Background Screening Reform Inches Closer to Reality

HB 369 is an omnibus substance abuse bill that clarifies recovery residence and patient brokering laws. It also makes significant changes to background screening. Included in those changes:

  • Peer specialists must be certified and pass a level 2 background check if they receive public funds
  • Behavioral health workforce within Chapters 394 and 397 will be held to a higher Level 2 screening standard to include qualifying offenses in both 435.04 and 408.809, F.S.
  • Agency determination on exemptions from disqualification applications must be made within 60 days
  • The agency can limit the exemption (i.e. recovery residences, adult substance abuse, or adult co-occurring settings)
  • Employees may work within Chapter 397 in substance abuse or co-occurring settings for up to 90-days under direct supervision while the exemption from disqualification is under review (Note: Only applies if it has been 5 or more (3 years for peers) years since all court ordered sanctions have been met)