Florida Senate - 2015 SB 654
By Senator Richter
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to the state ombudsman program;
3 amending s. 400.0060, F.S.; revising and providing
4 definitions; amending s. 400.0061, F.S.; revising
5 legislative intent with respect to citizen ombudsmen;
6 deleting references to ombudsman councils and
7 transferring their responsibilities to representatives
8 of the Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman;
9 amending s. 400.0063, F.S.; revising duties of the
10 office; amending s. 400.0065, F.S.; revising the
11 purpose of the office; revising the duties and
12 authority of the state ombudsman; requiring the state
13 ombudsman to submit an annual report to the Governor,
14 the Legislature, and specified agencies and entities;
15 amending s. 400.0067, F.S.; revising duties and
16 membership of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
17 Council; amending s. 400.0069, F.S.; requiring the
18 state ombudsman to designate and direct program
19 districts; providing duties of representatives of the
20 office in the districts; revising the appointments of
21 and qualifications for district ombudsmen; prohibiting
22 certain individuals from serving as ombudsmen;
23 deleting provisions that provide for an election of a
24 chair of a local council and the meeting times for the
25 local council; amending s. 400.0070, F.S.; providing
26 conditions under which a representative of the office
27 could be found to have a conflict of interest;
28 requiring the Department of Elderly Affairs, in
29 consultation with the state ombudsman, to define by
30 rule what constitutes a conflict of interest; amending
31 s. 400.0071, F.S.; requiring the department to consult
32 with the state ombudsman to adopt rules pertaining to
33 complaint procedures; amending s. 400.0073, F.S.;
34 providing procedures for investigation of complaints;
35 amending s. 400.0074, F.S.; revising procedures for
36 conducting onsite administrative assessments;
37 authorizing the department to adopt rules; amending s.
38 400.0075, F.S.; revising complaint notification and
39 resolution procedures; amending s. 400.0078, F.S.;
40 providing for a resident or representative of a
41 resident to receive additional information regarding
42 resident rights; amending s. 400.0079, F.S.; providing
43 immunity from liability for a representative of the
44 office under certain circumstances; amending s.
45 400.0081, F.S.; requiring long-term care facilities to
46 provide representatives of the office with access to
47 facilities, residents, and records for certain
48 purposes; amending s. 400.0083, F.S.; conforming
49 provisions to changes made by the act; amending s.
50 400.0087, F.S.; providing for the office to coordinate
51 ombudsman services with Disability Rights Florida;
52 amending s. 400.0089, F.S.; conforming provisions to
53 changes made by the act; amending s. 400.0091, F.S.;
54 revising training requirements for representatives of
55 the office and ombudsmen; amending ss. 20.41, 400.021,
56 400.022, 400.0255, 400.1413, 400.162, 400.19, 400.191,
57 400.23, 400.235, 415.102, 415.1034, 415.104, 415.1055,
58 415.106, 415.107, 429.02, 429.07, 429.19, 429.26,
59 429.28, 429.34, 429.35, 429.67, 429.85, 744.102, and
60 744.444, F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made
61 by the act; providing an effective date.
63 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
65 Section 1. Section 400.0060, Florida Statutes, is amended
66 to read:
67 400.0060 Definitions.—When used in this part, unless the
68 context clearly dictates otherwise, the term:
69 (1) “Administrative assessment” means a review of
70 conditions in a long-term care facility which impact the rights,
71 health, safety, and welfare of residents with the purpose of
72 noting needed improvement and making recommendations to enhance
73 the quality of life for residents.
74 (2) “Agency” means the Agency for Health Care
76 (3) “Department” means the Department of Elderly Affairs.
77 (4) “District” means a geographical area designated by the
78 state ombudsman in which individuals certified as ombudsmen
79 carry out the duties of the state ombudsman program. A district
80 may have more than one local unit of ombudsmen.
81 means a local long-term care ombudsman council designated by the
82 ombudsman pursuant to s. 400.0069. Local councils are also known
83 as district long-term care ombudsman councils or district
85 (5) “Long-term care facility” means a licensed nursing home
86 facility, assisted living facility, adult family-care home,
87 board and care facility, facility in which continuing long-term
88 care is provided, or any other similar licensed residential
89 adult care facility.
90 (6) “Office” means the Office of State Long-Term Care
91 Ombudsman created by s. 400.0063.
92 (7) “Ombudsman” means an individual who has been certified
93 by the state ombudsman as meeting the requirements of ss.
94 400.0069, 400.0070, and 400.0091 the individual appointed by the
95 Secretary of Elderly Affairs to head the Office of State Long
96 Term Care Ombudsman.
97 (8) “Representative of the office” or “representative of
98 the state ombudsman program” means the state ombudsman, an
99 employee of the office, or an individual certified as an
101 (9) (8) “Resident” means an individual 18 60 years of age or
102 older who resides in a long-term care facility.
103 (10) (9) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Elderly Affairs.
104 (11) (10) “State council” means the State Long-Term Care
105 Ombudsman Council created by s. 400.0067.
106 (12) “State ombudsman” means the individual appointed by
107 the Secretary of Elderly Affairs to head the Office of State
108 Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
109 (13) “State ombudsman program” means the program operating
110 under the direction of the office.
111 Section 2. Section 400.0061, Florida Statutes, is amended
112 to read:
113 400.0061 Legislative findings and intent; long-term care
115 (1) The Legislature finds that conditions in long-term care
116 facilities in this state are such that the rights, health,
117 safety, and welfare of residents are not fully ensured by rules
118 of the Department of Elderly Affairs or the Agency for Health
119 Care Administration or by the good faith of owners or operators
120 of long-term care facilities. Furthermore, there is a need for a
121 formal mechanism whereby a long-term care facility resident, a
122 representative of a long-term care facility resident, or any
123 other concerned citizen may make a complaint against the
124 facility or its employees , or against other persons who are in a
125 position to restrict, interfere with, or threaten the rights,
126 health, safety, or welfare of a long-term care facility
127 resident. The Legislature finds that concerned citizens are
128 often more effective advocates for the rights of others than
129 governmental agencies. The Legislature further finds that in
130 order to be eligible to receive an allotment of funds authorized
131 and appropriated under the federal Older Americans Act, the
132 state must establish and operate an Office of State Long-Term
133 Care Ombudsman, to be headed by the state Long-Term Care
134 ombudsman, and carry out a state long-term care ombudsman
136 (2) It is the intent of the Legislature, therefore, to use
137 utilize voluntary citizen ombudsmen ombudsman councils under the
138 leadership of the state ombudsman , and, through them, to operate
139 a state an ombudsman program, which shall, without interference
140 by any executive agency, undertake to discover, investigate, and
141 determine the presence of conditions or individuals who which
142 constitute a threat to the rights, health, safety, or welfare of
143 the residents of long-term care facilities. To ensure that the
144 effectiveness and efficiency of such investigations are not
145 impeded by advance notice or delay, the Legislature intends that
146 representatives of the office ombudsman and ombudsman councils
147 and their designated representatives not be required to obtain
148 warrants in order to enter into or conduct investigations or
149 onsite administrative assessments of long-term care facilities.
