Medical Review Program

When it comes to car-related accidents and injuries, the state of Florida has a process in place to ensure that licensed drivers possess the physical and mental capability to operate a motor vehicle. The Florida Medical Review Program has been put in place by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles(FLHSMV)  and was authorized by Florida Statute Section 322.221. The Medical Advisory Board of the FLHSMV receives the reports in question and helps determine if the person was unqualified to drive based on physical and mental reasons. The review process must comply with Florida Statutes, the Florida Administrative Code and other policies within the FLHSMV.

One of the best ways to overcome the challenges presented by the Florida Medical Review Program is through the assistance of an attorney qualified on this specific matter. The Umansky Law Firm has extensive experience helping drivers unfairly targeted by or subjected to this program get through it with their driving privileges intact. 

Florida Medical Review Program Purpose

The purpose of the Florida Medical Review Program is to evaluate a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle in the context of their physical and mental state. Among the reasons the state conducts such an evaluation is to determine the presence of one or more of the following conditions that could cause impairment while driving: 

  • Seizure-related health conditions
  • Blackouts or loss of consciousness
  • Addiction disorders (drug or alcohol)
  • Psychiatric disorders that tamper with a person’s mental state and perception of reality
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Progressive neurological disorders
  • Vision impairment
  • Dementia

There may be other conditions that can mitigate a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. In some instances, this program ensures that those who cannot drive safely are not allowed to do so. However, in others, a person’s disability or health condition is used against them, even if they have proven they are more than capable of driving safely. 

This is one of the reasons that hiring a reputable Florida Medical Review Program lawyer is so important. The Umansky Law Firm has helped many drivers retain their driving privileges after submitting medical records through this program. While the doctors included on the advisory board that oversees the program are all licensed, they are not all specialists in one area or another. So, for example, if the board is engaged in a review of someone with cognitive impairment, but the doctors involved are all general practitioners, they might not have specialized enough knowledge of the condition in question to render a fair decision.

What To Do If You are Referred to the Florida Medical Review Program? 

Should you find yourself in need of a review by the Florida Medical Review Program, the first thing you should do is hire a Florida Medical Review Program lawyer to help you navigate this process. Once a report rendered on your physical or mental health has been deemed credible, the program requires you to submit a medical report regarding the claim in question. The report must be completed by a licensed physician and specific to the condition being questioned by FLHSMV. The report will be routed to a medical specialist employed by the agency, who will then make a recommendation and send it to the advisory board for a final decision. 

The FLHSMV advisory board will then recommend one of the following: 

  • You are permitted to retain your license with no further review necessary.
  • You are permitted to retain your license but are subject to routine testing or follow-up. 
  • Your license is suspended or revoked entirely.

Once a decision has been made on your license status, the department will notify you in writing of their decision. The advisory board is supposed to suspend the driver’s licenses of those deemed medically unstable to operate a motor vehicle. However, as is the case at times, those on the receiving end of adverse action regarding their driving privileges do not deserve to be there. 

Your license can be revoked if follow-up is recommended and you fail to do so within the predetermined period. Your driving privileges can also be suspended or revoked if you opt not to submit information to the program at all, or if you fail to provide the necessary documentation requested regarding your health status. Once you have been recommended to the Florida Medical Review Program, you have just 45 days to obtain a report on your condition from a licensed physician to submit to the department. Failure to adhere to these time parameters may also result in revocation or suspension. 

FLHSMV also has the right to include medical requirements and restrictions relating to the condition in question on your driving record. This means that even if you manage to get around the review program, including this restriction on your driving record means that renewal may not be an option for you. 

Fighting a Medical Review

There are many reasons you might opt to fight the submission of your health record to the Medical Review Program. While the program applies to some, many others get caught up in the bureaucratic elements of the process when they don’t deserve to be there. This is one of the reasons that The Umansky Law Firm fights on behalf of those who feel they are being mistreated in relation to this program. There are ways to fight inclusion in the Medical Review Program process, and our legal strategies may be able to help guide you through the administrative aspects of the review so that you come out on the other side with your driving privileges intact. 

The first step is preparing for a hearing after submitting all pertinent information relating to the review. 

Those subject to a medical review can request an administrative hearing to contest the decision to review their medical records. This request must be made in writing and is specific to those who have had their driver’s licenses suspended, revoked or canceled due to the outcome of a medical review. This contested letter (using the official form on the DHSMV website) must be received by the department within 30 days after the written decision was rendered. This is one of the reasons working with a skilled Florida Medical Review Program lawyer is so important, because you may not be aware of the rules and time parameters put in place to elicit your compliance. 

One of the reasons you might choose to fight submission of your information to the Medical Review Program is that the decision may be taken out of your hands. The State of Florida allows various people to issue a medical review request for another. This means that an agent of the court, doctor, law enforcement officer, relative, friend, or even a random citizen can submit information regarding your physical or mental capacity to drive. 

While third-party reports on medical issues are sent to the Bureau of Administrative Reviews first to determine their credibility, further action may still be taken as a result. This means that you may unfairly be targeted for the Medical Review Program through no fault or action of your own. Moreover, information derived from official sources is typically accepted without further explanation or investigation. This may infringe on your rights and require the help of a Medical Review Program lawyer. 

Why Hire a Medical Review Program Lawyer

The process of protecting yourself while navigating the medical review program in Florida is a complex one. It may not be clear which decisions are the best ones and which increase the chances of retaining your driver’s license during this time. A Medical Review Program lawyer can apprise you of your options and help you submit the appropriate paperwork to increase the likelihood of keeping your driver’s license. 

Given that a medical review gone wrong could cost you your driving privileges, it is essential to work with a reputable and skilled Medical Review Program lawyer to avoid the worst-case scenario. The team at the Umansky Law Firm can assist you in fighting an adverse outcome from this program.

Schedule an appointment today by calling us at (407) 228-3838 or contact us online to learn how we can help you contend with the Medical Review Program in Florida.