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‘Licensing Loophole’ Bill now on the Governor’s desk

Bill would close a loophole 10 Investigates first exposed back in February.
Credit: 10News WTSP

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A bill that will close a loophole when it comes to background screenings for healthcare employees is now on the Governor’s desk.

HB 713 includes an amendment that will make battery against a patient or resident a disqualifying offense for employment in certain healthcare facilities and for certain healthcare licenses.

The amendment was added after 10 Investigates looked into a licensing loophole in the healthcare system. 

Our investigation uncovered a local CNA accused of inappropriately touching patients was able to continue to work from place to place. He also pleaded no contest to battery of a patient and worked three more jobs before being arrested again in September of 2019 for touching patients inappropriately and in several different facilities dating back to 2016.

Rep. Chris Sprowls spearheaded the push for change to make sure something like this never happens again. He pushed to have the amendment added to not one but two bills that the House was looking at back in March.’

“I want to thank 10 News for discovering this loophole and HHS Chairman Ray Rodrigues for acting so quickly to close it. Government’s primary obligation is to protect its citizens from criminals and predators. Our seniors or anyone vulnerable or incapacitated in a nursing home should not have to live in fear of or suffer the indignity of being abused. Today, the Florida House took a major step forward by strengthening the protections afforded to all patients and residents in our hospitals, nursing homes, and other licensed facilities," said Representative Chris Sprowls (R-Palm Harbor), Chairman of the House Rules Committee and Speaker-designate of the House.

The Governor has until June 30th to act on the bill.

RELATED: Florida lawmakers take action after 10Investigates exposes loophole

RELATED: He was accused of inappropriately touching patients at nursing homes, but he continued to work

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