AHCA Releases Proposed Rule for Home Care Providers

ahcaThe Agency for Health Care Administration released this week a Notice of Proposed Rule that will appear in the Florida Administrative Register, which includes many changes for home care providers. AHCA shared the notice with HCAF in order to have ample time to review the changes. A statement of estimated regulatory costs associated with the changes will be made available at a later date.

Click here to review the proposed rule. If providers have any objections to changes, a hearing can be requested within 21 days of the notice (no later than March 1). If you would like to request a hearing, please send an email to Kyle Simon, Government Affairs Director, at ksimon@homecarefla.org.

A summary of the changes are as follows:

  • Change of Ownership (CHOW) procedures must include an unannounced inspection not more than 24 months prior to submission of the application. Inspections may be done by an accrediting organization or in conjunction with an unannounced Medicare or Medicaid certification or recertification survey under certain circumstances
  • HHA staff training can be conducted at a drop-off site
  • AHCA must receive notice of a change of address 21 to 120 days in advance of the requested effective date
  • The initial, CHOW and renewal fee for HH licensure is $1,705 (up from $1,660)
  • Applicants for initial licensure must sign an Attestation of Compliance with Distance Requirements form, to certify that no officer/controlling interest of the applicant agency are officers/controlling interest of another agency located within 10 miles of the applicant agency and is in the same county
  • Removes the Affidavit of Compliance with Background Screening Requirements form
  • Incorporates Level 2 Background Screening requirements into rule
  • Expands the DON requirements by requiring that he/she shall establish a process to verify that services were provided and be able to provide a signed certified report to a surveyor within two hours of the request (or three hours if the time period requested is longer than one year)
  • Expands the DON requirements by requiring that he/she document (in addition to establishing and conducting) an ongoing quality assurance program that includes at least quarterly reviews of the care and services of a sample of both active and closed clinical records; DON may delegate some of the record review to RNs or therapists when there are therapy patient records to review
  • HHA no longer have to ensure that CNAs have competency in the home health core curriculum
  • Home health aides and CNAs are no longer required to receive HIV educational requirements
  • Adding to the responsibilities of home health aides and CNAs to include: assisting with the reinforcement of dressing; assisting with tasks associated with elimination (toileting, assisting with the use of the bedpan and urinal, providing catheter care, collecting specimens, emptying ostomy bags)
  • Removal of the requirement that PTs, PTAs, OTs and OTAs have one-year of experience in their respective disciplines before working in home care
  • Expands homemaker/companion responsibilities by allowing him/her to, upon request, verbally remind the client to take medication
  • Agencies can no longer accept a physician’s rubber stamp signature
  • Upon admission, each agency shall inform patients and caregivers of the special needs registry maintained by their county Emergency Management office

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