Impaired Practitioner Program in FL
Impaired Practitioner Program works towards the overall care of patients.
Florida legislative intent is to preserve the health, safety and welfare of the public and addresses issues about treatment for impaired practitioners, as well as grounds for discipline, penalties, and enforcement in Statute 456. Florida law requires a mental health practitioner be referred to an Impaired Practitioner Program if the Department receives a legally sufficient complaint alleging an impairment and no other complaint exists.
A complaint may be considered legally sufficient and show probable cause if a practitioner is unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness or use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material or as a result of any mental or physical condition. In enforcing this statute, the licensee can be compelled to submit to a mental or physical examination by physicians designated by the department. If the licensee refuses to comply. the department can file a petition with the court to enforce the examination. Discipline could include monetary fines and suspension or even revocation of your license. Appropriate action will depend upon what sanctions are necessary to protect the public or to compensate the patient.
Such an impairment will not be considered grounds for discipline if the practitioner:
- Acknowledges the impairment;
- Becomes a participant in an impaired practitioner program and successfully completes the participant contract;
- Voluntarily withdraws from practice or limits the scope of his or her practice, if required by the consultant from the impaired practitioner program;
- Provides to the consultant, or authorizes the consultant to obtain, all records and information relating to the impairment; and
- Authorizes the consultant, in the event of the practitioner’s termination from the impaired practitioner program, to report the termination to the Department and provide all information in the consultant’s possession relating to the practitioner
For more information, contact the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling at 850-245-4474 or visit www.floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov