For Providers

Provider FAQs

Email us your question at bakeract@usf.edu if it is not answered by the FAQs.  

I. Intro Questions:

What is the Baker Act Reporting Center?

The Baker Act Reporting Center was established 1997 to collect, process, analyze and report on statewide Baker Act exam initiation data.

What is the Baker Act Reporting Center's role in working with providers?

The Center works closely with Baker Act receiving facilities across the State to facilitate the timely and accurate submission of Baker Act forms in order to assist providers with compliance with Florida Statute 394.463.

What happens after providers mail forms to the Baker Act Reporting Center?

After receiving the mail at the Center, data processing staff sort the mail by facility and then prep the mail for data entry by removing extraneous documents. Staff then enter pertinent data from the Baker Act forms into a SQL database. Throughout the data collection process, Center staff perform various validation tests to address data quality before analyzing the data for reports.

What are the statutory requirements for providers regarding mailing Baker Act forms to the Baker Act Reporting Center?

The Baker Act specifies that receiving facilities must mail the following Baker Act forms to DCF within one working day. The receipt of these forms by the Baker Act Reporting Center on behalf of DCF is addressed in Florida Administrative Code (65E-5).

• Report of Law Enforcement Officers Initiating Involuntary Examination (CF-MH 3052a)
• Certificate of Professional Initiating Involuntary Examination (CF-MH 3052b)
• Ex-parte Order for Involuntary Examination (CF-MH 3001)

Baker Act receiving facilities are required to include a Cover Sheet to the Department of Children and Families (CF-MH 3118) with the 3052a, 3052b and 3001 forms as specified in Florida Administrative Code [F.A.C. 65E-5.280(5)].

II. Compliance/Submission Questions:

Are providers required to submit the full SSN on the cover sheet?

Yes. The provider is required to report full social security numbers (SSNs), unless the SSN is unknown. SSN is an important variable used to identify individuals. It is used to clean data (such as to identify duplicate forms received), to count repeated Baker Act examinations (by counting the number of times each social security number appears in the data) and to link Baker Act data to other data sources.

When should providers mail Baker Act forms to the Baker Act Reporting Center?

The Baker Act specifies that receiving facilities must mail Baker Act forms to DCF within one working day. As per F.A.C. 65E-5 the Baker Act Reporting Center receives these forms on behalf of DCF, such that the requirement is to mail the forms to the Baker Act Reporting Center within one working day.

What happens if the provider only mails the cover sheet and not the Baker Act form?

Occasionally providers mail in only Cover Sheets without a BA52a, BA52b or ex-parte order to go along with the Cover Sheet. Data processing staff do not enter data from Cover Sheets without a corresponding BA52a, BA52b or ex-parte order initiating involuntary examination. The Baker Act Reporting Center monitors submission compliance and informs providers if there appears to be a recurring issue with submission requirements.

Should providers send a copy of the Baker Act form or the original form?

Providers should only send copies of Baker Act forms, not the originals.

Are providers required to send Baker Act forms to the Baker Act Reporting Center via certified mail?

No. Certified mail is not required.

Can Baker Act Receiving Facilities submit forms through a courier service?

Yes, we accept mail delivered via courier service. Deliverers may be dropped off at:
College of Behavioral and Community Sciences Mailroom
3108 USF Banyan Circle
MHC 1107
Tampa, FL 33612

If there are two different Baker Act forms for one admission, should the provider send both forms to the Baker Act Reporting Center?

The earliest executed Baker Act form is typically the valid form. The provider, however, may send both forms if they are unsure of the valid Baker Act form. We have a process for identifying this in the data and analyzing the data accordingly.

What documents should providers include with the ex parte order?

Providers are only required to mail the ex parte order itself along with the corresponding cover sheet. Providers, however, may include other relevant and supporting documentation - e.g., the ex parte affidavit - if the person mailing the Baker Act form is unsure what documents constitute the ex parte order itself.

Click here to view the DCF recommended ex parte order. Be advised, however, that the recommended ex parte order is not mandated by DCF and that court orders vary in their formatting and content.

Do these methods of submitting forms to the Baker Act Reporting Center comply with HIPAA regulations?

