The Firm Secures AHCA Exemption for Convicted Felon
Posted on Firm News April 11, 2022 by Erin Ferber
After being told by other attorneys not to bother applying for an exemption to work at a healthcare facility regulated by the Agency for Health Care Administration, an Office Administrator came to Nicholson & Eastin for help. Almost twenty years following a federal felony conviction, the Office Administrator was almost forced to resign her position after completing a background screening that revealed the existence of the prior federal felony conviction.
These background screenings can be administered prior to or after the hiring process, and if failed, most often result in the disqualification of the employee. Although, in light of the length of time since the conviction and based on the specific circumstances surrounding the criminal case, Nicholson & Eastin determined an exemption was realistic and took an aggressive approach to the exemption process, submitting a robust application supported by numerous letters of support. After reviewing the application and conducting a telephonic interview, the Agency for Health Care Administration granted the exemption from disqualification.
The Agency for Health Care Administration requires background screenings for certain individuals employed and/or contracted with a licensed facility, as well as for Medicaid-enrolled providers. Certain criminal offenses disqualify individuals from working for a licensed facility and/or prevent an individual from being enrolled as a Medicaid provider however, in certain circumstances the Agency for Health Care Administrator allows individuals to apply for an exemption from disqualification.
AHCA Exemption From Disqualification
In Florida, the Agency for Health Care Administration background screenings that are conducted by employers for employment purposes are reviewed in accordance with the laws and regulations in the Florida Statues Chapter 435 and section 408.809(4) and Rule 59A-35.090. In addition, any issued screenings that are done for Medicaid are reviewed in Chapter 435, section 408.809(4) and Rule 59A-35.090. The reviews were established to aid individuals in the healthcare industry determine worker eligibility. Although, based on these regulations, not all criminal offenses are disqualifying for employment eligibility. In these instances, the law firm of Nicholson & Eastin, LLP, assist in offering defense services in an effort to ensure justice for all healthcare workers. A person is not eligible to apply for Exemption from Disqualification until:
- At least 3 years have elapsed since the applicant for exemption has completed or been lawfully released from confinement, supervision or nonmonetary condition imposed by the court for all disqualifying felonies;
- The applicant for the exemption has completed or been lawfully released from confinement, supervision or nonmonetary condition imposed by the court for all misdemeanors prohibited under any of the statutes cited in this chapter or under similar statutes of other jurisdictions;
- The applicant has paid the court-ordered amount in full for any fee, fine, fund, lien, civil judgment, application, cost of prosecution, trust or restitution as part of the judgment and sentence for any disqualifying felony or misdemeanor;
- Persons designated as sexual predators, sexual offenders or career offenders are not eligible for an Exemption from Disqualification
Nicholson & Eastin Healthcare Attorneys
The law firm of Nicholson & Eastin, LLP, regularly represents healthcare professionals and individuals in the healthcare industry before the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Children and Families. The Florida law firm’s services vary and include, but are not limited to: healthcare licensure defense, medical and nursing board hearings, and HHS-OIG exclusion & CMP defense. If you have a prior criminal history that may disqualify you from being employed and/or contracted with a licensed facility or enrolling as a Medicaid provider, please do not hesitate to contact us to evaluate your case.