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2015 Florida Statutes

F.S. 394.462
394.462 Transportation.
(1) TRANSPORTATION TO A RECEIVING FACILITY.
(a) Each county shall designate a single law enforcement agency within the county, or portions thereof, to take a person into custody upon the entry of an ex parte order or the execution of a certificate for involuntary examination by an authorized professional and to transport that person to the nearest receiving facility for examination. The designated law enforcement agency may decline to transport the person to a receiving facility only if:
1. The jurisdiction designated by the county has contracted on an annual basis with an emergency medical transport service or private transport company for transportation of persons to receiving facilities pursuant to this section at the sole cost of the county; and
2. The law enforcement agency and the emergency medical transport service or private transport company agree that the continued presence of law enforcement personnel is not necessary for the safety of the person or others.
3. The jurisdiction designated by the county may seek reimbursement for transportation expenses. The party responsible for payment for such transportation is the person receiving the transportation. The county shall seek reimbursement from the following sources in the following order:
a. From an insurance company, health care corporation, or other source, if the person receiving the transportation is covered by an insurance policy or subscribes to a health care corporation or other source for payment of such expenses.
b. From the person receiving the transportation.
c. From a financial settlement for medical care, treatment, hospitalization, or transportation payable or accruing to the injured party.
(b) Any company that transports a patient pursuant to this subsection is considered an independent contractor and is solely liable for the safe and dignified transportation of the patient. Such company must be insured and provide no less than $100,000 in liability insurance with respect to the transportation of patients.
(c) Any company that contracts with a governing board of a county to transport patients shall comply with the applicable rules of the department to ensure the safety and dignity of the patients.
(d) When a law enforcement officer takes custody of a person pursuant to this part, the officer may request assistance from emergency medical personnel if such assistance is needed for the safety of the officer or the person in custody.
(e) When a member of a mental health overlay program or a mobile crisis response service is a professional authorized to initiate an involuntary examination pursuant to s. 394.463 and that professional evaluates a person and determines that transportation to a receiving facility is needed, the service, at its discretion, may transport the person to the facility or may call on the law enforcement agency or other transportation arrangement best suited to the needs of the patient.
(f) When any law enforcement officer has custody of a person based on either noncriminal or minor criminal behavior that meets the statutory guidelines for involuntary examination under this part, the law enforcement officer shall transport the person to the nearest receiving facility for examination.
(g) When any law enforcement officer has arrested a person for a felony and it appears that the person meets the statutory guidelines for involuntary examination or placement under this part, such person shall first be processed in the same manner as any other criminal suspect. The law enforcement agency shall thereafter immediately notify the nearest public receiving facility, which shall be responsible for promptly arranging for the examination and treatment of the person. A receiving facility is not required to admit a person charged with a crime for whom the facility determines and documents that it is unable to provide adequate security, but shall provide mental health examination and treatment to the person where he or she is held.
(h) If the appropriate law enforcement officer believes that a person has an emergency medical condition as defined in s. 395.002, the person may be first transported to a hospital for emergency medical treatment, regardless of whether the hospital is a designated receiving facility.
(i) The costs of transportation, evaluation, hospitalization, and treatment incurred under this subsection by persons who have been arrested for violations of any state law or county or municipal ordinance may be recovered as provided in s. 901.35.
(j) The nearest receiving facility must accept persons brought by law enforcement officers for involuntary examination.
(k) Each law enforcement agency shall develop a memorandum of understanding with each receiving facility within the law enforcement agency’s jurisdiction which reflects a single set of protocols for the safe and secure transportation of the person and transfer of custody of the person. These protocols must also address crisis intervention measures.
(l) When a jurisdiction has entered into a contract with an emergency medical transport service or a private transport company for transportation of persons to receiving facilities, such service or company shall be given preference for transportation of persons from nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care centers, or adult family-care homes, unless the behavior of the person being transported is such that transportation by a law enforcement officer is necessary.
(m) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit emergency examination and treatment of incapacitated persons provided in accordance with the provisions of s. 401.445.
(2) TRANSPORTATION TO A TREATMENT FACILITY.
(a) If neither the patient nor any person legally obligated or responsible for the patient is able to pay for the expense of transporting a voluntary or involuntary patient to a treatment facility, the governing board of the county in which the patient is hospitalized shall arrange for such required transportation and shall ensure the safe and dignified transportation of the patient. The governing board of each county is authorized to contract with private transport companies for the transportation of such patients to and from a treatment facility.
(b) Any company that transports a patient pursuant to this subsection is considered an independent contractor and is solely liable for the safe and dignified transportation of the patient. Such company must be insured and provide no less than $100,000 in liability insurance with respect to the transportation of patients.
(c) Any company that contracts with the governing board of a county to transport patients shall comply with the applicable rules of the department to ensure the safety and dignity of the patients.
(d) County or municipal law enforcement and correctional personnel and equipment shall not be used to transport patients adjudicated incapacitated or found by the court to meet the criteria for involuntary placement pursuant to s. 394.467, except in small rural counties where there are no cost-efficient alternatives.
(3) TRANSFER OF CUSTODY.Custody of a person who is transported pursuant to this part, along with related documentation, shall be relinquished to a responsible individual at the appropriate receiving or treatment facility.
(4) EXCEPTIONS.An exception to the requirements of this section may be granted by the secretary of the department for the purposes of improving service coordination or better meeting the special needs of individuals. A proposal for an exception must be submitted by the district administrator after being approved by the governing boards of any affected counties, prior to submission to the secretary.
(a) A proposal for an exception must identify the specific provision from which an exception is requested; describe how the proposal will be implemented by participating law enforcement agencies and transportation authorities; and provide a plan for the coordination of services such as case management.
(b) The exception may be granted only for:
1. An arrangement centralizing and improving the provision of services within a district, which may include an exception to the requirement for transportation to the nearest receiving facility;
2. An arrangement by which a facility may provide, in addition to required psychiatric services, an environment and services which are uniquely tailored to the needs of an identified group of persons with special needs, such as persons with hearing impairments or visual impairments, or elderly persons with physical frailties; or
3. A specialized transportation system that provides an efficient and humane method of transporting patients to receiving facilities, among receiving facilities, and to treatment facilities.
(c) Any exception approved pursuant to this subsection shall be reviewed and approved every 5 years by the secretary.
History.s. 15, ch. 96-169; s. 48, ch. 2000-139; s. 3, ch. 2009-38.