Information for Physician, Nursing, Pharmacy, Facility and other Healthcare Professionals
Obtaining a license to practice a healthcare business in Florida can be a complex and time-consuming process for those unfamiliar with how Florida regulates health care. Two agencies of the State government deal primarily with the regulation of health care.
The Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) is responsible for licensing and regulating health care facilities. Their website can be found at http://ahca.myflorida.com/. Examples of entities licensed and regulated by AHCA are:
|Ambulatory Surgery Centers
Clinical Laboratories Performing Non-waived Testing (including physician performed microscopic tests)
Drug Free Workplace
Multiphasic Health Testing Centers
Organ Procurement Organizations, Tissue Banks, Eye Banks
Adult Day Care Centers
Adult Family Care Homes
Assisted Living Facilities
Healthcare Service Pools
Home Health Agencies
Home Medical Equipment Providers
Homes for Special Services
Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled
Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care
Transitional Living Facilities
Community Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Units
Residential Treatment Centers for Children and Adolescents
Residential Treatment Facilities
Short Term Residential Treatment Facilities
The Department of Health (DOH) is the primary agency responsible for licensing and disciplining health care professionals. Their web address is: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/.
Examples of professionals licensed and disciplined by DOH are:
Certified Nursing Assistants
Clinical Laboratory Personnel
Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy & Mental Health Counseling
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Paramedic
Dietetics and Nutrition
Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics
Hearing Aid Specialists
Nursing Home Administrators
Orthotists & Prosthetists
Speech Language Pathology & Audiology
The Application Process
The general licensing laws contain standards for licensure application requirements, ownership disclosure, staff background screening, inspections, and administrative sanctions. Each provider type has an authorizing statute that includes unique provisions for licensure beyond the general licensing provisions. In the case of facilities, AHCA will issue a “Notice of Intent to Deny” if the Agency believes there is a basis for denying the application for a license. If AHCA believes that the application is lacking information or details, that if provided might result in the issuance of a license, then the Agency might issue a “Notice of Intent to Deem Application Incomplete.” In either case, there might be a way to remedy the situation.
If an applicant for a professional license is denied by DOH they will receive a “Notice of Intent to Deny” along with notification of the right to appeal the decision.
What If My License Application is Denied?
If your application for a license is denied DOH or AHCA will send a written “Notice of Intent to Deny” and you will be afforded a right to appeal the decision.
Generally, speaking an appeal of a license decision involves selecting one of two: Informal Hearing or Formal Hearing.
An Informal Hearing is where the applicant does not dispute the facts upon which the State denied the application, but wishes to have a hearing to present evidence in mitigation of penalties and fines. Essentially, one is admitting to the facts which formed the basis of the State’s denial of the license, but arguing that the State should issue the license anyway because of some mitigating circumstances. An Informal Hearing is brought pursuant to Section 120.57(2), Florida Statues, and is considered a Hearing Not Involving Disputed Issues of Material Fact (informal hearing). After hearing the evidence, the Board or Agency will determine whether the Respondent should be disciplined and decide what kind of discipline, if any, is appropriate.
A Formal Hearing is where the applicant disputes the fact upon which the State relied to deny the license and seeks to challenge or disprove the basis for the denial. A Formal Hearing is brought pursuant to Section 120.57(1), Florida Statues. In this situation the applicant has disputed some or all of the facts upon which the decisin is based. The case is heard by an Administrative Law Judge at the Division of Administrative Hearings. After presentation of evidence by both the Department and the Respondent, the Administrative Law Judge issues a Recommended Order to the Board. The board will consider the Judge’s recommendation, and any objections or exceptions presented by the Department or the Respondent. In these cases, the Board is restricted to the evidence and record presented during the Formal Hearing, and cannot hear or accept any new evidence. After considering the Recommended Order, the Board will issue a Final Order reflecting their final decision on the case.
Should an Attorney Represent Me if I am Denied a License?
Successfully, challenging a decision by either the Agency for Healthcare Administration or Florida Department of Health to deny your license application involves knowledge of the laws and administrative rules applicable to licensing, experience with the administrative process, strategy, as well as familiarity with AHCA, DOH, and/or the professional Boards. In most instances, an experienced health care attorney can help you understand the basis for the denial and map our possible solutions.
We represent applicants who have been denied licenses by AHCA and DOH. We help each client investigate the State’s basis for the denial and work to either challenge the Notice of Intent to Deny or seek a resolution with the State that allows our client a path to getting the license. No two cases are the same and we tailor each case to the client’s specific objectives.
To set up a free no obligation consultation call 850-222-7000.