Fingerprint Retention FAQS


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Where should I send payment for my fees [application fee, criminal history background screening fee, license fee, and Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA) fees]?

If you apply online, you will be prompted to enter a valid credit card number to submit your payment for all fees.  If you are mailing a paper application, please send one cashier’€™s check or money order for your total payment made payable to:

Department of Health
P.O. Box 6330
Tallahassee, Florida 32314-6330.

If I reapply for licensure after my application expires, will all of the fees apply to my new application?

Only the initial license fee and the NICA fee will be applied to the new application.  The application and the criminal history background screening fees will not be applied to the new application.  However, application and criminal history background screening fees are only valid for one year and are non-refundable.

Will I get a refund if I am not approved for licensure?

The Board of Medicine will refund your initial license fee and NICA fee.  However, you will not receive a refund for your application fee or criminal history background screening fee.

I overpaid on my fees. Can I receive a refund?

There is a three year statute of limitation for refunds so if the overpayment was made less than three years ago you are eligible for a refund.

How do I request a refund?

You must submit your request in writing. Mail your request to:

Department of Health
Board of Medicine
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin #C03
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3253.

You may also fax your request to (850) 412-1268.

How long will it take to receive my refund?

Once your request is received, it can take up to four weeks to receive your refund.

How can I update my Financial Responsibility after I have received my license?

Your Financial Responsibility status may be changed through your Practitioner Profile.

What is Financial Responsibility?

Financial Responsibility is outlined in Section 458.320, Florida Statutes.  The options are divided into two categories: coverage and exemptions.  You are required to provide the Board of Medicine with information regarding your Financial Responsibility under the following circumstances:

– when applying for initial licensure;
– upon licensure renewal; or
– when there is a change in your Financial Responsibility status.

For more information regarding the Financial Responsibility requirements, you may review the following:
– s. 458.320, F.S. (medical doctors)
– Rule 64B8-12, F.A.C.

Who will be notified throughout the process?

The person filing the complaint and the healthcare practitioner will be notified periodically in writing of the status of the complaint. (It is important that the department be advised of any address change.)

Do you have to be licensed in Florida to practice alternative medicine such as Naturopathy or Homeopathy?

Only physicians licensed in Florida can include or offer alternative medicine to their patients. The definition of “practice of medicine” is listed in s. 458.305, Florida Statutes: the diagnosis, treatment, operation, or prescription for any human disease, pain, injury, deformity or other physical or mental condition.

How do I get a DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) number?

Please contact the DEA at (800) 882-9539 or visit their website.

Is ECFMG Certification required?

ECFMG Certification is required of all international medical graduates seeking licensure in the State of Florida.

Is there a time or attempt limit to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)?

There is no limit on the amount of time or number of attempts to complete the test.

Do I have to report any criminal activities after I receive my medical license?

You are required to report all criminal activities after you receive your medical license. You may report the criminal offense(s) online via Online Services, , by e-mail Licensure_Services@doh.state.fl.us, or by mail to:

Florida Department of Health
Licensure Support Services Unit, Bin #C-10
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3267.

If reporting by e-mail or mail, provide the date of the offense, a description of the crime, and the county and state of jurisdiction.

What criminal offenses may prevent me from obtaining a medical license?

You are required to report all criminal offenses to the Board. Each application will be evaluated on an individual basis. For more information on offenses that may prevent you from obtaining a medical license, see statutes and rules below:

– s. 456, F.S. (health professions and occupations)
– s. 458, F.S. (medical practice)
– s. 766.301 through 766.316, F.S. (medical malpractice and related matters)

Rule 64B8, Florida Administrative Code (Board of Medicine)

If I use the Federal Credentials Verification Services (FCVS), will it expedite the licensure process?

If FCVS has completed the credentials verification of your core credentials, it will expedite the licensure process.

Note: If you have not completed the FCVS certification process prior to applying for licensure in Florida it could take longer to complete the licensure process.

What if I am unable to obtain the supporting documents for my application?

You may be required to file a Petition for Waiver/Variance and meet with the Board at a Credentials Committee meeting. Please contact the Board info@flboardofmedicine.gov for further assistance.

Who should complete my Post-Graduate Training Evaluation and staff privilege forms?

The training evaluation form should be signed by the current program chairman or director.  The staff privilege verification form should be completed by the Chief of Staff. You should send a Post-Graduate Training Evaluation form to each institution where you did internship, residency or fellowship training and the staff privilege form to any hospitals where you have current staff privileges.

What is required as proof of training?

A copy of your postgraduate training certificate(s) is required as proof of training.  We will also accept a letter from the current program director/chairman, addressed to the Florida Board of Medicine, listing the beginning and ending dates of training and post graduate year level(s) completed.

Am I required to show verification of an expired or past medical license?

You must request that verification of all current and/or expired medical licenses be sent directly to our office when applying for a medical license in the State of Florida.

Am I required to pay the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA) fee?

You are required to pay the NICA fee unless you meet the following exemption criteria per s. 766.314, F.S.:

  • Resident physicians, assistant resident physicians and interns in postgraduate training programs approved by the Board of Medicine
  • Retired physicians who maintain an active license, but who have withdrawn from the practice of medicine
  • Physicians who hold a limited license, as defined by s. 458.317, F.S., who do not receive any compensation for medical services
  • Physicians employed full-time by the Veterans Administration whose practice is confined to VA hospitals
  • Any licensed physician on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States
  • Physicians employed full-time by the State of Florida whose practice is confined to state-owned correctional institutions and state-owned mental health facilities

Proof of qualification for a claimed exemption must be submitted to NICA, P.O. Box 14567, Tallahassee, FL 32317-4567. Please contact NICA at (850) 488-8191 for further information or visit their website.

Can I be granted an extension on an application after it has expired?

Section 456.013(1)(a), Florida Statutes does not allow for an extension. An application is only valid for one year.

How long will it take for my license to be issued?

Your license number will be issued within five to seven business days once your licensure application has been approved.  Please allow ample time for mail delivery to receive your printed copy.

Do I have to send of the supporting documents for my application to the Board at the same time?

You are not required to send in all of your documents at the same time.  However, we encourage you to send as much information as possible to help expedite the licensure process.

Where should I send the supporting documents for my application?

Please mail all required supporting documents to:

Department of Health
4052 Bald Cypress Way, BIN C03
Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-3253

How do I apply for a license?

You may apply for your license  by visiting the Licensing Page >>

What happens to the healthcare practitioner as a result of a complaint?

If the practitioner is found to have violated the law, the department or regulatory board may issue a citation or impose one or more of the following penalties:

  • letter of guidance
  • reprimand
  • fine
  • restriction of practice
  • continuing education probation
  • license suspension
  • license revocation

Will the person filing the complaint be required to participate in the investigation?

The department may contact the person filing the complaint to request additional information or to testify in a formal hearing before the Division of Administrative Hearings.

Does it cost anything to file a complaint?

No; however, the person filing the complaint may be required to pay for copies of medical records.

Can a complaint be filed electronically from the website?

No, but a copy of the complaint form may be printed from the website and mailed or faxed.

Are complaints confidential?

Complaints remain confidential until ten days after the probable cause panel of the Board has determined that a violation has occurred. Patient identity and patient records remain confidential at all times.

Will the practitioner know that a complaint has been filed?

Florida Statutes require that if the complaint is opened for investigation, the healthcare practitioner be given a copy of the complaint.

What happens to a complaint once it is filed?

It is: reviewed for possible violations of Florida law; investigated if the review determines a possible violation; and referred to the Prosecution Services Unit after investigation.

Healthcare Practitioner Regulatory Process Chart (pdf – 80kb)

Can I file a complaint over the phone?

Regulatory complaints cannot be filed over the phone because Florida law requires that the complaint be signed. However, you may file an unlicensed activity complaint over the phone by calling 1-800-HALT-ULA

How are complaints filed?

Complaints can be filed by printing the Complaint and the Authorization for Release of Patient Records forms below or calling 1-888 419-3456 or (850) 245-4339 and requesting by mail. Delays may be avoided by completing all sections of the forms and attaching the requested information. Complaints should be clearly written or typed, and signed.

General Healthcare Professions Complaint form (pdf – 158kb)
Psychiatric/Psychology Complaint form (pdf – 162kb)
Unlicensed Person Complaint form (pdf – 168kb)

Is there a time limit for filing a complaint?

Yes, as provided below:

  • Incidents occurring before July 1, 2006 -€“ no time limit
  • Incident occurring after July 1, 2006 -€“ six (6) years.
  • If fraud, concealment or intentional misrepresentation of facts prevented the discovery of the alleged violation – 12 years.
  • If criminal actions, diversion of controlled substances, sexual misconduct, or impairment by a licensee – no limit.

Where can complaints against a Hospital, an Assisted Living Facility or a Nursing Home be filed?

Complaints against hospitals, assisted living facilities and nursing homes should be filed with the Agency for Health Care Administration.

What issues may not be investigated by MQA?

Fee disputes (i.e. broken or missed appointments)

Billing disputes (It is the responsibility of consumers to know the terms of their insurance coverage and approved providers.)

Personality conflicts

Bedside manner or rudeness of practitioners

For additional information, please see Consumer Services

Against whom can complaints be filed?

