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Don’t Be Fooled… (By Unlicensed Health Care Professionals)
April 01, 2013
On April 1st, people try to fool each other through the use of all the classic gadgets—handshake buzzers, plastic insects, snakes in a can and maybe even the squirting camera. But there is one tool you may not be thinking of to help protect yourself from playing the fool—The Florida Department of Health's (DOH) Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA) free online tool to look up state licensed practitioners. Your health is important. Don't let yourself be fooled by unlicensed health care professionals.
Whether you are selecting a new practitioner or checking one you currently use, this resource will show whether or not your practitioner is licensed in Florida and whether there is any disciplinary or complaint history so you have all the information before your next appointment. To find this useful tool, go to www.FlHealthSource.gov and select the ‘Verify a License' link or visit https://appsmqa.doh.state.fl.us/IRM00PRAES/PRASLIST.ASP directly. Once on the page, simply type the first and last name of the practitioner you are inquiring about and then click on “find provider.” If a record is retrieved, it indicates the practitioner does have a license. From this record, you will be able to see if the practitioner has ever been disciplined or had a public complaint filed against them, and you will also have access to view their practitioner profile. (We may want to provide a phone # to double check if the name does not come up online…so many doctor's names are difficult to spell…they may be licensed under a formal name, but known to patients as another name, etc…)
By browsing the practitioner profile, you will get a glimpse into this practitioner's education, training, specialty certification and other credentials. Using the same search, you are able to categorize practitioners, such as by county, and browse through the licensed practitioners of all specialties in that particular category.
If your practitioner's name is spelled correctly, however they are not showing up on the site, the practitioner is most likely not licensed in Florida. To report suspected unlicensed activity, go to MQA's Enforcement Unlicensed Activity Unit webpage located at http://www.floridahealth.gov/%5C/licensing-and-regulation/enforcement/report-unlicensed-activity/file-a-complaint.html.