150 It is the further intent of the Legislature that the environment
151 in long-term care facilities be conducive to the dignity and
152 independence of residents and that investigations by
153 representatives of the office ombudsman councils shall further
154 the enforcement of laws, rules, and regulations that safeguard
155 the health, safety, and welfare of residents.
156 Section 3. Section 400.0063, Florida Statutes, is amended
157 to read:
158 400.0063 Establishment of Office of State Long-Term Care
159 Ombudsman; designation of ombudsman and legal advocate.—
160 (1) There is created an Office of State Long-Term Care
161 Ombudsman in the Department of Elderly Affairs.
162 (2)(a) The Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman shall
163 be headed by the state Long-Term Care ombudsman, who shall serve
164 on a full-time basis and shall personally, or through
165 representatives of the office, carry out the purposes and
166 functions of the state ombudsman program office in accordance
167 with state and federal law.
168 (b) The state ombudsman shall be appointed by and shall
169 serve at the pleasure of the Secretary of Elderly Affairs. The
170 secretary shall appoint a person who has expertise and
171 experience in the fields of long-term care and advocacy to serve
172 as state ombudsman.
173 (3)(a) There is created in the office the position of legal
174 advocate, who shall be selected by and serve at the pleasure of
175 the state ombudsman and shall be a member in good standing of
176 The Florida Bar.
177 (b) The duties of the legal advocate shall include, but not
178 be limited to:
179 1. Assisting the state ombudsman in carrying out the duties
180 of the office with respect to the abuse, neglect, exploitation,
181 or violation of rights of residents of long-term care
183 2. Assisting the state council and representatives of the
184 office local councils in carrying out their responsibilities
185 under this part.
186 3. Pursuing administrative, legal, and other appropriate
187 remedies on behalf of residents.
188 4. Serving as legal counsel to the state council and
189 representatives of the office local councils, or individual
190 members thereof, against whom any suit or other legal action
191 that is initiated in connection with the performance of the
192 official duties of the state ombudsman program councils or an
193 individual member.
194 Section 4. Section 400.0065, Florida Statutes, is amended
195 to read:
196 400.0065 Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman; duties
197 and responsibilities.—
198 (1) The purpose of the Office of State Long-Term Care
199 Ombudsman is shall be to:
200 (a) Identify, investigate, and resolve complaints made by
201 or on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities relating
202 to actions or omissions by providers or representatives of
203 providers of long-term care services, other public or private
204 agencies, guardians, or representative payees that may adversely
205 affect the health, safety, welfare, or rights of the residents.
206 (b) Provide services that assist in protecting the health,
207 safety, welfare, and rights of residents.
208 (c) Inform residents, their representatives, and other
209 citizens about obtaining the services of the state Long-Term
210 Care ombudsman program and its representatives.
211 (d) Ensure that residents have regular and timely access to
212 the services provided through the office and that residents and
213 complainants receive timely responses from representatives of
214 the office to their complaints.
215 (e) Represent the interests of residents before
216 governmental agencies and seek administrative, legal, and other
217 remedies to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of
218 the residents.
219 (f) Administer the state council and local councils.
220 (g) Analyze, comment on, and monitor the development and
221 implementation of federal, state, and local laws, rules, and
222 regulations , and other governmental policies and actions , that
223 pertain to the health, safety, welfare, and rights of the
224 residents, with respect to the adequacy of long-term care
225 facilities and services in the state , and recommend any changes
226 in such laws, rules, regulations, policies, and actions as the
227 office determines to be appropriate and necessary.
228 (h) Provide technical support for the development of
229 resident and family councils to protect the well-being and
230 rights of residents.
231 (2) The state Long-Term Care ombudsman has shall have the
232 duty and authority to:
233 (a) Establish and coordinate districts local councils
234 throughout the state.
235 (b) Perform the duties specified in state and federal law,
236 rules, and regulations.
237 (c) Within the limits of appropriated federal and state
238 funding, employ such personnel as are necessary to perform
239 adequately the functions of the office and provide or contract
240 for legal services to assist the state council and
241 representatives of the office local councils in the performance
242 of their duties. Staff positions established for the purpose of
243 coordinating the activities of each local council and assisting
244 its members may be filled by the ombudsman after approval by the
245 secretary. Notwithstanding any other provision of this part,
246 upon certification by the ombudsman that the staff member hired
247 to fill any such position has completed the initial training
248 required under s. 400.0091, such person shall be considered a
249 representative of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program for
250 purposes of this part.
251 (d) Contract for services necessary to carry out the
252 activities of the office.
253 (e) Apply for, receive, and accept grants, gifts, or other
254 payments, including, but not limited to, real property, personal
255 property, and services from a governmental entity or other
256 public or private entity or person, and make arrangements for
257 the use of such grants, gifts, or payments.
258 (f) Coordinate, to the greatest extent possible, state and
259 local ombudsman services with the protection and advocacy
260 systems for individuals with developmental disabilities and
261 mental illnesses and with legal assistance programs for the poor
262 through adoption of memoranda of understanding and other means.
263 (g) Enter into a cooperative agreement with the Statewide
264 Advocacy Council for the purpose of coordinating and avoiding
265 duplication of advocacy services provided to residents.
266 (g) (h) Enter into a cooperative agreement with the Medicaid
267 Fraud Division as prescribed under s. 731(e)(2)(B) of the Older
268 Americans Act.
269 (h) (i) Prepare an annual report describing the activities
270 carried out by the office, the state council, and the districts
271 local councils in the year for which the report is prepared. The
272 state ombudsman shall submit the report to the secretary, the
273 United States Assistant Secretary for Aging, the Governor, the
274 President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
275 Representatives, the Secretary of Children and Families, and the
276 Secretary of Health Care Administration at least 30 days before
277 the convening of the regular session of the Legislature. The
278 secretary shall in turn submit the report to the United States
279 Assistant Secretary for Aging, the Governor, the President of
280 the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the
281 Secretary of Children and Families, and the Secretary of Health
282 Care Administration. The report must shall, at a minimum:
283 1. Contain and analyze data collected concerning complaints
284 about and conditions in long-term care facilities and the
285 disposition of such complaints.