Complaints can be filed against any healthcare practitioner or facility licensed or regulated by the Department of Health’€™s Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA).  Complaints can also be filed against any individual or facility providing heath care services regulated by MQA without a valid Florida license.  Information on Regulated Professions

To file a complaint on a non-medical related business or profession, please visit the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Who can file a complaint?

Anyone can file a complaint. Complaints should be clearly written or typed, and signed. Complaints can be filed through our Consumer Services Unit.

How long must a healthcare practitioner maintain a patient’s records?

According to Rule 64B8-10.002(3), FAC : A licensed physician shall keep adequate written medical records, as required by Section 458.331(1)(m), Florida Statutes, for a period of at least five years from the last patient contact; however, medical malpractice law requires records to be kept for at least seven years.

Can a health care practitioner terminate a patient relationship?

Yes. A health care practitioner can terminate a patient relationship at any time, but the practitioner may not abandon a patient and should provide continuity of care in accordance with the prevailing professional standard of care. The Florida Medical Association (FMA) recommends to a practitioner who wishes to terminate a relationship that the practitioner should give the patient adequate notice in writing, and the practitioner should remain available to the patient for at least 30 days in order to allow time for the patient to find a new practitioner. The FMA also recommends that the practitioner terminating the relationship should provide assistance in locating another practitioner for the patient. The Florida Medical Association is not affiliated with the Board of Medicine.

Are physicians required to have a chaperone present in the room when examining patients?

No. But it is highly recommend for the protection of the physician and the patient.

What if a healthcare practitioner refuses to provide copies of patient records?

A  complaint may be filed with the Consumer Services Unit; however, a physician may not hold records if the patient has not paid for services rendered.

Can a healthcare practitioner charge for records?

Yes. Section 456.057, Florida Statutes, allows a health care practitioner to charge no more than the actual cost of copying, which may include reasonable staff time or an amount designated by rules provided by the regulatory board. The reasonable costs of reproducing copies of written or typed documents are outlined in Rule 64B8-10.003, FAC.

Can patients obtain their records from a healthcare practitioner?

Yes. Section 456.057, Florida Statutes, allows patients or their legal representative to receive copies of all reports and records relating to an examination or treatment by a healthcare practitioner. However, when psychiatric, psychological, or psychotherapeutic records are requested by the patient or the patient’s legal representative, the healthcare practitioner may provide a report of examination and treatment instead of copies of records.

What are my rights/responsibilities as a patient?

Section 381.026, Florida Statutes, outlines the Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities in the State of Florida.

Where can I go to request a public record?

You may search for or request public records at our Public Records Website. There you will find information such as license verifications, disciplinary records, and declaratory statements.

Does MQA provide discipline information on healthcare practitioners and facilities?

Yes, information on disciplinary sanctions for all healthcare professions and establishments regulated by MQA are included in the License Lookup search system.

Please see our  List of Regulated Professions for assistance in locating the profession you are seeking.

Who needs to register with the Office Surgery Registration Program?

Every office performing surgery as defined in Sections 458.309(3) and 459.005(2), (A physician who performs liposuction procedures in which more than 1,000 cubic centimeters of supernatant fat is removed (Effective January 3, 2013), level 2 procedures lasting more than 5 minutes, and all level 3 surgical procedures in an office setting must register the office with the department unless that office is licensed as a facility under chapter 395, 458.309(3) F.A.C.) F.S. must register and maintain a valid registration with the Department of Health.

What are the different levels of surgery?

Level I office surgery is surgery that in which: Surgical procedures where pre-operative medications are not required or used other than minimal pre-operative tranquilization of the patient; anesthesia is local, topical, or none; where no drug-induced alteration of consciousness other than minimal pre-operative tranquilization of the patient is permitted, and the chances of complications requiring hospitalization are remote. Such procedures shall include, but not be limited to:
1. Minor procedures such as excision of skin lesions, moles, warts, cysts, lipomas and repair of lacerations or surgery limited to the skin and subcutaneous tissue performed under topical or local anesthesia not involving drug-induced alteration of consciousness other than minimal pre-operative tranquilization of the patient.
2. Liposuction involving the removal of less than 4000cc supernatant fat is permitted.
3. Incision and drainage of superficial abscesses, limited endoscopies such as proctoscopies, skin biopsies, arthrocentesis, thoracentesis, paracentesis, dilation of urethra, cysto-scopic procedures, and closed reduction of simple fractures or small joint dislocations (i.e. finger and toe joints).

Level II Office Surgery is surgery that in which: peri-operative medication and sedation are used by any means altering the level of consciousness, thus making intra and post-operative monitoring necessary.

Such procedures shall include, but not be limited to: hemorrhoidectomy, hernia repair, reduction of simple fractures, large joint dislocations, breast biopsies, colonoscopy, and liposuction involving the removal of up to 4000cc supernatant fat. Peri-operative medication and sedation are used intravenously, intramuscularly, or rectally, thus making intra and post-operative monitoring necessary. Surgery in which the patient is placed in a state which allows the patient to tolerate unpleasant procedures while maintaining adequate cardio respiratory function and the ability to respond purposefully to verbal command and/or tactile stimulation. (Patients whose only response is reflex withdrawal from a painful stimulus are sedated to a greater degree than encompassed by this definition.) Such procedures shall include, but not be limited to: hemorrhoidectomy, hernia repair, reduction of simple fractures, large joint dislocations, breast biopsies, colonoscopy, and liposuction involving the removal of up to 4000cc supernatant fat
Level III Office Surgery is surgery that in which: Involves, or reasonably should require, the use of a general anesthesia or major conduction anesthesia and pre-operative sedation. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of:

a. Intravenous sedation beyond that defined for Level II office surgery;
b. General Anesthesia: loss of consciousness and loss of vital reflexes with probable requirement of external support of pulmonary or cardiac functions; or
c. Major conduction anesthesia.

Only patients classified under the American Society of Anesthesiologist’s (ASA) risk classification criteria as Class I or, II, are appropriate candidates for Level III office surgery.

What documents are needed to register with this program?

Office Surgery Registration Form with an original signature for registering Surgeon Copy of current accreditation certificate and survey, if applicable. Documentation to demonstrate satisfactory completion of training such as:
Board certification or Board qualification by a Board approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties or any other board approved by the Board of Medicine or  Documentation to demonstrate knowledge of the principles of general anesthesia (ACLS or BLS certification) Additional documentation required for registration to perform levels II & III Office Surgery with this program. Name and license number of any Surgeon, Physician Assistant (PA), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), or Registered Nurse (RN) at facility Copies of any protocols necessary for the supervision of any PA, CRNA or ARNP. Copy of current ACLS Card for Surgeon and at least one assistant Name and license number of M.D. or D.O. Anesthesiologist, if applicable

If I have staff privileges, do I need a transfer agreement?

No, as long as the staff privileges are at a licensed hospital within reasonable proximity (30 minutes travel distance) and are you are able to perform the same procedures as those performed in the office setting.

What documentation is needed to prove level of training required?

Documentation to demonstrate satisfactory completion of training such as:

Board certification or Board qualification by a Board approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties or any other board approved by the Board of Medicine or documentation of comparable background, training and experience or documentation of staff privileges at a licensed hospital to perform the same procedure in that hospital as that being performed in the office setting, Documentation to demonstrate knowledge of the principles of general anesthesia (ACLS or BLS certification)
Transfer agreement from a local hospital or staff privileges with a delineation of procedures from a local hospital (within 30 minutes).

What if I have a new physician enter my office surgery practice?

Every Florida licensed physician who holds an active Florida license and performs Level II surgical procedures in Florida with a maximum planned duration of five (5) minutes or longer or any Level III office surgery, as fully defined in 64B8-9.009, shall notify the Department. It is the physician’s responsibility to ensure that every office in which he or she performs Levels II or III surgical procedures as described above is registered, regardless of whether other physicians are practicing in the same office or whether the office is non-physician owned.The Department must immediately be notified in writing, via the Office Surgery Registration form and all required documentations, of all changes to the registration information.

Should the office notify the Board of Medicine of changes pertaining to the Office Registration?

Yes, per 64B8-9.0091 the physician must immediately notify the Department, in writing, of any changes to the registration information. Changes can be submitted to the board by completing the Office Surgery Registration Application and submitting it the Department.

Are there any exemptions from having to register with this program?

Yes, all physicians who perform surgical procedures in a facility licensed pursuant to Chapter 390 or 395, F.S.

Do Pain Management facilities need to register?

The Board of Medicine determined that anesthesia blocks are surgical procedures and would fall under the office surgery rule but the level of sedation would determine the level surgery.

Are there any Registrations or Regulations for Lasers?

Yes, please refer to 64B8-56.002 Equipment and Devices; Protocols for Laser and Light-Based Devices rule from the Electrolysis Council, for additional information please visit the Electrolysis Council Home Page.

Can a practitioner abbreviate the month on the script?

The law does not allow the practitioner to abbreviate, the month must be written out. For example, “€œDecember” not “€œDec.”€

Will a pharmacist return a prescription to a patient if the script does not meet the requirements?

The patient should not be inconvenienced by this new requirement. Hopefully, consumers themselves, when presented with a prescription that is illegible will clarify the drug, dosage strength or other component of the prescription with the doctor before taking it to the pharmacy.

