of the criteria include:
- The facts and circumstances surrounding the offense(s)
- The nature of the harm to the victim;
- Whether the person is on probation or parole;
- The length of time since the last offense;
- The history of the person since the disqualifying offense;
- Work experience
- Personal references
- Performance evaluations
- Probation or parole violations
- Other evidence of rehabilitation
- Honesty and candor
It should also be pointed out that there are picky rules within each agency, DOH and AHCA, which govern the granting of an exemption. We work to organized the information and prepare an application that meets each agencies requirements.
We recommend that before submitting any background screening exemption application to either of these agencies you make sure that:
- You have a complete copy of your arrest record or criminal charge.
- You have a complete copy of the Final Order or judgment sentencing you for the crime.
- You have written documentation showing that the sentence was completed and that there are no more fines or probation to be served.
- Letters of recommendations from employers, ministers and community leaders can be helpful, however, the agencies do not base their decision solely on such.
Have questions about the process? We’re here to answer them. Reach us at 850-222-7000.