286 2. Evaluate the problems experienced by residents.
287 3. Analyze the successes of the state ombudsman program
288 during the preceding year, including an assessment of how
289 successfully the office program has carried out its
290 responsibilities under the Older Americans Act.
291 4. Provide recommendations for policy, regulatory, and
292 statutory changes designed to solve identified problems; resolve
293 residents’ complaints; improve residents’ lives and quality of
294 care; protect residents’ rights, health, safety, and welfare;
295 and remove any barriers to the optimal operation of the state
296 Long-Term Care ombudsman program.
297 5. Contain recommendations from the state Long-Term Care
298 Ombudsman council regarding program functions and activities and
299 recommendations for policy, regulatory, and statutory changes
300 designed to protect residents’ rights, health, safety, and
302 6. Contain any relevant recommendations from
303 representatives of the office local councils regarding program
304 functions and activities.
305 Section 5. Section 400.0067, Florida Statutes, is amended
306 to read:
307 400.0067 State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Council; duties;
309 (1) There is created, within the Office of State Long-Term
310 Care Ombudsman, the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Council.
311 (2) The state Long-Term Care Ombudsman council shall:
312 (a) Serve as an advisory body to assist the state ombudsman
313 in reaching a consensus among districts local councils on issues
314 affecting residents and impacting the optimal operation of the
316 (b) Serve as an appellate body in receiving from the local
317 councils complaints not resolved at the local level. Any
318 individual member or members of the state council may enter any
319 long-term care facility involved in an appeal, pursuant to the
320 conditions specified in s. 400.0074(2).
321 (b) (c) Assist the state ombudsman to discover, investigate,
322 and determine the existence of abuse or neglect in any long-term
323 care facility, and work with the adult protective services
324 program as required in ss. 415.101-415.113.
325 (c) (d) Assist the state ombudsman in eliciting, receiving,
326 responding to, and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of
328 (d) (e) Elicit and coordinate state, district local, and
329 voluntary organizational assistance for the purpose of improving
330 the care received by residents.
331 (e) (f) Assist the state ombudsman in preparing the annual
332 report described in s. 400.0065.
333 (3) The state Long-Term Care Ombudsman council shall be
334 composed of one active certified ombudsman from each local unit
335 within a district local council member elected by each local
336 council plus three at-large members appointed by the secretary
338 (a) Each local unit in a district must select council shall
339 elect by majority vote a representative of its choice to serve
340 from among the council members to represent the interests of the
341 local council on the state council. A local council chair may
342 not serve as the representative of the local council on the
343 state council.
344 (b)1. The state ombudsman secretary, after consulting with
345 the ombudsman, shall submit to the secretary Governor a list of
346 individuals persons recommended for appointment to the at-large
347 positions on the state council. The list may shall not include
348 the name of any individual person who is currently serving in a
349 district on a local council.
350 2. The secretary Governor shall appoint three at-large
351 members chosen from the list.
352 3. If the secretary Governor does not appoint an at-large
353 member to fill a vacant position within 60 days after the list
354 is submitted, the state secretary, after consulting with the
355 ombudsman , shall appoint an at-large member to fill that vacant
357 (4)(a) (c)1. All State council members shall serve 3-year
359 2. A member of the state council may not serve more than
360 two consecutive terms.
361 3. A local council may recommend removal of its elected
362 representative from the state council by a majority vote. If the
363 council votes to remove its representative, the local council
364 chair shall immediately notify the ombudsman. The secretary
365 shall advise the Governor of the local council’s vote upon
366 receiving notice from the ombudsman.
367 (b) 4. The position of any member missing three state
368 council meetings within a 1-year period without cause may be
369 declared vacant by the state ombudsman. The findings of the
370 state ombudsman regarding cause shall be final and binding.
371 (c) 5. Any vacancy on the state council shall be filled in
372 the same manner as the original appointment.
373 (d)1. The state council shall elect a chair to serve for a
374 term of 1 year. A chair may not serve more than two consecutive
376 2. The chair shall select a vice chair from among the
377 members. The vice chair shall preside over the state council in
378 the absence of the chair.
379 3. The chair may create additional executive positions as
380 necessary to carry out the duties of the state council. Any
381 person appointed to an executive position shall serve at the
382 pleasure of the chair, and his or her term shall expire on the
383 same day as the term of the chair.
384 4. A chair may be immediately removed from office before
385 prior to the expiration of his or her term by a vote of two
386 thirds of all state council members present at any meeting at
387 which a quorum is present. If a chair is removed from office
388 before prior to the expiration of his or her term, a replacement
389 chair shall be chosen during the same meeting in the same manner
390 as described in this paragraph, and the term of the replacement
391 chair shall begin immediately. The replacement chair shall serve
392 for the remainder of the term and is eligible to serve two
393 subsequent consecutive terms.
394 (e)1. The state council shall meet upon the call of the
395 chair or upon the call of the state ombudsman. The state council
396 shall meet at least quarterly but may meet more frequently as
398 2. A quorum shall be considered present if more than 50
399 percent of all active state council members are in attendance at
400 the same meeting.
401 3. The state council may not vote on or otherwise make any
402 decisions resulting in a recommendation that will directly
403 impact the state council or any local council, outside of a
404 publicly noticed meeting at which a quorum is present.
405 (f) Members may not shall receive no compensation but
406 shall, with approval from the state ombudsman, be reimbursed for
407 per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
408 Section 6. Section 400.0069, Florida Statutes, is amended
409 to read:
410 400.0069 Local Long-term care ombudsman districts councils;
411 duties; appointment membership.—
412 (1)(a) The state ombudsman shall designate districts local
413 long-term care ombudsman councils to carry out the duties of the
414 state Long-Term Care ombudsman program within local communities.
415 Each district local council shall function under the direction
416 of the state ombudsman.
417 (b) The state ombudsman shall ensure that there are
418 representatives of the office is at least one local council
419 operating in each district of the department’s planning and
420 service areas. The ombudsman may create additional local
421 councils as necessary to ensure that residents throughout the
422 state have adequate access to state Long-Term Care ombudsman
423 program services. The ombudsman, after approval from the
424 secretary, shall designate the jurisdictional boundaries of each
425 local council.
426 (c) Each district must convene a public meeting every
428 (2) The duties of the representatives of the office in the
429 districts local councils are to:
430 (a) Provide services to assist in Serve as a third-party
431 mechanism for protecting the health, safety, welfare, and civil
432 and human rights of residents.
433 (b) Discover, investigate, and determine the existence of
434 abuse, or neglect, or exploitation using in any long-term care
435 facility and to use the procedures provided for in ss. 415.101
436 415.113 when applicable.