Yes. Mailing personal health information (PHI) via the postal service complies with federal HIPAA regulations and state privacy laws. When the mail arrives at the Baker Act Reporting Center, it is processed and stored in compliance with federal HIPAA regulations and state privacy laws as well.

III. Best Practices Questions:

What is the preferred way to mail Baker Act forms to the Baker Act Reporting Center?

The Baker Act Reporting Center prefers receiving a full day's worth of Baker Act forms, unfolded, in one envelope, with the Cover Sheets directly on top of the corresponding Baker Act form (BA52a, BA52b or ex-parte order). Cover sheets may be stapled to their corresponding BA52a, BA52b or ex-parte order. However, stapling them together is not required, just so the Cover Sheet is on top of its corresponding initiation form. NOT stapling them together is helpful to the Center because staples must be removed for the process of scanning forms to archive them. While these suggestions facilitate the sorting and prepping of mail by data processing staff, we understand that different processes work for different providers. If you need to staple forms, fold forms and/or mail them in smaller batches because that works for your process, then continue to do what works for you!

Where should providers mail Baker Act forms?

Providers should mail Baker Act forms to:

Baker Act Reporting Center
Florida Mental Health Institute
13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. MHC2637
Tampa, FL 33612

What happens to documents that providers send that are not required Baker Act forms?

We consider any document extraneous that is not a required Baker Act form - i.e., the CF-MH 3052a, CF-MH 3052b, CF-MH 3001 and CF-MH 3118 (Cover Sheet) forms. All extraneous documents, such as voluntary admission forms, Marchman Act forms, involuntary placement orders, and transportation orders, are sorted out of the daily mail and securely shredded.

Should providers staple Baker Act forms together?

While stapling the cover sheet to the corresponding Baker Act form may be helpful for individual providers, we do not require this. In fact, we prefer that providers place cover sheets directly on top of the corresponding Baker Act form without stapling the forms together. This helps with our scanning process, which requires the removal of staples.

Should providers include a cover letter with the Baker Act forms?

No. Providers are not required to submit a cover letter or face sheet with the Baker Act forms. We consider cover letters and face sheets extraneous documents. These are sorted out of the mail and securely shredded.

IV. Other Baker Act Forms Questions:

Are Providers responsible for submitting involuntary placement orders?

Baker Act receiving facilities are no longer required to submit involuntary placements orders to the Baker Act Reporting Center.

Should providers submit Marchman Act forms to the Baker Act Reporting Center?

No. Data processing staff shred Marchman Act forms as well as other extraneous documents when prepping mail for data entry.

What is my FMHI number?

A provider's Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) number is a unique id assigned to designated Baker Act receiving facilities used only for purposes of identification and data analysis. To find your facilities FMHI number, please refer to our active Baker Act Receiving Facility list located on the Receiving Facility Information page of our website under For Providers.

Can professionals include multiple license numbers on an involuntary examination (Baker Act) form?

Yes, there is no statue or rule restricting the number of licensed professionals as stated in F.S. 394.463(2)(a)3 who have the capacity to initiate involuntary (Baker Act) examinations for individuals meeting criteria so long as the form contains signatures, license numbers and appropriate boxes checked for both professionals.

Should providers submit Baker Act forms to the Baker Act Reporting Center if the person is examined and the Baker Act (72-hour hold) is rescinded?

Yes, all Baker Act examination initiation forms should be submitted to the Baker Act Reporting Center regardless of whether they were later rescinded.

Are there other options for submitting Baker Act forms besides mailing?

Currently, the only way to submit Baker Act forms to the Baker Act Reporting Center is via mail. Other methods of submission are under development.

Where are Baker Act forms located online?

The public can find the most current versions of the Baker Act forms on DCF's website, myflfamilies.com or on our website at usf.edu/cbcs/baker-act.

V. Contact Questions:

What is the best way to contact the Baker Act Reporting Center regarding questions about Baker Act form submission?

For questions about Baker Act form submission not answered in these FAQs, we encourage providers to contact Center staff via email at bakeract@usf.edu or by calling 813-974-1010. See our Contacts page for more information. This is a general email and phone number for the Center, which is checked daily. You may receive a response from one of a few staff at the Baker Act Reporting Center dependent on the nature of your question or request.