Will the Department prosecute practitioners who do not write prescriptions legibly and in the manner required by the law?

The purpose of the law is to improve patient safety by reducing errors in prescription medications. The law does not specify how the Department shall handle prescription writers who do not comply. The Department will work closely with the licensing boards, health care associations, and other interested groups to implement this law. As with all new laws and programs, we cannot predict what will happen in every situation, however, the Department is now focused on how best to implement the law not on how to discipline health care providers who are doing their best to learn and acclimate to this new prescription format. The Department focus the first year is to educate prescribing practitioners, pharmacists and consumers about the law. The licensing boards have a variety of options available to deal with violations, including a letter of advice that would be sent to non-compliant practitioners. This would be followed by a notice of non-compliance, and if appropriate, a citation. The licensing boards have not yet had the opportunity to address this issue.

How have pharmacists traditionally handled a prescription that was illegible?

The pharmacist, as a practice standard, has always had the responsibility of verifying an illegible prescription with the physician.

Will the Board of Pharmacy be considering any rule changes?

Although the law doesn’t grant specific rulemaking authority, the Board of Pharmacy, at its August meeting, will consider whether or not to draft a rule specifying the standard of practice for pharmacists on how to handle a prescription that does not meet the new requirements.

Is the pharmacist subject to Discipline if he/she fills a prescription that does not meet the new requirements?

The law does not prohibit filling a prescription that the pharmacist would otherwise have filled prior to July 1,2003. Keep in mind also that pharmacists, as a routine standard of practice, have always verified with a physician a prescription that was unclear or illegible.

Is the pharmacist required to tell the Department each time a script is missing part of the new law’s requirements?

There is no reporting requirement in the law, however, arguably, if a prescription written by a health care practitioner does not meet the requirements it could be viewed as a general violation of the law. Again, for the first year the department’s focus will be educational not punishment.

What happens if a doctor gives the patient a prescription that is not written as required by the new law?

The pharmacist will handle the script in the same manner as it was handled prior to July 1, 2003. If the pharmacist would have filled the prescription on June 30, then nothing in the law prevents the pharmacist from filling it on July 1.

What if I have preprinted prescription blanks that don’t contain the required information?

Any information not contained on the preprinted prescription should be hand printed.

Does the law grant a “grace” period before it takes effect?

The law does not grant a “grace” period. It went into effect on July 1, 2003. The Department’s focus in the first year will be on education, not punishment.

Does the law apply to telephone prescriptions that are reduced to writing by the pharmacist?

No. The law applies to a “written prescription for a medicinal drug issued by a health care practitioner licensed by law to prescribe such drug…” A pharmacist is not licensed by law to prescribe drugs.

Does this law apply to written orders by a prescribing practitioner in an institutional setting?

The law clearly references written prescriptions, not written orders. There is a distinct difference between the two. An order relates to administration; a prescription relates to dispensing. Thus, in our interpretation, the law does not apply to written orders.

Does the law require it to be written in such a way that the patient can read and understand it?

No. The law requires that it must be capable of being understood by the pharmacist.

What are the basic new requirements of this law?

That the prescription be legibly written or typed; that the quantity of the drug must be written in numerical and textual format (e.g. 10 -ten); that the date of the prescription must be written in textual letters (e.g. July 1, 2003); and that the practitioner must sign the prescription on the day it is issued.

When was it passed?

The bill was signed into law by Governor Bush on May 23, 2003 and became effective on July 1, 2003.

Why was this law passed?

The law was created in the interest of reducing prescription errors and keeping Florida citizens and visitors safe.

Who Sponsored this Law?

Senator Wasserman-Schultz and Representative Vana.

What is the Legible Prescription Law?

Section 456.42 Florida Statutes – Written prescriptions for medicinal drugs:

(1) A written prescription for a medicinal drug issued by a health care practitioner licensed by law to prescribe such drug must be legibly printed or typed so as to be capable of being understood by the pharmacist filling the prescription; must contain the name of the prescribing practitioner, the name and strength of the drug prescribed, the quantity of the drug prescribed, and the directions for use of the drug; must be dated; and must be signed by the prescribing practitioner on the day when issued. However, a prescription that is electronically generated and transmitted must contain the name of the prescribing practitioner, the name and strength of the drug prescribed, the quantity of the drug prescribed in numerical format, and the directions for use of the drug and must be dated and signed by the prescribing practitioner only on the day issued, which signature may be in an electronic format as defined in s. 668.003(4).

(2) A written prescription for a controlled substance listed in chapter 893 must have the quantity of the drug prescribed in both textual and numerical formats, must be dated in numerical, month/day/year format, or with the abbreviated month written out, or the month written out in whole, and must be either written on a standardized counterfeit-proof prescription pad produced by a vendor approved by the department or electronically prescribed as that term is used in s. 408.0611. As a condition of being an approved vendor, a prescription pad vendor must submit a monthly report to the department that, at a minimum, documents the number of prescription pads sold and identifies the purchasers. The department may, by rule, require the reporting of additional information.

How do I update my address?

For Current Licensees:

Login to your MQA Online Services Portal account, select Request Address Change from the “Manage My License” pulldown menu, make the necessary changes and click “Submit” to complete your update.
Note: You will receive a summary page that displays the updated address. You will NOT receive a new license. Please see “How do I obtain a duplicate license”.

About Your Practice Location Address
The practice location address will display on the Internet and your license. Your practice location must be a physical location address and must not include a Post Office box. The mailing address will only display on the Internet if you have not provided a practice location address to the Department.

Establishment/Facility Name or Address
If the name or address change is for a facility that has changed location, a licensure application must be submitted. See your profession’s web page for additional information.

For New Applicants:

Contact your application processor to notify him/her of the change. If you do not know who your processor is, or do not know how to contact your processor, please e-mail us at info@flboardofmedicine.gov. Please be sure to include your file number or application number, the address currently listed on your application, and the address to which you would like to have your file changed.

Who can perform laser hair removal in the state of Florida?

Currently, the only regulation that directly addresses laser hair removal is Rule 64B8-56.002, F.A.C., which states that electrologists can perform laser hair removal only under the direct supervision of a licensed physician who has been properly trained in hair removal. If this rule does not apply to you, but you are interested in performing laser hair removal, it is recommended that you contact an attorney for legal guidance.

What are the laws regarding Medical Marijuana in Florida?

The recent proposal to legalize the dispensing and use of Medical Marijuana in Florida did not pass; however, the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, signed into law by Governor Scott on June 16, 2014, will allow for the use of Low-THC Cannabis for the treatment of certain medical conditions in the state of Florida effective January 1, 2015. For more information about Low-THC Cannabis, please visit the website of the Office of Compassionate Use.

Which link allows me to change my mailing address on file with the department?

Once you are logged into Online Services, select Update Address link from the side navigational menu.

Does the department have assistance programs for impaired health care professionals?

Yes, Florida health care professionals can seek assistance for impairment through the Department’s Impaired Practitioner Programs – the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN) or the Professionals Resource Network (PRN).

Impairment may be as a result of misuse or abuse of alcohol or drugs, or both, or due to a mental or physical condition which could affect the licensee’€™s ability to practice with skill and safety.

Intervention Project for Nurses, Inc. (IPN) (Contract Number: COMV5)
Linda L. Smith, ARNP, M.Div, CAP, Chief Executive Officer
P.O. Box 49130 Jacksonville Beach, FL 32240-9130
Toll Free: (800) 840-2720
Telephone Number: (904) 270-1620
FAX: (904) 270-1633
E-Mail: lsmith@ipnfl.org

Professionals Resource Network, Inc. (PRN) (Contract Number: COMW3)
P.O. Box 1020 Fernandina Beach, Florida 32035-1020
Toll Free: (800) 888-8PRN (8776)
Telephone Number: 904-277-8004
Fax: 904-261-3996
E-Mail: admin@flprn.org

Do I have to report any criminal activities after I receive my medical license?

You are required to report all criminal activities after you receive your medical license. You may report the criminal offense(s) online via Online Services, by e-mail MQALicensureServices@flhealth.gov, or by mail to:

Florida Department of Health
Licensure Support Services Unit, Bin #C-10
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3267.

If reporting by e-mail or mail, provide the date of the offense, a description of the crime, and the county and state of jurisdiction.

What is the difference between License Verification and License Certification?

License Verification – Information regarding the licensure status of a practitioner. This is for use by persons or organizations that do not require a document certifying this information under seal.

Licensure Certification -€“ Specific document certifying licensure status and disciplinary history, prepared by a representative of the Division of Medical Quality Assurance and bearing a seal. This document is generally required for applicants seeking licensure in other states and for use in court proceedings. There is a $25 fee for this service in accordance with Rule 64B-4.001, F.A.C.

Although this office does not issue letters of good standing, the above includes the current status of the license and whether agency action has been taken against the license. This is the standard format for all healthcare practitioners.

How can I get a board’s agenda?

By visiting the board’s meetings page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on either past or upcoming meetings. Review the meeting dates to locate the agenda you need and the board’s agenda should be posted on the right under Materials.

Who can attend board meetings?

All board meetings are open to the public.