437 (c) Identify Elicit, receive, investigate, respond to, and
438 resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents relating to
439 actions or omissions by providers or representatives of
440 providers of long-term care services, other public agencies,
441 guardians, or representative payees which may adversely affect
442 the health, safety, welfare, or rights of residents.
443 (d) Review and, if necessary, comment on all existing or
444 proposed rules, regulations, and other governmental policies and
445 actions relating to long-term care facilities that may
446 potentially have an effect on the rights, health, safety,
447 welfare, and rights welfare of residents.
448 (e) Review personal property and money accounts of
449 residents who are receiving assistance under the Medicaid
450 program pursuant to an investigation to obtain information
451 regarding a specific complaint or problem.
452 (f) Recommend that the state ombudsman and the legal
453 advocate seek administrative, legal, and other remedies to
454 protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of the
456 (g) Provide technical assistance for the development of
457 resident and family councils within long-term care facilities.
458 (h) (g) Carry out other activities that the state ombudsman
459 determines to be appropriate.
460 (3) In order to carry out the duties specified in
461 subsection (2), a representative of the office may member of a
462 local council is authorized to enter any long-term care facility
463 without notice or without first obtaining a warrant; however,
464 subject to the provisions of s. 400.0074(2) may apply regarding
465 notice of a followup administrative assessment.
466 (4) Each district local council shall be composed of
467 ombudsmen members whose primary residences are residence is
468 located within the boundaries of the district local council’s
470 (a) Upon good cause shown, the state ombudsman may appoint
471 an ombudsman to another district. The ombudsman shall strive to
472 ensure that each local council include the following persons as
474 1. At least one medical or osteopathic physician whose
475 practice includes or has included a substantial number of
476 geriatric patients and who may practice in a long-term care
478 2. At least one registered nurse who has geriatric
480 3. At least one licensed pharmacist;
481 4. At least one registered dietitian;
482 5. At least six nursing home residents or representative
483 consumer advocates for nursing home residents;
484 6. At least three residents of assisted living facilities
485 or adult family-care homes or three representative consumer
486 advocates for alternative long-term care facility residents;
487 7. At least one attorney; and
488 8. At least one professional social worker.
489 (b) The following individuals may not be appointed as
491 1. The owner or representative of a long-term care
493 2. A provider or representative of a provider of long-term
494 care service.
495 3. An employee of the agency.
496 4. An employee of the department, except for a
497 representative of the office.
498 5. An employee of the Department of Children and Families.
499 6. An employee of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities
500 In no case shall the medical director of a long-term care
501 facility or an employee of the agency, the department, the
502 Department of Children and Families, or the Agency for Persons
503 with Disabilities serve as a member or as an ex officio member
504 of a council.
505 (5)(a) To be appointed as an ombudsman, an individual must:
506 1. Individuals wishing to join a local council shall Submit
507 an application to the state ombudsman or his or her designee.
508 2. Successfully complete level 2 background screening
509 pursuant to s. 430.0402 and chapter 435 The ombudsman shall
510 review the individual’s application and advise the secretary of
511 his or her recommendation for approval or disapproval of the
512 candidate’s membership on the local council. If the secretary
513 approves of the individual’s membership, the individual shall be
514 appointed as a member of the local council.
515 (b) The state ombudsman shall approve or deny the
516 appointment of the individual as an ombudsman The secretary may
517 rescind the ombudsman’s approval of a member on a local council
518 at any time. If the secretary rescinds the approval of a member
519 on a local council, the ombudsman shall ensure that the
520 individual is immediately removed from the local council on
521 which he or she serves and the individual may no longer
522 represent the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program until the
523 secretary provides his or her approval.
524 (c) Upon appointment as an ombudsman, the individual may
525 participate in district activities but may not represent the
526 office or conduct any authorized program duties until the
527 individual has completed the initial training specified in s.
528 400.0091(1) and has been certified by the state ombudsman.
529 (d) The state ombudsman, for good cause shown, such as
530 development of a conflict of interest, failure to adhere to the
531 policies and procedures established by the office, or
532 demonstrated inability to carry out the responsibilities of the
533 office, may rescind the appointment of an individual as an
534 ombudsman. After the appointment is rescinded, the individual
535 may not conduct any duties as an ombudsman and may not represent
536 the office or the state ombudsman program A local council may
537 recommend the removal of one or more of its members by
538 submitting to the ombudsman a resolution adopted by a two-thirds
539 vote of the members of the council stating the name of the
540 member or members recommended for removal and the reasons for
541 the recommendation. If such a recommendation is adopted by a
542 local council, the local council chair or district coordinator
543 shall immediately report the council’s recommendation to the
544 ombudsman. The ombudsman shall review the recommendation of the
545 local council and advise the secretary of his or her
546 recommendation regarding removal of the council member or
548 (6)(a) Each local council shall elect a chair for a term of
549 1 year. There shall be no limitation on the number of terms that
550 an approved member of a local council may serve as chair.
551 (b) The chair shall select a vice chair from among the
552 members of the council. The vice chair shall preside over the
553 council in the absence of the chair.
554 (c) The chair may create additional executive positions as
555 necessary to carry out the duties of the local council. Any
556 person appointed to an executive position shall serve at the
557 pleasure of the chair, and his or her term shall expire on the
558 same day as the term of the chair.
559 (d) A chair may be immediately removed from office prior to
560 the expiration of his or her term by a vote of two-thirds of the
561 members of the local council. If any chair is removed from
562 office prior to the expiration of his or her term, a replacement
563 chair shall be elected during the same meeting, and the term of
564 the replacement chair shall begin immediately. The replacement
565 chair shall serve for the remainder of the term of the person he
566 or she replaced.
567 (7) Each local council shall meet upon the call of its
568 chair or upon the call of the ombudsman. Each local council
569 shall meet at least once a month but may meet more frequently if
571 (6) (8) An ombudsman may not A member of a local council
572 shall receive no compensation but shall, with approval from the
573 state ombudsman, be reimbursed for travel expenses both within
574 and outside the jurisdiction of the local council in accordance
575 with the provisions of s. 112.061.
576 (7) (9) A representative of the office may The local
577 councils are authorized to call upon appropriate state agencies
578 of state government for such professional assistance as may be
579 needed in the discharge of his or her their duties, and such .
580 All state agencies shall cooperate with the local councils in
581 providing requested information and agency representation at
582 council meetings.
583 Section 7. Section 400.0070, Florida Statutes, is amended
584 to read:
585 400.0070 Conflicts of interest.—
586 (1) A representative of the office may The ombudsman shall
588 (a) Have a direct involvement in the licensing or
589 certification of, or an ownership or investment interest in, a
590 long-term care facility or a provider of a long-term care
592 (b) Be employed by, or participate in the management of, a
593 long-term care facility.
