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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Section 395.1046, Florida Statutes 2004

395.1046  Complaint investigation procedures.--

(1)  The agency shall investigate any complaint against a hospital for any violation of s. 395.1041 that the agency reasonably believes to be legally sufficient. A complaint is legally sufficient if it contains ultimate facts which show that a violation of this chapter, or any rule adopted under this chapter by the agency, has occurred. The agency may investigate, or continue to investigate, and may take appropriate final action on a complaint, even though the original complainant withdraws his or her complaint or otherwise indicates his or her desire not to cause it to be investigated to completion. When an investigation of any person or facility is undertaken, the agency shall notify such person in writing of the investigation and inform the person or facility in writing of the substance, the facts which show that a violation has occurred, and the source of any complaint filed against him or her. The agency may conduct an investigation without notification to any person if the act under investigation is a criminal offense. The agency shall have access to all records necessary for the investigation of the complaint.

(2)  The agency or its agent shall expeditiously investigate each complaint against a hospital for a violation of s. 395.1041 When its investigation is complete, the agency shall prepare an investigative report. The report shall contain the investigative findings and the recommendations of the agency concerning the existence of probable cause.

(3)  The complaint and all information obtained by the agency during an investigation conducted pursuant to this section are exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until 10 days after probable cause has been found to exist by the agency, or until the person who is the subject of the investigation waives his or her privilege of confidentiality, whichever occurs first. In cases where the agency finds that the complaint is not legally sufficient or when the agency determines that no probable cause exists, all records pertaining thereto are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. However, the complaint and a summary of the agency's findings shall be available, although information therein identifying an individual shall not be disclosed.

History.--s. 3, ch. 89-275; s. 4, ch. 89-283; s. 1, ch. 90-192; ss. 26, 98, ch. 92-289; s. 728, ch. 95-148; s. 2, ch. 95-387; s. 215, ch. 96-406.

Note.--Former s. 395.0175.