How may I become a board member?

Board members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. You may apply by contacting the Governor’€™s Appointment Office, LL10 The Capitol, Tallahassee FL 32399-0001; or by calling (850) 488-2183.

How can I file a complaint against a licensee?

Print the Complaint Form with the Authorization for Release of Patient Records from our Enforcement site or call 1-888-419-3456 or (850)414-1976 to request one by phone. Complete the form and mail it to the address given on the form.

How can I get a practitioner’€s disciplinary history?

You can request a practitioner’€™s disciplinary history from our Public Records website.

How can I get a list of practitioners by county?

To view a list of actively licensed practitioners, use the License Verification Search and select the county and profession from the drop-down list.

Which professions have profiles that list education, specialty certification and other background information on-line?

All medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, chiropractic physicians, podiatrists, and advanced registered nurse practitioners have profiles that list this information.

Advice for AOL users.

Users of later versions of AOL may experience problems accessing links within the Medical Quality Assurance (MQA) Services page when inside AOL and using the AOL browser. This is caused by pop-up security features within newer versions of AOL. Try to avoid accessing MQA Services from within AOL. The way around the problem, once you have started AOL, is to minimize the AOL window and, from your computer’s desktop, open up an Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator browser. Type the url directly on the address line of the browser and press Enter. You will be able to access all the features within the MQA Services page without experiencing problems.

How do I know if this website is secured?

This website is secured using a thawte Digital Certificate. This ensures that all information you send to us via the World Wide Web will be encrypted. Please click on the thawte Trusted Site Seal which demonstrates our commitment to your security. In addition to the thawte Trusted Site Seal, you will also see the “€œlock” emblem displayed in the browser. In Internet Explorer 6, the lock emblem can be found in the lower right-hand corner of the status bar. In Internet Explorer 7.0, the lock emblem can be found next to the address (URL) line. In FireFox and Netscape, the emblem can be found in both locations.

How do I request a duplicate license?

Log into your MQA Online Services Portal account and select Request Duplicate License from the “Manage My License Information” pulldown menu. Review your changes and click “Submit.” Select “Pay Now” to pay the $25.00 fee with a valid credit card.

NOTE: You should receive your duplicate license in the mail in approximately 5-7 business days after your order is complete and your payment is received. If your profession is pending renewal or in a current renewal cycle, you may be asked to renew your license instead of being issued a duplicate license.

Is there an additional fee for using a credit card?

No. There is no additional cost for making a credit card payment online.

I’m not receiving a response to my email inquiries.

Verify that you are using the email address: MedicalQualityAssurance@flhealth.gov. Also, if you have SPAM blocker on your computer, you will not be able to receive emails from Licensure Services without updating your SPAM blocker to allow emails from the Department. Please update your SPAM blocker to receive emails from @flhealth.gov or contact our Licensure Support Services at (850)-488-0595.

Why do I receive an error when trying to print my temporary license?

If a PDF file fails to download, shows up blank, or freezes your internet browser, the file was most likely corrupted during the download process. To correct the problem, you will need to first clear your browser’s cache, then close and restart the browser, which entails logging back into MQA Services to continue downloading the document. If the cache is not cleared the cached version of the document, which is likely damaged, will still appear.

I am not a licensed practitioner in Florida; do I need a permit to provide expert witness testimony in a civil or criminal case?

If you are an allopathic physician, osteopathic physician or dentist, licensed in another state but do not hold a Florida medical license, and you plan to provide expert witness testimony in Florida, you must register for an Expert Witness Certificate. If you are interested in becoming an Expert Witness, please select “Licensing” for more information.

Where does the Board stand on Telemedicine?

The current regulations regarding Telemedicine can be found in Rule 64B8-9.0141, FAC. In recent years, telemedicine has begun to expand beyond the boundaries of prescribing to include areas of practice such as remote robotic surgery and video conferencing. The Florida Board of Medicine acknowledges that the scope of telemedicine has broadened and will be discussing these changes at future meetings of the Surgical Care and Quality Assurance Committee.

Why is continuing education being verified at renewal?

Continuing Education is a requirement to renew a professional license. Section 456.025(7), F.S. requires the Department to implement an electronic continuing education tracking system for each biennial renewal cycle and to integrate such system into the licensure and renewal system. The two systems are now integrated.

Can I create an account in the tracking system prior to being licensed?

No, you will not be able to create an account until you receive a license number from the Department of Health. Students need to be aware of this change in our license renewal process and begin reporting continuing education into the tracking system once they are licensed.

What will happen if I do not have the required continuing education for renewal?

If the practitioner’s continuing education records are not complete, they will be prompted to enter their remaining continuing education hours before proceeding with their license renewal.

The project will be implemented in two phases. The first phase (optional phase) will prompt practitioners to input required continuing education hours, but will not prevent licensure renewal. The second phase (mandatory) will require reporting of all required continuing education hours in order to proceed with license renewal.

Below is a chart identifying the optional phase and first mandatory phase for each profession.

PROFESSIONOPTIONAL REPORTING CYCLEFIRST MANDATORY REPORTING CYCLE
Medical Doctors
Expiring 1/31 even year
2/1/12 – 1/31/142/1/14 – 1/31/16
Physician Assistants2/1/12 – 1/31/142/1/14 – 1/31/16
Medical Doctors
Expiring 1/31 odd year
2/1/13 – 1/31/152/1/15 – 1/31/17
Anesthesiologist Assistant2/1/13 – 1/31/152/1/15 – 1/31/17

During the mandatory phase you will not be able to renew a license without having your continuing education hours reported into the continuing education tracking system. If you do not have the hours to report, your license will move to a delinquent status at expiration. In order to renew a delinquent license you will be required to complete the continuing education requirements. Additional fees may apply.

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Do I have to wait until license renewal to report my continuing education credits to the electronic tracking system?

No, you can report your hours free of charge anytime during the biennium by registering for the Free Basic Account. The Department encourages you to report early to avoid a delay in the license renewal process. For more information please visit www.CEatRenewal.com. Please note, if you take a course from a Florida Board approved Provider they are required to report on your behalf. If you take a course from a National organization it is your responsibility to report completion. There may be other ways for you to obtain credit towards continuing education required for license renewal. For specific approved methods of obtaining continuing education for your profession please review the Board rules by visiting www.flhealthsource.gov

Do I have to subscribe to the electronic tracking system?

No, subscriptions remain optional. There are a number of services you can receive by subscribing, however, it is optional.

You do however need to report your hours. You can always search for courses, report your hours, and view your course history free of charge by creating a Free Basic Account

Is the 7 day free trial advertised on CEBroker’s homepage the same as the Free Basic Account?

No, the 7 day free trial is a trial period for the paid subscription service to determine if you would like to subscribe. The Free Basic Account is a free account and does not require you to give credit card information. This account allows you to view your course history and report CE hours free of charge during the two year biennium. To create a Free Basic Account you can login to your MQA Services account using your user id and password at www.flhealthsource.gov OR you can visit www.CEatRenewal.com and choose option 2.

How will I know what has been reported?

You are able to view your course history in the tracking system free of charge. Your course history will show all the courses that have been reported, the completion date and the total number of hours. You can create your basic account or professional account at www.CEatRenewal.com 

If I create a free basic account and enter all of my hours, will the system tell me if I have met the continuing education requirements for my Profession?

If you are using the Basic Free Account it will be your responsibility to know the continuing education requirements for your Profession and calculate your compliance using the data listed on your course history.

If you enter your hours prior to renewal in a basic account the system will not generate a compliance status, however, the system will check compliance during your renewal period using the basic account. You will receive a complete or incomplete message at the time of renewal. Profession specific information and copies of the Board rules can be found at www.flhealthsource.gov.

What is the difference between viewing my course history using the basic free account or subscribing to the continuing education tracking system?

With a free Basic Account you can view your basic course history, which will list the course name, educational provider name, date of completion and hours reported. It would then be up to you to determine whether all of the courses that have been reported will complete all of your specific continuing education requirements. You can also self-report any continuing education that may be missing.

A Professional Account (paid subscription) provides you with all of the tracking tools that CE Broker offers. Your transcript will display what your specific CE requirements are and will calculate what requirements have been met and what may still be outstanding. A Professional Account is a subscription service and is not a requirement but it can be a useful tool in managing your Florida continuing education requirements should you chose to subscribe.

Do I have to report my continuing education completion into the tracking system or will the Provider report on my behalf?

If you take a course from a Florida approved continuing education provider, the provider is responsible for reporting your course completion. If you take your course from a National organization you will be required to self-report into the tracking system.

How long does a Florida approved Provider have to report my continuing education completion into the tracking system?

Pursuant to Rule 64B – 5.002, F.A.C Providers are allowed up to 30 days to report. However, during the renewal period this process is modified to allow licensees to self report courses taken from a Florida approved Provider to avoid a delay in license renewal.

Where do I go to report my hours?

You can report your hours by logging into MQA Services using your user id and password at www.flhealthsource.gov OR you can visit www.CEatRenewal.com Both sites will direct you to the tracking system to create a free basic account.

What are the dispensing requirements for physician assistants?