594 (c) Receive, or have a right to receive, directly or
595 indirectly, remuneration, in cash or in kind, under a
596 compensation agreement with the owner or operator of a long-term
597 care facility.
598 (2) Each representative employee of the office , each state
599 council member, and each local council member shall certify that
600 he or she does not have any has no conflict of interest.
601 (3) The department, in consultation with the state
602 ombudsman, shall define by rule:
603 (a) Situations that constitute an individual a person
604 having a conflict of interest which that could materially affect
605 the objectivity or capacity of the individual a person to serve
606 as a representative on an ombudsman council, or as an employee
607 of the office , while carrying out the purposes of the State
608 Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program as specified in this part.
609 (b) The procedure by which an individual a person listed in
610 subsection (2) shall certify that he or she does not have a has
611 no conflict of interest.
612 Section 8. Section 400.0071, Florida Statutes, is amended
613 to read:
614 400.0071 State Long-Term Care ombudsman program complaint
615 procedures.—The department, in consultation with the state
616 ombudsman, shall adopt rules implementing state and local
617 complaint procedures. The rules must include procedures for
618 receiving, investigating, identifying, and resolving complaints
619 concerning the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents :
620 (1) Receiving complaints against a long-term care facility
621 or an employee of a long-term care facility.
622 (2) Conducting investigations of a long-term care facility
623 or an employee of a long-term care facility subsequent to
624 receiving a complaint.
625 (3) Conducting onsite administrative assessments of long
626 term care facilities.
627 Section 9. Section 400.0073, Florida Statutes, is amended
628 to read:
629 400.0073 Complaint State and local ombudsman council
631 (1) A representative of the office local council shall
632 identify and investigate , within a reasonable time after a
633 complaint is made, any complaint made by or on behalf of a
634 resident , a representative of a resident, or any other credible
635 source based on an action or omission by an administrator, an
636 employee, or a representative of a long-term care facility which
637 might be:
638 (a) Contrary to law;
639 (b) Unreasonable, unfair, oppressive, or unnecessarily
640 discriminatory, even though in accordance with law;
641 (c) Based on a mistake of fact;
642 (d) Based on improper or irrelevant grounds;
643 (e) Unaccompanied by an adequate statement of reasons;
644 (f) Performed in an inefficient manner; or
645 (g) Otherwise adversely affecting the health, safety,
646 welfare, or rights of a resident.
647 (2) In an investigation, both the state and local councils
648 have the authority to hold public hearings.
649 (3) Subsequent to an appeal from a local council, the state
650 council may investigate any complaint received by the local
651 council involving a long-term care facility or a resident.
652 (2) (4) If a representative of the office the ombudsman or
653 any state or local council member is not allowed to enter a
654 long-term care facility, the administrator of the facility shall
655 be considered to have interfered with a representative of the
656 office , the state council, or the local council in the
657 performance of official duties as described in s. 400.0083(1)
658 and to have violated committed a violation of this part. The
659 representative of the office ombudsman shall report a facility’s
660 refusal to allow entry to the facility to the state ombudsman or
661 his or her designee, who shall report the incident to the
662 agency, and the agency shall record the report and take it into
663 consideration when determining actions allowable under s.
664 400.102, s. 400.121, s. 429.14, s. 429.19, s. 429.69, or s.
666 Section 10. Section 400.0074, Florida Statutes, is amended
667 to read:
668 400.0074 Local ombudsman council Onsite administrative
670 (1) A representative of the office In addition to any
671 specific investigation conducted pursuant to a complaint, the
672 local council shall conduct, at least annually, an onsite
673 administrative assessment of each nursing home, assisted living
674 facility, and adult family-care home within its jurisdiction.
675 This administrative assessment must be resident-centered and
676 must shall focus on factors affecting the rights, health,
677 safety, and welfare of the residents. Each local council is
678 encouraged to conduct a similar onsite administrative assessment
679 of each additional long-term care facility within its
681 (2) An onsite administrative assessment is conducted by a
682 local council shall be subject to the following conditions:
683 (a) To the extent possible and reasonable, the
684 administrative assessment may assessments shall not duplicate
685 the efforts of the agency surveys and inspections conducted by
686 state agencies of long-term care facilities under part II of
687 this chapter and parts I and II of chapter 429.
688 (b) An administrative assessment shall be conducted at a
689 time and for a duration necessary to produce the information
690 required to complete the assessment carry out the duties of the
691 local council.
692 (c) Advance notice of an administrative assessment may not
693 be provided to a long-term care facility, except that notice of
694 followup assessments on specific problems may be provided.
695 (d) A representative of the office local council member
696 physically present for the administrative assessment must shall
697 identify himself or herself to the administrator and cite the
698 specific statutory authority for his or her assessment of the
699 facility or his or her designee.
700 (e) An administrative assessment may not unreasonably
701 interfere with the programs and activities of residents.
702 (f) A representative of the office local council member may
703 not enter a single-family residential unit within a long-term
704 care facility during an administrative assessment without the
705 permission of the resident or the representative of the
707 (g) An administrative assessment shall must be conducted in
708 a manner that does not impose an will impose no unreasonable
709 burden on a long-term care facility.
710 (3) Regardless of jurisdiction, the ombudsman may authorize
711 a state or local council member to assist another local council
712 to perform the administrative assessments described in this
714 (4) An onsite administrative assessment may not be
715 accomplished by forcible entry. However, if a representative of
716 the office ombudsman or a state or local council member is not
717 allowed to enter a long-term care facility, the administrator of
718 the facility shall be considered to have interfered with a
719 representative of the office , the state council, or the local
720 council in the performance of official duties as described in s.
721 400.0083(1) and to have committed a violation of this part. The
722 representative of the office ombudsman shall report the refusal
723 by a facility to allow entry to the state ombudsman or his or
724 her designee, who shall then report the incident to the agency,
725 and the agency shall record the report and take it into
726 consideration when determining actions allowable under s.
727 400.102, s. 400.121, s. 429.14, s. 429.19, s. 429.69, or s.
729 (4) The department, in consultation with the state
730 ombudsman, may adopt rules implementing procedures for
731 conducting onsite administrative assessments of long-term care
733 Section 11. Section 400.0075, Florida Statutes, is amended
734 to read:
735 400.0075 Complaint notification and resolution procedures.—
736 (1)(a) Any complaint or problem verified by a
737 representative of the office an ombudsman council as a result of
738 an investigation may or onsite administrative assessment, which
739 complaint or problem is determined to require remedial action by
740 the local council, shall be identified and brought to the
741 attention of the long-term care facility administrator, subject
742 to the confidentiality provisions of s. 400.0077 in writing.
