McArdle Law
Medical Malpractice Counsel

Frequently Asked Questions

Medical Malpractice Articles

Below you will find posts about the most frequently asked questions I receive about medical malpractice cases in Sarasota, Bradenton, and the West Coast of Florida.

The Complete List of "Health Care Providers" Under The Florida Medical Malpractice Act

Health Care Providers Who Fall Under The Florida Medical Malpractice Act.

Medical negligence starts with a healthcare provider. As one of my law professors used to say, people don’t walk into your office with labels for their legal problems. When a potential client walks into the office, I have to determine if the case is a claim for medical malpractice. I need to know because the classification requires a statutory presuit process before a lawsuit. If the presuit process is unnecessary, I can file a lawsuit without the delay and costs imposed by Chapter 766. I also need to know because it may impact when the statute of limitations runs out on a claim.

So the first clear step to find whether a claim falls under Florida’s Medical Malpractice Act is to pull out (or memorize) Florida Statute Section 766.202(4). The statute lists the universe of prospective defendants covered by Florida’s Medical Malpractice Act. This list includes:

  1. any hospital as defined and licensed under chapter 395;

  2. any ambulatory surgical center as defined and licensed under chapter 395;

  3. any birth center licensed under chapter 383;

  4. any person licensed under:

  5. a health maintenance organization under Part I of Chapter 641;

  6. a blood bank;

  7. a plasma center;

  8. an industrial clinic;

  9. a renal dialysis facility; or

  10. a professional association partnership, corporation, joint venture, or other association for professional activity by health care providers listed above.

This is the full list of “health care providers” under The Florida Medical Malpractice Act as of this post. Chapter 766’s presuit process does not apply to a claim against a prospective defendant who does not fall into the categories listed.

Some Likely Candidates Do Not Fall Under The Florida Medical Malpractice Act.

When I first read the statute, some exclusions from the list of healthcare providers shocked me. For instance, this list excludes psychologists, pharmacists, certified nursing assistants, and radiology technologists. But, as seen above, it includes practitioners of naturopathy and chiropractors. Why did the Legislature draw the lines there? Your guess is as good as mine, but lawyers need to know where the lines are drawn.

A medical malpractice lawyer can help answer whether a specific claim against a prospective defendant must go through the presuit process. For instance, while not intuitive, vicarious claims against a hospital for medical malpractice must go through presuit even if the employee is not a listed healthcare provider. Goldman v. Halifax Medical Center, Inc., 662 So. 2d 367, 368 (Fla. 5th DCA 1995). These small distinctions crop up again and again in these complex cases. As such, for each specific case, a medical malpractice lawyer can provide the most reliable guidance.

Legal Advice Disclaimer:

I’m a licensed attorney in Florida. I provide legal advice, but only to my clients — people who have a written agreement with me. I don’t provide legal advice through this site.

The articles you see here — or anywhere else online — aren’t any different from reading a newspaper or magazine article by a lawyer, or watching a lawyer on a television show talk about a case. I might write about legal issues relevant to your situation, but professional legal advice requires an in-depth discussion with you about your case, a thorough investigation into all the relevant facts, and substantial research into the relevant laws.