2015 Florida Statutes
400.9975 Licensee responsibilities.—
(1) The licensee shall ensure that each client:
(a) Lives in a safe environment free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
(b) Is treated with consideration and respect and with due recognition of personal dignity, individuality, and the need for privacy.
(c) Retains and uses his or her own clothes and other personal property in his or her immediate living quarters to maintain individuality and personal dignity, except when the licensee demonstrates that such retention and use would be unsafe, impractical, or an infringement upon the rights of other clients.
(d) Has unrestricted private communication, including receiving and sending unopened correspondence, access to a telephone, and visits with any person of his or her choice. Upon request, the licensee shall modify visiting hours for caregivers and guests. The facility shall restrict communication in accordance with any court order or written instruction of a client’s representative. Any restriction on a client’s communication for therapeutic reasons shall be documented and reviewed at least weekly and shall be removed as soon as no longer clinically indicated. The basis for the restriction shall be explained to the client and, if applicable, the client’s representative. The client shall retain the right to call the central abuse hotline, the agency, and Disability Rights Florida at any time.
(e) Has the opportunity to participate in and benefit from community services and activities to achieve the highest possible level of independence, autonomy, and interaction within the community.
(f) Has the opportunity to manage his or her financial affairs unless the client or, if applicable, the client’s representative authorizes the administrator of the facility to provide safekeeping for funds as provided under this part.
(g) Has reasonable opportunity for regular exercise more than once per week and to be outdoors at regular and frequent intervals except when prevented by inclement weather.
(h) Has the opportunity to exercise civil and religious liberties, including the right to independent personal decisions. However, a religious belief or practice, including attendance at religious services, may not be imposed upon any client.
(i) Has access to adequate and appropriate health care consistent with established and recognized community standards.
(j) Has the opportunity to present grievances and recommend changes in policies, procedures, and services to the staff of the licensee, governing officials, or any other person without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. A licensee shall establish a grievance procedure to facilitate a client’s ability to present grievances, including a system for investigating, tracking, managing, and responding to complaints by a client or, if applicable, the client’s representative and an appeals process. The appeals process must include access to Disability Rights Florida and other advocates and the right to be a member of, be active in, and associate with advocacy or special interest groups.
(2) The licensee shall:
(a) Promote participation of the client’s representative in the process of providing treatment to the client unless the representative’s participation is unobtainable or inappropriate.
(b) Answer communications from the client’s family, guardians, and friends promptly and appropriately.
(c) Promote visits by persons with a relationship to the client at any reasonable hour, without requiring prior notice, in any area of the facility that provides direct care services to the client, consistent with the client’s and other clients’ privacy, unless the interdisciplinary team determines that such a visit would not be appropriate.
(d) Promote opportunities for the client to leave the facility for visits, trips, or vacations.
(e) Promptly notify the client’s representative of a significant incident or change in the client’s condition, including, but not limited to, serious illness, accident, abuse, unauthorized absence, or death.
(3) The administrator of a facility shall ensure that a written notice of licensee responsibilities is posted in a prominent place in each building where clients reside and is read or explained to clients who cannot read. This notice shall be provided to clients in a manner that is clearly legible, shall include the statewide toll-free telephone number for reporting complaints to the agency, and shall include the words: “To report a complaint regarding the services you receive, please call toll-free [telephone number] or Disability Rights Florida [telephone number] .” The statewide toll-free telephone number for the central abuse hotline shall be provided to clients in a manner that is clearly legible and shall include the words: “To report abuse, neglect, or exploitation, please call toll-free [telephone number] .” The licensee shall ensure a client’s access to a telephone where telephone numbers are posted as required by this subsection.
(4) A licensee or employee of a facility may not serve notice upon a client to leave the premises or take any other retaliatory action against another person solely because of the following:
(a) The client or other person files an internal or external complaint or grievance regarding the facility.
(b) The client or other person appears as a witness in a hearing inside or outside the facility.
(5) Before or at the time of admission, the client and, if applicable, the client’s representative shall receive a copy of the licensee’s responsibilities, including grievance procedures and telephone numbers, as provided in this section.
(6) The licensee must develop and implement policies and procedures governing the release of client information, including consent necessary from the client or, if applicable, the client’s representative.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2015-25.