743 Upon receipt of the information such document, the
744 administrator, with the concurrence of the representative of the
745 office local council chair, shall establish target dates for
746 taking appropriate remedial action. If, by the target date, the
747 remedial action is not completed or forthcoming, the
748 representative may extend the target date if there is reason to
749 believe such action would facilitate the resolution of the
750 complaint, or the representative may refer the complaint to the
751 district office local council chair may, after obtaining
752 approval from the ombudsman and a majority of the members of the
753 local council:
754 1. Extend the target date if the chair has reason to
755 believe such action would facilitate the resolution of the
757 2. In accordance with s. 400.0077, publicize the complaint,
758 the recommendations of the council, and the response of the
759 long-term care facility.
760 3. Refer the complaint to the state council.
761 (b) If an ombudsman determines the local council chair
762 believes that the health, safety, welfare, or rights of a the
763 resident are in imminent danger, the ombudsman must immediately
764 notify the district office. The district office chair shall
765 notify the ombudsman or legal advocate, who, after verifying
766 that such imminent danger exists, must notify the appropriate
767 state agencies, including law enforcement agencies, the state
768 ombudsman, and the legal advocate, to ensure the protection of
769 shall seek immediate legal or administrative remedies to protect
770 the resident.
771 (c) If the state ombudsman or legal advocate has reason to
772 believe that the long-term care facility or an employee of the
773 facility has committed a criminal act, the state ombudsman or
774 legal advocate shall provide the local law enforcement agency
775 with the relevant information to initiate an investigation of
776 the case.
777 (2) (a) Upon referral from a district local council, the
778 state ombudsman or his or her designee council shall assume the
779 responsibility for the disposition of the complaint. If a long
780 term care facility fails to take action to resolve or remedy the
781 on a complaint by the state council, the state ombudsman council
782 may , after obtaining approval from the ombudsman and a majority
783 of the state council members:
784 (a) 1. In accordance with s. 400.0077, publicize the
785 complaint, the recommendations of the representatives of the
786 office local or state council, and the response of the long-term
787 care facility.
788 (b) 2. Recommend to the department and the agency a series
789 of facility reviews pursuant to s. 400.19, s. 429.34, or s.
790 429.67 to ensure correction and nonrecurrence of the conditions
791 that gave give rise to the complaint complaints against the a
792 long-term care facility.
793 (c) 3. Recommend to the department and the agency that the
794 long-term care facility no longer receive payments under any
795 state assistance program, including Medicaid.
796 (d) 4. Recommend to the department and the agency that
797 procedures be initiated for action against revocation of the
798 long-term care facility’s license in accordance with chapter
800 (b) If the state council chair believes that the health,
801 safety, welfare, or rights of the resident are in imminent
802 danger, the chair shall notify the ombudsman or legal advocate,
803 who, after verifying that such imminent danger exists, shall
804 seek immediate legal or administrative remedies to protect the
806 (3) (c) If the state ombudsman, after consultation with the
807 legal advocate, has reason to believe that the long-term care
808 facility or an employee of the facility has committed a criminal
809 act, the office ombudsman shall provide the local law
810 enforcement agency with the relevant information to initiate an
811 investigation of the case.
812 Section 12. Section 400.0078, Florida Statutes, is amended
813 to read:
814 400.0078 Citizen access to state Long-Term Care ombudsman
815 program services.—
816 (1) The office shall establish a statewide toll-free
817 telephone number and e-mail address for receiving complaints
818 concerning matters adversely affecting the health, safety,
819 welfare, or rights of residents.
820 (2) Every resident or representative of a resident shall
821 receive, Upon admission to a long-term care facility, each
822 resident or representative of a resident must receive
823 information regarding:
824 (a) The purpose of the state Long-Term Care ombudsman
825 program. ,
826 (b) The statewide toll-free telephone number and e-mail
827 address for receiving complaints. , and
828 (c) Information that retaliatory action cannot be taken
829 against a resident for presenting grievances or for exercising
830 any other resident rights.
831 (d) Other relevant information regarding how to contact
832 representatives of the office program.
834 Residents or their representatives must be furnished additional
835 copies of this information upon request.
836 Section 13. Section 400.0079, Florida Statutes, is amended
837 to read:
838 400.0079 Immunity.—
839 (1) Any person making a complaint pursuant to this part who
840 does so in good faith shall be immune from any liability, civil
841 or criminal, that otherwise might be incurred or imposed as a
842 direct or indirect result of making the complaint.
843 (2) Representatives of the office and The ombudsman or any
844 person authorized by the ombudsman to act on behalf of the
845 office, as well as all members of the state council are and
846 local councils, shall be immune from any liability, civil or
847 criminal, that otherwise might be incurred or imposed during the
848 good faith performance of official duties.
849 Section 14. Section 400.0081, Florida Statutes, is amended
850 to read:
851 400.0081 Access to facilities, residents, and records.—
852 (1) A long-term care facility shall provide representatives
853 of the office with , the state council and its members, and the
854 local councils and their members access to:
855 (a) Access to Any portion of the long-term care facility
856 and residents any resident as necessary to investigate or
857 resolve a complaint.
858 (b) Appropriate access to medical and social records of a
859 resident for review as necessary to investigate or resolve a
860 complaint, if:
861 1. The representative of the office has the permission of
862 the resident or the legal representative of the resident; or
863 2. The resident is unable to consent to the review and does
864 not have a has no legal representative.
865 (c) Access to medical and social records of a the resident
866 as necessary to investigate or resolve a complaint, if:
867 1. A legal representative or guardian of the resident
868 refuses to give permission;
869 2. A representative of the office has reasonable cause to
870 believe that the legal representative or guardian is not acting
871 in the best interests of the resident; and
872 3. The representative of the office state or local council
873 member obtains the approval of the state ombudsman.
874 (d) Access to the administrative records, policies, and
875 documents to which residents or the general public has have
877 (e) Upon request, copies of all licensing and certification
878 records maintained by the state with respect to a long-term care
880 (2) The department, in consultation with the state
881 ombudsman and the state council, may adopt rules to establish
882 procedures to ensure access to facilities, residents, and
883 records as described in this section.
884 Section 15. Section 400.0083, Florida Statutes, is amended
885 to read:
886 400.0083 Interference; retaliation; penalties.—
887 (1) A It shall be unlawful for any person, long-term care
888 facility, or other entity may not to willfully interfere with a
889 representative of the office or , the state council , or a local
890 council in the performance of official duties.