Only those physician assistants authorized by law and rule to prescribe shall be permitted to dispense sample drugs to patients. Dispensing of sample drugs to patients shall be permitted only when no charge is made to the patient or a third party for the service or the drugs and if the sample being dispensed could otherwise have been legally prescribed by the physician assistant. This rule shall not be construed to prohibit a physician assistant employed in a county health department from ordering and providing patients with prepackaged and prelabeled drugs in accordance with Section 154.04(1)(c), F.S. (Rule 64B8-30.006, F.A.C.)

Authority to dispense may be delegated only by a supervising physician who is registered as a dispensing practitioner in compliance with s.465.0278.
(Section 458.347(4)(e), F.S.)

Q: What are the dispensing requirements for physician assistants?

A: Only those physician assistants authorized by law and rule to prescribe shall be permitted to dispense sample drugs to patients. Dispensing of sample drugs to patients shall be permitted only when no charge is made to the patient or a third party for the service or the drugs and if the sample being dispensed could otherwise have been legally prescribed by the physician assistant. This rule shall not be construed to prohibit a physician assistant employed in a county health department from ordering and providing patients with prepackaged and prelabeled drugs in accordance with Section 154.04(1)(c), F.S. (Rule 64B8-30.006, F.A.C.)

Authority to dispense may be delegated only by a supervising physician who is registered as a dispensing practitioner in compliance with s.465.0278.  (Section 458.347(4)(e), F.S.)

Q: What is the scope of practice for a prescribing and or dispensing physician assistant?

A: A supervisory physician may delegate to a fully licensed physician assistant the authority to prescribe or dispense any medication used in the supervisory physician’s practice unless such medication is listed in the formulary shown in 64B8-30.008 F.A.C.

A fully licensed physician assistant may only prescribe or dispense such medication under the following circumstances:

1. A physician assistant must clearly identify to the patient that he or she is a physician assistant. Furthermore, the physician assistant must inform the patient that the patient has the right to see the physician prior to any prescription being prescribed or dispensed by the physician assistant.

2. The supervisory physician must notify the department of his or her intent to delegate, on a department-approved form, before delegating such authority and notify the department of any change in prescriptive privileges of the physician assistant. Authority to dispense may be delegated only by a supervising physician who is registered as a dispensing practitioner in compliance with s. 465.0276. (Section 458.347(4)(e), F.S.)

When will I be required to complete the Domestic Violence training?

Your due date to take Domestic Violence for the first time is based on the date you were initially licensed.

The chart below will assist you in determining when you will be required to complete this training.

This chart is for licensees that were initially licensed PRIOR to 8/1/06
 BoardLaw went into effect
(optional)
OptionalOptionalMust be complete by the biennium below if not taken since biennium in column 1
Medicine Group 1

Expires Even Years

02/01/06-01/31/0802/01/08-01/31/1002/01/10-01/31/1202/01/12-01/31/14
Medicine Group 2

Expires Odd Years

02/01/05-01/31/0702/01/07-01/31/0902/01/09-01/31/1102/01/11-1/31/13

If you were initially licensed prior to 8/1/06 you would follow the chart above because you were licensed prior to the implementation of the statute that requires domestic violence. Once you have taken the course for the first time, you have 6 years to complete it again.

If you were initially licensed after 8/1/06 you have 3 bienniums (6 years) to complete the course.

Example: A Physician expiring 1/31/13 initially licensed 5/31/08 would not have to complete Domestic Violence until the 13/15 biennium and would not follow the chart above.

Whenever you chose to take Domestic Violence within the timeframe above, you have 6 years from that date to complete it again.

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What constitutes an acceptable Prevention of Medical Errors course?

According to Rule 64B8-13.005(1)(c),F.A.C., a course on the prevention of medical errors which includes a study of root cause analysis, error reduction and prevention, and patient safety, and which is approved by any state or federal government agency, or nationally affiliated professional association, or any provider of Category I or II American Medical Association Continuing Medical Education. One hour of a two hour course which is provided by a facility licensed pursuant to Chapter 395, F.S., for its employees may be used to partially meet this requirement. The course must include information relating to the five most mis-diagnosed conditions during the previous biennium, as determined by the Board. While wrong site/wrong procedure surgery continues to be the most common basis for quality of care violations, the following areas have been determined as the five most mis-diagnosed conditions: cancer related issues; neurological related issues; cardiac related issues; timely responding to complications during surgery and post-operatively; urological related issues.

What is the difference between an inactive license and a retired license?

The cost to change an active status license to an inactive status at the time of renewal is $389, and $460 if not at renewal. Physicians with an inactive status license must still renew the license every two years during each biennium, are obligated to update their profile, but are not authorized to practice in the state of Florida. In addition, the physician is required by law to pay the annual $250 assessment fee to the Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA) unless they qualify for a NICA exemption outlined in s.766.314, FS. If the license is not renewed after two consecutive biennial licensure cycles, the license will expire and the physician will have to reapply for licensure meeting the current licensure requirements. If the physician has not practiced for 2 out of the previous 4 years, the physician will be required to take the SPEX. For more information, please see “How do I reactivate an inactive license”.

The cost to change an active status license to a retired status at the time of renewal is $55, and $155 outside of the renewal period. The preferred method of payment is either a cashier’s check or money order made payable to the Department of Health. The licensed practitioner with a retired license is not authorized to practice in the state of Florida, but still holds a license. The practitioner is not obligated to update his/her profile data.

The documentation needed to change the status from active to retired during the renewal period is a paper renewal form and a check-mark in the box that says; “Change to Retired Status”. No other documents are needed for retirement during renewal. Mail the renewal form and the payment to the Department of Health, P.O. Box 6320, Tallahassee, Florida 32314-6320.

The documentation needed to change the status from active to retired outside of the renewal period is a signed written statement from the licensee requesting the retired status. The statement must include your full name, license number and mailing address.

No other documents are needed for retiring. Mail the signed request and payment to the P.O. Box listed above.

The retired status license cannot be renewed by the normal renewal process and you will no longer receive notifications from the Department of Health. Please be aware that physicians choosing to change the retired status to active status will be required to pay all past renewal fees and if the physician has not practiced within the past 5 years the SPEX will be required for reactivating the license. For more information, please see “How do I reactive a retired license”.

How do I reactivate an inactive license?

The inactive status license can be “reactivated” at any time by contacting the Board of Medicine in writing.  The requirements to reactivate an inactive status license are:

1. Reactivation fee; $639 at the time of renewal, $589 not at renewal.

2. Proof of completing an average of 20 hours of category 1, AMA approved CME for each year of inactive status.

3. Completed Financial Responsibility form listing your medical malpractice insurance coverage type.

Any physician whose license has been inactive for more than two consecutive biennial licensure cycles, who has not practiced for 2 years out of the previous 4 years in another jurisdiction, shall be required to appear before the Credentials Committee of the Board and establish the ability to practice with the skill and safety sufficient to protect the health, and welfare of the public.  At the time of appearance the physician must:

 1. Show compliance with 1 through 3 above, plus; proof of completing a 1-hour course of category 1, AMA approved HIV/AIDS CME and a 2-hour course of category 1 or 2, AMA approved, Preventing Medical Errors.

2. Demonstrate successful completion of the SPEX exam with a score of at least 75 achieved within the year prior to the appearance before the Credentials Committee.  For information about the SPEX please log onto the Federation of State Medical Boards website at www.fsmb.org.

3. Account for any activities related to the practice of medicine in this or any other jurisdiction during the period that the license was inactive.

4. Affidavit confirming no malpractice judgments in another jurisdiction since your Florida license was inactive.

 The Department shall refuse to reactivate the inactive status license of any physician who is under investigation or prosecution in any jurisdiction for an action that would constitute a violation of chapter 458.FS or the professional practice acts administered by the department and the boards, until 15 days after the Department receives the final results of the investigation or prosecution.

How do I reactivate a retired license?

The retired status license can be “reactivated” at any time by contacting the Board of Medicine in writing.  The requirement to reactivate a retired status license is;

(1)        Reactivation fee of $250, plus

(2)        Pay any renewal fees imposed on an active status license for all biennial licensure periods during which the licensee was on the retired status.

(3)        Proof of completing an average of 20 hours of category 1, AMA approved CME for each year of retired status.

(4)        Proof of completing a 1-hour course of category 1, AMA approved HIV/AIDS CME and a 2-hour course of category 1 or 2, AMA approved, Preventing Medical Errors.

(5)        Completed Financial Responsibility form

RETIRED STATUS FOR MORE THAN 5 YEARS

Any physician whose license has been on retired status for more than 5 years, or a licensee from another state who has not been in the active practice of medicine within the past 5 years, shall be required to appear before the Credentials Committee of the Board and establish the ability to practice with the care and skill sufficient to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.  At the time of such appearance, the physician must:

(a) Demonstrate compliance with (1) through (5) above plus,

(b) Demonstrate successful completion of the SPEX with a score of at least 75 achieved within the year immediately preceding the appearance before the Credentials Committee.  For information about the SPEX please log onto the Federation of State Medical Boards website at www.fsmb.org.

(c) Account for any activities related to the practice of medicine during the period that the license was on retired status or not practicing in another jurisdiction and establish an absence of malpractice or disciplinary actions pending in any jurisdiction.

