The Florida Department of Health’s Unlicensed Activity (ULA) Program protects Florida residents and visitors from the potentially serious and dangerous consequences of receiving medical and health care services from an unlicensed person. The Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA) investigates and refers for prosecution all unlicensed health care activity complaints and allegations. In many instances, unlicensed activity is a felony-level criminal offense. More importantly, receiving health care from unlicensed people is dangerous and could result in further injury, disease or even death.
In fiscal year 2012-2013, the Department received 661 unlicensed activity complaints. Of those complaints, 596 were referred for investigation, 183 resulted in cease-and-desist notices, 79 individuals were arrested, and 9 individuals were convicted.
The ULA unit works in conjunction with law enforcement and the state attorney’s offices to prosecute individuals practicing without a license. For instance, in a joint operation between the West Palm Beach Unlicensed Activity Unit and the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, Lynette Blake of Stuart, Florida was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison for posing as a medical doctor. Blake went to extreme measures to deceive patients by creating fake medical school transcripts and diplomas to prove her credentials.
The ULA unit proactively performs public outreach, but as licensed health care practitioners your help is crucial to educate others. The Department has several resources to combat unlicensed activity:
- Consumers are encouraged to use the Department’s website www.flhealthsource.gov where they can conveniently view the license information of their health care practitioner.
- Complaints may be filed anonymously by completing and mailing the complaint form on the Florida Department of Health’s web site, or by calling 1-877-HALT-ULA (425-8852).