891 (2) A It shall be unlawful for any person, long-term care
892 facility, or other entity may not to knowingly or willfully take
893 action or retaliate against any resident, employee, or other
894 person for filing a complaint with, providing information to, or
895 otherwise cooperating with any representative of the office or ,
896 the state council , or a local council.
897 (3) A Any person, long-term care facility, or other entity
898 that violates this section:
899 (a) Is Shall be liable for damages and equitable relief as
900 determined by law.
901 (b) Commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable
902 as provided in s. 775.083.
903 Section 16. Section 400.0087, Florida Statutes, is amended
904 to read:
905 400.0087 Department oversight; funding.—
906 (1) The department shall meet the costs associated with the
907 state Long-Term Care ombudsman program from funds appropriated
908 to it.
909 (a) The department shall include the costs associated with
910 support of the state Long-Term Care ombudsman program when
911 developing its budget requests for consideration by the Governor
912 and submittal to the Legislature.
913 (b) The department may divert from the federal ombudsman
914 appropriation an amount equal to the department’s administrative
915 cost ratio to cover the costs associated with administering the
916 state ombudsman program. The remaining allotment from the Older
917 Americans Act program shall be expended on direct ombudsman
919 (2) The department shall monitor the office and , the state
920 council , and the local councils to ensure that each is carrying
921 out the duties delegated to it by state and federal law.
922 (3) The department is responsible for ensuring that the
924 (a) Has the objectivity and independence required to
925 qualify it for funding under the federal Older Americans Act.
926 (b) Provides information to public and private agencies,
927 legislators, and others, subject to the confidentiality
928 provisions of s. 400.0077.
929 (c) Provides appropriate training to representatives of the
930 office or of the state or local councils.
931 (d) Coordinates ombudsman services with Disability Rights
932 Florida the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities and
933 with providers of legal services to residents of long-term care
934 facilities in compliance with state and federal laws.
935 (4) The department shall also:
936 (a) Receive and disburse state and federal funds for
937 purposes that the state ombudsman has formulated in accordance
938 with the Older Americans Act.
939 (b) Whenever necessary, act as liaison between agencies and
940 branches of the federal and state governments and the office
941 State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
942 Section 17. Section 400.0089, Florida Statutes, is amended
943 to read:
944 400.0089 Complaint data reports.—The office shall maintain
945 a statewide uniform reporting system to collect and analyze data
946 relating to complaints and conditions in long-term care
947 facilities and to residents for the purpose of identifying and
948 resolving complaints significant problems. The office shall
949 publish quarterly and make readily available information
950 pertaining to the number and types of complaints received by the
951 state Long-Term Care ombudsman program and shall include such
952 information in the annual report required under s. 400.0065.
953 Section 18. Section 400.0091, Florida Statutes, is amended
954 to read:
955 400.0091 Training.—The state ombudsman shall ensure that
956 appropriate training is provided to all representatives
957 employees of the office and to the members of the state and
958 local councils.
959 (1) All representatives state and local council members and
960 employees of the office shall be given a minimum of 20 hours of
961 training upon employment with the office or appointment as an
962 ombudsman. Ten approval as a state or local council member and
963 10 hours of continuing education is required annually
965 (2) The state ombudsman shall approve the curriculum for
966 the initial and continuing education training, which must, at a
967 minimum, address:
968 (a) Resident confidentiality.
969 (b) Guardianships and powers of attorney.
970 (c) Medication administration.
971 (d) Care and medication of residents with dementia and
972 Alzheimer’s disease.
973 (e) Accounting for residents’ funds.
974 (f) Discharge rights and responsibilities.
975 (g) Cultural sensitivity.
976 (h) Any other topic related to residency within a long-term
977 care facility recommended by the secretary.
978 (3) An individual No employee, officer, or representative
979 of the office or of the state or local councils, other than the
980 state ombudsman, may not hold himself or herself out as a
981 representative of the office State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
982 Program or conduct any authorized program duty described in this
983 part unless the individual person has received the training
984 required by this section and has been certified by the state
985 ombudsman as qualified to carry out ombudsman activities on
986 behalf of the office or the state or local councils.
987 Section 19. Subsection (4) of section 20.41, Florida
988 Statutes, is amended to read:
989 20.41 Department of Elderly Affairs.—There is created a
990 Department of Elderly Affairs.
991 (4) The department shall administer the Office of State
992 Long-Term Care Ombudsman Council, created by s. 400.0063 s.
993 400.0067, and the local long-term care ombudsman councils,
994 created by s. 400.0069 and shall, as required by s. 712 of the
995 federal Older Americans Act of 1965, ensure that both the state
996 office operates and local long-term care ombudsman councils
997 operate in compliance with the Older Americans Act.
998 Section 20. Present subsections (11) through (14) of
999 section 400.021, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections
1000 (10) through (13), respectively, present subsections (10) and
1001 (18) are amended, and a new subsection (14) is added to that
1002 section, to read:
1003 400.021 Definitions.—When used in this part, unless the
1004 context otherwise requires, the term:
1005 (10) “Local ombudsman council” means a local long-term care
1006 ombudsman council established pursuant to s. 400.0069, located
1007 within the Older Americans Act planning and service areas.
1008 (14) “Representative of the state ombudsman program” has
1009 the same meaning as provided in s. 400.0060.
1010 (18) “State ombudsman program council” has the same meaning
1011 as provided in s. 400.0060 means the State Long-Term Care
1012 Ombudsman Council established pursuant to s. 400.0067.
1013 Section 21. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) and subsections
1014 (2) and (3) of section 400.022, Florida Statutes, are amended to
1016 400.022 Residents’ rights.—
1017 (1) All licensees of nursing home facilities shall adopt
1018 and make public a statement of the rights and responsibilities
1019 of the residents of such facilities and shall treat such
1020 residents in accordance with the provisions of that statement.
1021 The statement shall assure each resident the following:
1022 (c) Any entity or individual that provides health, social,
1023 legal, or other services to a resident has the right to have
1024 reasonable access to the resident. The resident has the right to
1025 deny or withdraw consent to access at any time by any entity or
1026 individual. Notwithstanding the visiting policy of the facility,
1027 the following individuals must be permitted immediate access to
1028 the resident:
1029 1. Any representative of the federal or state government,
1030 including, but not limited to, representatives of the Department
1031 of Children and Families, the Department of Health, the Agency
1032 for Health Care Administration, the Office of the Attorney
1033 General, and the Department of Elderly Affairs; any law
1034 enforcement officer; any representative members of the state or
1035 local ombudsman program council; and the resident’s individual
1037 2. Subject to the resident’s right to deny or withdraw
1038 consent, immediate family or other relatives of the resident.