The Department shall refuse to reactivate the retired status license of a physician who is under investigation or prosecution in any jurisdiction for an action that would constitute a violation of chapter 458, FS or the professional practice acts administered by the department and the boards, until 15 days after the Department receives the final results of the investigation or prosecution.

Where can I find the laws and rules regarding drugs used to treat obesity?

Section 458.336, F.S. grants the Board of Medicine the authority to adopt rules to establish the practice guidelines for drugs used to treat obesity. These practice guidelines can be found in Rule 64B8-9.012, F.A.C.

Who can perform tattoo removals?

Although  tattoo artists and tattoo establishments are regulated by Environmental Health, there are no laws and rules in the Florida Medical Practice Act that directly address tattoo removal.

Who regulates radiology?

The registration and inspection of radiation devices, such as x-ray machines, is handled by Radiation Control. Radiological Personnel is regulated by the Council on Radiation Protection.

Am I required to display my license in the patient waiting area?

The laws and rules in the Florida Medical Practice Act do not specifically state whether or not a physician must display his or her license in the waiting area of their practice. The guidelines for the disclosure of licensure status can be found in Rule 64B8-11.003, F.A.C., which states:

All persons licensed pursuant to Chapter 458, F.S., and not exempt pursuant to Section 456.072(1)(t), F.S., shall identify the license under which he or she practices in one of the following manners:

  1. The wearing of a name tag which identifies the licensee as either a medical doctor (M.D.), a physician assistant (P.A.), or an anesthesiologist assistant (A.A.);
  2. The wearing of an article of clothing on the upper body which identifies the licensee as either a medical doctor (M.D.), a physician assistant (P.A.), or an anesthesiologist assistant (A.A.);
  3. By orally disclosing to the patient, upon the licensee’s initial in-person contact with the patient, that the licensee is either a medical doctor, a physician assistant, or an anesthesiologist assistant;
  4. By providing, upon the licensee’s initial in-person contact with the patient, a business card or similar document which identifies the licensee as either a medical doctor (M.D.), a physician assistant (P.A.), or an anesthesiologist assistant (A.A.); 
  5. By placing notification in the lobby or waiting area of the location where the licensee practices, which contains a photo of the licensee and which identifies the licensee as either a medical doctor (M.D.), a physician assistant (P.A.), or an anesthesiologist assistant (A.A.).

Can I obtain a Florida license by reciprocity?

The State of Florida does not offer reciprocity as an avenue for licensure. If you hold a medical license in another state and have practiced medicine in at least two of the last four years, we can offer licensure by endorsement.

If I’ve been disciplined in another state, am I required to report it to the Florida Board of Medicine?

I have been disciplined by a medical board in another state. Am I required to report it to the Florida Board of Medicine?

Yes. According to s. 458.331(1)(kk), Florida Statutes, a physician must report to the board, in writing, within 30 days if an action has been taken against one’s license to practice medicine in another state, territory, or country. The reporting physician should provide enough detail for the board to be able to locate and obtain the disciplinary documents. It is helpful for the physician to provide supporting documents; however, it is not required.

Per s. 456.042 Florida Statutes, the physician is also required to update her/his practitioner profile within 15 days after a change of any occurrence in each section of the profile.

Can a medical doctor perform acupuncture?

A physician can perform acupuncture under his/her medical license as long as he/she is properly trained and educated in the field of acupuncture.

Can a medical doctor prescribe or dispense marijuana?

Currently there are no laws or rules that allow for the use of medical marijuana in the State of Florida. It is possible that this may change in the future, but as of right now we cannot provide any guidance on the matter. Interested parties are encouraged to monitor the Florida Senate’s website, as they will have the most up-to-date information regarding this year’s legislative session.

What duties can a CNA perform?

The scope of practice of CNAs, as well as other nursing professions (RN, ARNP, etc.) is regulated by the Florida Board of Nursing.

How can I obtain a License Certification to apply for a medical license in another state?

Medical Doctors can obtain a License Certification using VeriDoc. If the state in which you are applying does not accept VeriDoc, or you hold a license in another health care profession, you can use the online Certification Request Form. More information about License Certification can be found at the Department of Health’s License Certification page.
Although this office does not issue letters of good standing, the above includes the current status of the license and whether agency action has been taken against the license. This is the standard format for all healthcare practitioners.

How do I obtain a list of licensed physicians in Florida?

Licensure Data and Profile Data are available for download at no charge from the Department of Health’s website.

How can I report Unlicensed Activity?

Information about how to report Unlicensed Activity can be found on the website of the Bureau of Enforcement.

How do I request medical records from my physician?

In order to obtain your medical records, you should send a written request via certified mail to the last known address of the physician (you can find a physician’s last known address on their Practitioner Profile). If no response is received within a reasonable amount of time, you can file a complaint through the Consumer Services Unit.

What do I do if I find abandoned medical records?

If you find abandoned medical records, you should contact the Investigative Services Unit, and they will determine the best course of action.

If I am having trouble fulfilling my CME requirements, can I apply for a CME hardship?

The Board of Medicine does not have the authority to grant CME hardship exemptions. A license cannot be renewed without proof of completion of all CME requirements

Who can administer Botox injections in the state of Florida?

Currently there are no laws and rules that address who can and cannot administer Botox injections in the state of Florida. If you are interested in such a practice, it is recommended that you contact an attorney for legal guidance.

How do I pay my fines if I’ve been disciplined?

The department only accepts payment in the form of cashier’s checks or money orders. The respondent should make the cashier’s check or money order payable to the Department of Health, and should mail the payment to the following address:

Department of Health
Compliance Management Unit
Post Office Box 6320
Tallahassee, FL 32314-6320

For payments delivered via Overnight service, send to:

Department of Health
Compliance Management Unit
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin C76
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3276

The respondent must include their license number and case number on all documentation mailed to the Department in referenced to their compliance case. Any additional questions should be directed to  MQA.ConsumerServices@flhealth.gov.

How many ARNPs can a MD supervise?

According to Rule 64B8-35.002, F.A.C.:
The number of persons to be supervised shall be limited to insure that an acceptable standard of medical care is rendered in consideration of the following factors:

(a) Risk to patient;
(b) Educational preparation, specialty, and experience of the parties to the protocol;
(c) Complexity and risk of the procedures;
(d) Practice setting; and
(e) Availability of the physician or dentist

What medical schools are accepted and/or approved by the Florida Board of Medicine?

Approved medical schools:

• Allopathic medical school or allopathic college recognized and approved by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Office of Education or is a graduate of an allopathic medical school or allopathic college within a territorial jurisdiction of the United States recognized by the accrediting agency of the governmental body of that jurisdiction;

• a graduate of an allopathic foreign medical school must have had his or her medical credentials evaluated by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, and an active, valid certificate issued by that commission, and has passed the examinations utilized by that commission.

Is a Physician Assistant (PA) required to maintain a NCCPA certification for licensure in Florida?

NCCPA certification is required to obtain a PA license. However, a PA is not required to maintain a NCCPA certification for licensure in Florida. If the PA elects not to be certified, he/she will be required to obtain 100 hours of CME for renewal of his/her license. A PA with the certification is only required to document the certification and completion of the required core courses in prevention of medical errors and, every third biennium, the domestic violence course.

Can a physician prescribe to family members?

Yes. Currently there is no specific law that states a physician may not prescribe to family members.

Where can I find information about HIPAA, health information privacy or security rules?

Visit the Office for Civil Rights website for information to assist patients and families in understanding HIPAA privacy rights and procedures and for information on filing a complaint or see the HHS.gov FAQ http://www.hhs.gov/answers/hipaa/where-can-i-find-information-about-health-information-privacy/index.html

What are the CME requirements for prescribing Physician Assistants?

Prescribing physician assistants must complete 10 hours of CME in each specialty area of the supervising physician. These hours are included in the 98 general CME. Effective January 1, 2017, three of the ten specialty hours must consist of a course on the safe and effective prescribing of controlled substance medications given by a statewide professional association of physicians in this state accredited to provide educational activities designated for the American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award Category I credit or designated by the American Academy of Physician Assistants as a Category I credit.

How do I change the status of my license to retired?

Log into your MQA Online Services Portal account and select Request Retired Status during renewal or Request Retired Status after Expiration Date outside of renewal from the “Manage My License” pulldown menu.

The retired status license cannot and does not need to be renewed by the normal renewal process and you will no longer receive notifications from the Department of Health. Please be aware that physicians choosing to change the retired status to active status will be required to pay all past renewal fees, enter into CE Broker all continuing medical education credits from each biennium since the license was last renewed and, if the physician has not practiced within the past 5 years, complete the Special Purpose Examination (SPEX) given by the Federation of State Medical Boards will be required for reactivating the license. For more information, please see “How do I reactivate a retired license”.

How do I change the status of my license to inactive?

Log into your MQA Online Services Portal account and select Request Inactive Status from the “Manage My License” pulldown menu.

After Expiration:

Log into your MQA Online Services Portal account and select Request Inactive Status after Expiration Date from the “Manage My License” pulldown menu.

