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Last Updated: August 9, 2021

ACHA Background Screening

The AHCA conducts background screenings. This is part of its duty to license and regulate healthcare facilities. They conduct a Level 2 criminal history check. This represents a standard part of the employment process for all healthcare providers.

As experienced healthcare attorneys, we’re highly familiar with the process of a ACHA background screening. This article provides information on this process including: what they look for, ACHA investigation, and other necessary details.

Purpose of the AHCA

The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) oversees Florida’s health policy and planning. It was established under Chapter 20 of the Florida Statutes.

This agency disperses federal and state funding for public health services. It also bears responsibility for ensuring its proper and lawful administration.

The AHCA’s mission is “Better health care for all Floridians.” This agency oversees the licensure and regulation of Florida healthcare facilities. They also educate Floridians about the quality of the healthcare they receive.

One of the ACHAs greatest responsibilities is overseeing Florida’s Medicaid program. As of May 2018, over 4.2 million Floridians were on Medicaid. This represents the largest state Medicaid population in the US.

The AHCA shares all relevant healthcare data with the public. This is available via the Florida Centre for Health Information and Policy Analysis. The overall goal is to create a more efficient and cost-effective program.

This agency works to identify and prosecute fraudulent healthcare facilities, providers, and employees. Most administrative actions concern hospitals and long-term care facilities.

They make routine, unannounced investigations to check compliance with state statutes and codes. They inspect for fire safety violations, fraud, and abuse. A check for nondiscrimination policies and adherence to quality standards is also made.

The AHCA handles all complaints from patients or their representatives about:

  • Quality of care
  • Lawful treatment
  • State code compliance of Florida healthcare facilities

These complaints serve as a direct summons for the AHCA to inspect the named facility. If the agency finds proof of violations, they can call for emergency actions. This includes restricting the provision of healthcare until there’s a resolution of the issue.

Purpose Of An ACHA Background Screening

The top of a healthcare form to provide background screenings. The form is titled attestation of compliance with background screening requirements

The AHCA conducts background screenings. This is part of its duty to license and regulate healthcare facilities. They conduct a Level 2 criminal history check. This represents a standard part of the employment process for all healthcare providers.

This level of screening is required for all positions requiring high levels of trust or responsibility. For example, jobs that involve working with children, elderly individuals, or any vulnerable populations.

A Level 2 background check in Florida often includes a fingerprinting. This facilitates the search for criminal history in Florida or the US. The investigation looks for disqualifying offenses including:

  • Sexual misconduct
  • Kidnapping
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Any charges that relate to minors or the elderly

If the background check shows any of these issues, the employers may not hire the candidate.

Some examples of facilities under AHCA regulation include:

  • Adult daycares or family care homes
  • Outpatient surgery centers
  • Birthing facilities
  • Community mental health crisis stabilization units
  • Healthcare clinics, home health agencies, or labs that perform non-waived tests
  • Drug-free workplace
  • Home medical equipment companies
  • Assisted living, nursing homes, or transitional living facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Homemaker/sitter/companion services
  • Special services facilities
  • Hospice
  • Intermediate care facility servicing the developmentally disabled
  • Multiphasic health testing centers
  • Nursing registries
  • Organ procurement facilities, tissue banks, and eye banks
  • Prescribed pediatric extended care
  • Children, adolescent, and other residential treatment facilities
  • Risk managers

All these types of facilities are subject to unannounced AHCA inspections and regulations.

AHCA Investigations

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) works on behalf of the AHCA. They work to ensure the accountability, integrity, and efficiency of the AHCA.  The HIPAA Compliance Office is part of the OIG.

The OIG responds to complaints against AHCA employees and contractors. They investigate allegations of violations related to policies, procedures, rules, or laws.

The OIG also conducts audits and inspections. The goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the AHCA. They ensure that all AHCA sensitive data storage follows state and federal privacy laws.

Impact of AHCA on Healthcare Law

Healthcare law has seen changes due to the AHCA. The AHCA is now involved in an unprecedented number of legal actions in federal, state, and administrative courts.

For the healthcare industry, more investigations and lawsuits distract from providing services. These actions are time-consuming, stressful, and expensive. The laws and regulations also continue to change on a state and federal level.

This makes it hard to maintain compliance and protect yourself and your facility. An attorney can save time and money for their clients. They can help you navigate the legal minefield of complying with the AHCA.

Healthcare lawyers assist with:

  • Administrative law hearing including state licensing actions
  • Hospital fair hearings
  • Staff privileging issues in hospitals
  • Healthcare judicial proceedings
  • State and federal court litigation
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Third-party payor appellate hearings and binding arbitrations
  • Disputes involving physicians to hospitals and physician to physician
  • Issues related to physician recruitment
  • Violations of covenants not to compete
  • Third-party payor disputes, audit appeals, and overpayment demands
  • Disputes involving exclusion from Medicare, Medicaid, or other federally funded programs
  • Disputes with billing companies
  • Investigations by the state and federal government
  • Matters related to healthcare fraud and abuse
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act issues

If you receive a complaint or sanction related to the AHCA, contact an attorney. This will ensure that your interests are protected.

Work With a Healthcare Lawyer

Working in the healthcare industry requires compliance with many different agency regulations. It’s vital that you understand and work toward meeting all standards. This article provides a source for having the AHCA explained in simple terms.

Di Pietro Partners is an AV Preeminent® rated law firm. We specialize in medical and healthcare law.

Our team advocates for physicians and healthcare businesses. We also represent individuals in cases of injury due to wrongful medical complications.

Our South Florida-based legal team brings extensive experience to the table. We also work in other practice areas including probate and trust cases. Contact us today to make an appointment.

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