NOTE: Your inactive status license must be renewed prior to the expiration date. Reactivation of your license will require verification that you have completed the required continuing education during the period since your last active renewal. Licenses that have been inactive for over 4 years must provide proof of the practice of medicine during their inactive status. Employment does not have to have been in Florida. Licensees who have been inactive for over 4 years and have not practiced medicine during that time must complete the SPEX exam. If the license is not renewed after two consecutive biennial licensure cycles, the license will expire and the physician will have to reapply for licensure meeting the current licensure requirements.

How do I register as a Controlled Substance Prescriber?

In accordance with section 456.44(2), Florida Statutes, an allopathic physician licensed under Chapter 458, an osteopathic physician licensed under Chapter 459, a podiatric physician licensed under Chapter 461, a dentist licensed under Chapter 466, a physician assistant licensed under Chapter 458 or Chapter 459, or an advanced registered nurse practitioner certified under part I of Chapter 464 who prescribes any controlled substance listed as Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV or Schedule V narcotics as defined in s. 893.03, for the treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain, must designate himself or herself as a controlled substance prescribing practitioner on the practitioner profile.
To designate oneself as a controlled substance prescribing practitioner as provided in section 456.44, Florida Statutes:
Visit our secure “Online Services” website at: http://www.flhealthsource.gov/mqa-services
If you have not created an account in our new Online Services Portal, click “No” and follow the instructions provided to complete your one-time account registration.
In you have already created an account, click “Yes” and log in using your MQA Online Services user ID and password. This is the same user ID and password used to renew your license online.
Under the “Manage My License” section, select “Controlled Substance Prescribing” and follow the instructions to indicate you are a prescriber of controlled substances for the treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain.
Note: The online system can assist you if you do not remember your login ID or password. If you are unable to login please call 850-488-0595 and a representative will assist you.
“Chronic nonmalignant pain” is defined as pain unrelated to cancer which persists beyond the usual course of disease or the injury that is the cause of the pain or more than 90 days after surgery.

How to obtain copies of past meeting agendas, agenda materials, audio and minutes

The Board of Medicine makes available to the public the following materials seven days prior to each meeting: Florida Administrative Register notices, meeting agendas and meeting public books while also providing the meeting audio and meeting minutes within 7 days after the meeting. The following materials will remain on our website for one year to the date of the meeting: meeting agendas, meeting audio and meeting minutes while the following materials will be removed from our website within two weeks after the date of the meeting: meeting public books and Florida Administrative Register notices.

You may search for or request public records at our Public Records Website. There you will find information such as meeting agendas, meeting audio, meeting minutes, meeting public books, license verifications, disciplinary records, and declaratory statements.

How do I change my name?

Name changes require legal documentation showing the name change. Please submit a request including your full name as it appears on your license, profession, license number, your new name, your date of birth, the last four digits of your social security number, and your signature. Attach supporting documents, which must be one of the following:

  1. a copy of a state issued marriage license that includes the original signature and seal from the clerk of the court
  2. a divorce decree restoring your maiden name
  3. a court order showing the name change (adoption, legal name change, federal identity change)

Any one of these will be accepted unless the Department has a question about the authenticity of the document. A social security card is not considered legal documentation. If you wish to receive a new license that reflects the name change, you must request a duplicate license. Mail your request to:

Division of Medical Quality Assurance
Licensure Support Services
P.O. Box 6320
Tallahassee, Florida 32314-6320

If you need to change your name, and you prefer to renew online, please submit your name change request by mail and allow 5-7 business days processing time before you renew online.

How do I notify the Department of Health of any supervising physician changes?

Pursuant to s. 458.347(7)(e) and s. 459.022(7)(d), F.S., upon employment, a licensed physician assistant must notify the department in writing within 30 days after such employment and after any subsequent changes in supervision.

To print a Supervision Data Form online, click “Forms & Requests” on the Resources page.

Mail the completed Supervision Data Form to:

Department of Health
Council on Physician Assistants
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin #C-03
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3253

Additional information regarding Supervision Data Forms can be found at s. 458.347, F.S and Rule 64B8-30.003 – .004 FAC.

How do I register as a Dispensing Practitioner?

Dispensing is defined as selling medicinal drugs to patients in the office. A practitioner who writes prescriptions or provides complimentary professional samples is not a “dispensing practitioner,” and therefore does not need to register with the department.

A practitioner authorized by law to prescribe drugs may dispense such drugs to her or his patients in the regular course of her or his practice in compliance with s. 465.0276, Florida Statutes.

Duly authorized agents and employees of the department shall inspect in a lawful manner at all reasonable hours any pharmacy, hospital, clinic, wholesale establishment, manufacturer, physician’s office, or any other place in the state in which drugs and medical supplies are manufactured, packed, packaged, made, stored, sold, offered for sale, exposed for sale, or kept for sale for the purpose of:

(a) Determining if any of the provisions of this chapter or any rule promulgated under its authority is being violated;
(b) Securing samples or specimens of any drug or medical supply after paying or offering to pay for such sample or specimen; or
(c) Securing such other evidence as may be needed for prosecution under this chapter.

To print a Dispensing Practitioner Form online, click “Forms & Requests” on the Resources page.

Fees:
Registration      $100
Renewal      $100

Mail the completed Dispensing Practitioner Form and $100 Fee* to:

Department of Health
Division of Medical Quality Assurance
Board of Medicine
PO Box 6320
Tallahassee, FL 32314-6320

* Cashier’€™s check or money order is required payable to Department of Health. Do not send cash.

Additional information regarding Dispensing Practitioners can be found at s. 465.0276, s. 465.017, F.S and Rule 64B8-3.006, FAC.

How do I relinquish my license?

There are two types of license relinquishments, administrative and disciplinary. Rule 64B8-8.018, FAC provides that a Florida licensee may administratively relinquish the license at any time, provided there is:

  • no investigation against the license already initiated;
  • no investigation against the license anticipated;
  • no disciplinary action against the license pending; and
  • not current restrictions against the license by the Board of this state or any other jurisdiction

This type of administrative relinquishment shall not be considered disciplinary action against the license as that term is used in Section 458.331(1)(b), Florida Statutes.

To obtain a Voluntary Relinquishment Form please contact the board office at (850) 245-4131. Mail the completed Voluntary Relinquishment Form to:

Department of Health
Division of Medical Quality Assurance
Board of Medicine
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin C03
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3253

If a licensee wishes to voluntarily relinquish a license, but the licensee or the license is currently under any of the constraints set forth above, then the licensee may relinquish the license only with the approval of the Board of Medicine. If the voluntary relinquishment is accepted by the Board of Medicine, then the acceptance of the voluntary relinquishment of the license shall be considered disciplinary action against the license as that term is used in Section 458.331(1)(b), Florida Statutes, and shall be reported as such by the Board of Medicine. In addition, the licensee will be required to cease practice immediately upon signing the voluntary relinquishment and agrees to never reapply for licensure in Florida again

How do I report an adverse incident?

Section 458.351, Florida Statutes requires any adverse incident that occurs on or after January 1, 2000, in any office maintained by a physician for the practice of medicine which is not licensed under chapter 395 be reported to the department.

Adverse incidents must be reported within 15 days after the occurrence of the adverse incident.

To print an Adverse Incident Form online, click Forms under Resources located on this page.

Mail the completed Adverse Incident Form by certified mail to:

Department of Health
Consumer Services Unit
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin C75
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3275

For purposes of notification to the department, the term €”adverse incident”€ means an event over which the physician or licensee could exercise control and which is associated in whole or in part with a medical intervention, rather than the condition for which such intervention occurred, and which results in the following patient injuries:

(a) The death of a patient.
(b) Brain or spinal damage to a patient.
(c) The performance of a surgical procedure on the wrong patient.

(d) 1. The performance of a wrong-site surgical procedure;
2. The performance of a wrong surgical procedure; or
3. The surgical repair of damage to a patient resulting from a planned surgical procedure where the damage is not a recognized specific risk as disclosed to the patient and documented through the informed-consent process if it results in: death; brain or spinal damage; permanent disfigurement not to include the incision scar; fracture or dislocation of bones or joints; a limitation of neurological, physical, or sensory function; or any condition that required the transfer of the patient.

(e) A procedure to remove unplanned foreign objects remaining from a surgical procedure.
(f) Any condition that required the transfer of a patient to a hospital licensed under chapter 395 from an ambulatory surgical center licensed under chapter 395 or any facility or any office maintained by a physician for the practice of medicine which is not licensed under chapter 395.

Additional information regarding Adverse Incidents can be found at s. 458.351, F.S and Rule 64B8-9.001, FAC.

How do I become a Department of Health Expert Witness?

Each year the Department of Health contracts with experts to review cases against medical professionals who may have failed to provide appropriate medical care such as is expected of a medical practitioner in the State of Florida. Being an expert witness for the Department not only helps to improve the efficiency of the disciplinary process, but also allows you to play an active role in helping to regulate your profession.

Experts must:

  • Have a current Florida license;
  • Be actively practicing in Florida;
  • Shall not have ever been the subject of any disciplinary action by the medical licensing authority of any state or jurisdiction, and is currently; and
  • Shall remain in good standing with the respective healthcare profession for which his or her services are required.

The Department offers two types of expert witness contracts.

  • If you wish to provide your services pro bono, Board rules provide an official recognition for time spent in the review of a case and written opinion by awarding Continuing Medical Education (CME) Credits of 5.0 hours per case, up to a maximum of 15 hours per biennial license renewal period towards risk management. For services other than case review and written opinion, such as deposition and trial services, you will be compensated at a modest rate of $160.00 per hour.
  • If you wish to be a paid expert, you will be compensated at a modest rate of $125.00 per hour for time spent in the review of a case and written opinion and $160.00 for deposition and trial services. Your deposition testimony would typically be paid by the opposing counsel at your requested fee.
  • Additionally, the Department reimburses travel expenses in accordance with the Department of Health 40-1 (Official Travel of Department of Health Employees and Non-Employees.)

If you are interested in becoming an expert witness for the Department and your board, please click on the link below to fill-out and submit your application:

Apply Online →

If you are a physician licensed in another state but do not hold a Florida medical license, and you plan to provide expert witness testimony in Florida, you must register for an Expert Witness Certificate. For more information, click on Apply located on this page.

How do I establish protocols/Collaborative Agreements with an Advanced Registered Nurse, EMT or Paramedic?

A physician must submit notice to the Board when he/she enters into

  • A formal supervisory relationship or standing orders with an emergency medical technician or paramedic licensed pursuant to s. 401.27, which relationship or orders contemplate the performance of medical acts, or
  • An established protocol with an advanced registered nurse practitioner, which protocol contemplates the performance of medical acts identified and approved by the joint committee pursuant to s. 464.003(2) or acts set forth in s. 464.012(3) and (4), the physician shall submit notice to the board.

The physician shall file notice within 30 days of entering into the relationship, orders or protocol. Notice shall also be filed within 30 days after terminating the relationship, orders, or protocol

ARNP/EMT/Paramedic Protocol (PDF)

Mail the completed Protocol Form to:

Department of Health
Division of Medical Quality Assurance
Board of Medicine
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin C03
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3253
(850) 488-0596 FAX

Additional information regarding protocols can be found at s. 458.348, F.S.

How do I file my medical malpractice (financial responsibility) requirement with the Board of Medicine?

As a condition of licensing and maintaining an active license, and prior to the issuance or renewal of an active license or reactivation of an inactive license for the practice of medicine, an applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the board and the department, financial responsibility to pay claims and costs ancillary thereto arising out of the rendering of, or the failure to render, medical care or services.

The licensee must notify the Board in writing of any change of status relating to financial responsibility compliance or exemption at least 10 calendar days prior to the change. In addition, the licensee is required to maintain such written documentation as may be necessary to prove his/her compliance with or exemption from financial responsibility requirements for a period of not less than 7 years.

Financial Responsibility options are divided into two categories, coverage and exemptions, pursuant to s. 458.320, Florida Statutes.

Using the Financial Responsibility Form, you will select only one option of the ten provided:

Coverage Options

  1. I do not have hospital staff privileges and I have obtained and maintain professional liability coverage in an amount not less than $100,000 per claim, with a minimum annual aggregate of not less than $300,000 from an authorized insurer as defined under s.624.09, F. S., from a surplus lines insurer as defined under s. 626.914(2), F.S., from a risk retention group as defined under s. 627.942, F.S., from the Joint Underwriting Association established under s. 627.351(4), F. S., or through a plan of self-insurance as provided in s. 627.357, F.S. 2.
  2. I have hospital staff privileges and I have professional liability coverage in an amount not less than $250,000 per claim, with a minimum annual aggregate of not less than $750,000 from an authorized insurer as defined under s. 624.09, F. S., from a surplus lines insurer as defined under s. 626.914(2), F. S., from a risk retention group as defined under s. 627.942, F.S., from the Joint Underwriting Association established under s. 627.351(4), F. S., or through a plan of self insurance as provided in s.627.357, F .S.
  3. I do not have hospital staff privileges and I have established an irrevocable letter of credit or an escrow account in an amount of $100,000/$300,000, in accordance with Chapter 675, F. S., for a letter of credit and s. 625.52, F. S., for an escrow account.
  4.  I have hospital staff privileges and I have established an irrevocable letter of credit or escrow account in an amount of $250,000/$750,000, in accordance with Chapter 675, F. S., for a letter of credit and s. 625.52, F. S., for an escrow account.
  5.  I have elected not to carry medical malpractice insurance, however, I agree to satisfy any adverse judgments up to the minimum amounts pursuant to s. 458.320(5)(g) 1 or 459.0085(5)(g)1, F. S. I understand that I must either post notice in the form of a “sign” prominently displayed in the reception area or provide a written statement to any person to whom medical services are being provided that I have decided not to carry medical malpractice insurance. I understand that such a sign or notice must contain the wording specified in s. 458.320(5)(g) or 459.0085(5)(g), F. S.

Exemptions

  1. I practice medicine exclusively as an officer, employee, or agent of the federal government, or of the state or its agencies or subdivisions. For the purposes of this subsection, an agent of the state, its agencies, or its subdivisions is a person who is eligible for coverage under any self-insurance or insurance program authorized by the provisions of s.768.28 (16).
  2. I hold a limited license issued pursuant to s. 458.317 or 459.0075, F. S., and practice only under the scope of the limited license.
  3. I do not practice medicine in the State of Florida. I understand that if I resume any practice of medicine in this state, I must notify the department of such activity and fulfill the financial responsibility requirements of Chapters 458, or 459, F.S. before resuming the practice of medicine in the State of Florida.
  4. I meet all of the following criteria:
    1. I have held an active license to practice in this state or another state or some combination thereof for more than 15 years.
    2. I am retired or maintain part time practice of no more than 1000 patient contact hours per year.
    3. I have had no more than two claims resulting in an indemnity exceeding $25,000 within the previous five-year period.
    4. I have not been convicted of or plead guilty or nolo contendere to any criminal violation specified in Chapter 458 or 459, F. S.
    5. I have not been subject, within the past ten years of practice, to license revocation or suspension, probation for a period of three years or longer, or a fine of $500 or more for a violation of Chapter 458 or 459, F.S., or the medical practice act of another jurisdiction. A regulatory agency’s acceptance of a relinquishment of license stipulation, consent order or other settlement offered in response to or in anticipation of filing of administrative charges against a license shall be construed as action against a license. I understand if I am claiming an exception under this section that I must either post notice in the form of a sign, prominently displayed in the reception area or provide a written statement to any person to whom medical services are being provided, that I have decided not to carry medical malpractice insurance. I understand such a sign or notice must contain the wording specified in s. 458.320(5) (f)7 or 459.0085(5)(f)7, F. S.
  5. I practice only in conjunction with my teaching duties at an accredited medical school or its teaching hospitals. I understand that I may practice medicine to the extent that such practice is incidental to and a necessary part of my duties in connection with my teaching position in the medical school. (Interns and residents do not qualify for this exemption).

How do I obtain a copy of the ophthalmology informed consent for cataract surgery form?

Section 458.351, Florida Statutes provides for the optional use of an Informed Consent Form for Cataract Operation with or without Implantation of Intraocular Lens developed and approved by the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine.

As provided in Rule 64B8-9.017, Florida Administrative Code the Board-approved informed consent form is not executed until:

  1. The physician performing the surgery has explained the information in the consent form to the patient. Such physician is prohibited from delegating this responsibility to another person. The physician performing the surgery is also required to sign the informed consent form;
  2. The patient or the person authorized by the patient to give consent is required to sign the informed consent form; and
  3. A competent witness is also required to sign the informed consent form.

Cataract Operation Informed Consent (PDF)

Additional information regarding the use of the informed consent form can be found at Rule 64B8-9.017, FAC and s.458.351, FS.

How do I complete the Physician Workforce Survey?

1. Login to online services by selecting your profession from the dropdown menu and entering your User ID and Password. The survey must be completed by allopathic and osteopathic physicians only.

  • Your User ID and Password were mailed with your initial license. Please look at the center section and refer to the Online Services Instructions, item #5.
  • If you do not have your User ID and Password, click on “Get Login Help“.

2. Select “Physician Workforce Survey” on the left side of the page

3. Complete Physician Workforce Survey

How do I view and update my Practitioner Profile?

You can view, confirm, or make changes to the information that will be published in your practitioner profile . In carrying our legislative mandate to publish practitioner profiles, we want to ensure the information that we publish is accurate. Accordingly, we ask that you please review your profile for any changes, corrections, and/or omissions. If you see the statement “€œThe practitioner did not provide this mandatory information”€, please provide that information. We will not accept curriculum vitae or resumes in place of you providing specific information. Changes, excluding education and training, year began practicing, and liability claims, can be made to your profile electronically by following the instructions below. You may also submit changes by mail to:

Department of Health
Licensure Support Services
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin C-10
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3260

Please note that Section 456.042, Florida Statutes, requires practitioners to update profile information within 15 days after a change of an occurrence in each section of your profile.

Attention Newly Licensed Practitioners
Section 456.041(7), Florida Statutes, requires you to submit changes to the department within thirty (30) days from receipt of this letter. If you do not make changes within thirty (30) days, your profile will be automatically published.

Once you have completed your review and made any necessary corrections, click on “€œConfirm Changes”€. The Practitioner Confirmation Page will display the information that will be published online, at which time you must “€œConfirm”€ the profile again before the changes will be implemented.

Note: Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.