1040 The facility must allow representatives of the office state
1041 Long-Term Care ombudsman Council to examine a resident’s
1042 clinical records with the permission of the resident or the
1043 resident’s legal representative and consistent with state law.
1044 (2) The licensee for each nursing home shall orally inform
1045 the resident of the resident’s rights and provide a copy of the
1046 statement required by subsection (1) to each resident or the
1047 resident’s legal representative at or before the resident’s
1048 admission to a facility. The licensee shall provide a copy of
1049 the resident’s rights to each staff member of the facility. Each
1050 such licensee shall prepare a written plan and provide
1051 appropriate staff training to implement the provisions of this
1052 section. The written statement of rights must include a
1053 statement that a resident may file a complaint with the agency
1054 or state local ombudsman program council. The statement must be
1055 in boldfaced type and shall include the name, address, and
1056 telephone number and e-mail address of the state numbers of the
1057 local ombudsman program council and the telephone number of the
1058 central abuse hotline where complaints may be lodged.
1059 (3) Any violation of the resident’s rights set forth in
1060 this section constitutes shall constitute grounds for action by
1061 the agency under the provisions of s. 400.102, s. 400.121, or
1062 part II of chapter 408. In order to determine whether the
1063 licensee is adequately protecting residents’ rights, the
1064 licensure inspection of the facility must shall include private
1065 informal conversations with a sample of residents to discuss
1066 residents’ experiences within the facility with respect to
1067 rights specified in this section and general compliance with
1068 standards , and consultation with a representative of the state
1069 ombudsman program council in the local planning and service area
1070 of the Department of Elderly Affairs in which the nursing home
1071 is located.
1072 Section 22. Subsections (8), (9), and (11) through (14) of
1073 section 400.0255, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1074 400.0255 Resident transfer or discharge; requirements and
1075 procedures; hearings.—
1076 (8) The notice required by subsection (7) must be in
1077 writing and must contain all information required by state and
1078 federal law, rules, or regulations applicable to Medicaid or
1079 Medicare cases. The agency shall develop a standard document to
1080 be used by all facilities licensed under this part for purposes
1081 of notifying residents of a discharge or transfer. Such document
1082 must include a means for a resident to request the state local
1083 long-term care ombudsman program council to review the notice
1084 and request information about or assistance with initiating a
1085 fair hearing with the department’s Office of Appeals Hearings.
1086 In addition to any other pertinent information included, the
1087 form shall specify the reason allowed under federal or state law
1088 that the resident is being discharged or transferred, with an
1089 explanation to support this action. Further, the form must shall
1090 state the effective date of the discharge or transfer and the
1091 location to which the resident is being discharged or
1092 transferred. The form must shall clearly describe the resident’s
1093 appeal rights and the procedures for filing an appeal, including
1094 the right to request the state local ombudsman program council
1095 to review the notice of discharge or transfer. A copy of the
1096 notice must be placed in the resident’s clinical record, and a
1097 copy must be transmitted to the resident’s legal guardian or
1098 representative and to the office local ombudsman council within
1099 5 business days after signature by the resident or resident
1101 (9) A resident may request that the state local ombudsman
1102 program council review any notice of discharge or transfer given
1103 to the resident. When requested by a resident to review a notice
1104 of discharge or transfer, the state local ombudsman program
1105 council shall do so within 7 days after receipt of the request.
1106 The nursing home administrator, or the administrator’s designee,
1107 must forward the request for review contained in the notice to
1108 the state local ombudsman program council within 24 hours after
1109 such request is submitted. Failure to forward the request within
1110 24 hours after the request is submitted shall toll the running
1111 of the 30-day advance notice period until the request has been
1113 (11) Notwithstanding paragraph (10)(b), an emergency
1114 discharge or transfer may be implemented as necessary pursuant
1115 to state or federal law during the period of time after the
1116 notice is given and before the time a hearing decision is
1117 rendered. Notice of an emergency discharge or transfer to the
1118 resident, the resident’s legal guardian or representative, and
1119 the state local ombudsman program council if requested pursuant
1120 to subsection (9) must be by telephone or in person. This notice
1121 shall be given before the transfer, if possible, or as soon
1122 thereafter as practicable. A representative of the state local
1123 ombudsman program council conducting a review under this
1124 subsection shall do so within 24 hours after receipt of the
1125 request. The resident’s file must be documented to show who was
1126 contacted, whether the contact was by telephone or in person,
1127 and the date and time of the contact. If the notice is not given
1128 in writing, written notice meeting the requirements of
1129 subsection (8) must be given the next working day.
1130 (12) After receipt of any notice required under this
1131 section, the state local ombudsman program council may request a
1132 private informal conversation with a resident to whom the notice
1133 is directed, and, if known, a family member or the resident’s
1134 legal guardian or designee, to ensure that the facility is
1135 proceeding with the discharge or transfer in accordance with the
1136 requirements of this section. If requested, the state local
1137 ombudsman program council shall assist the resident with filing
1138 an appeal of the proposed discharge or transfer.
1139 (13) The following persons must be present at all hearings
1140 authorized under this section:
1141 (a) The resident, or the resident’s legal representative or
1143 (b) The facility administrator, or the facility’s legal
1144 representative or designee.
1146 A representative of the state local long-term care ombudsman
1147 program council may be present at all hearings authorized by
1148 this section.
1149 (14) In any hearing under this section, the following
1150 information concerning the parties shall be confidential and
1151 exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1):
1152 (a) Names and addresses.
1153 (b) Medical services provided.
1154 (c) Social and economic conditions or circumstances.
1155 (d) Evaluation of personal information.
1156 (e) Medical data, including diagnosis and past history of
1157 disease or disability.
1158 (f) Any information received verifying income eligibility
1159 and amount of medical assistance payments. Income information
1160 received from the Social Security Administration or the Internal
1161 Revenue Service must be safeguarded according to the
1162 requirements of the agency that furnished the data.
1164 The exemption created by this subsection does not prohibit
1165 access to such information by a representative of the state
1166 local long-term care ombudsman program council upon request, by
1167 a reviewing court if such information is required to be part of
1168 the record upon subsequent review, or as specified in s. 24(a),
1169 Art. I of the State Constitution.
1170 Section 23. Subsection (2) of section 400.1413, Florida
1171 Statutes, is amended to read:
1172 400.1413 Volunteers in nursing homes.—
1173 (2) This section does not affect the activities of the
1174 state or local long-term care ombudsman program councils
1175 authorized under part I.
1176 Section 24. Paragraph (d) of subsection (5) of section
1177 400.162, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1178 400.162 Property and personal affairs of residents.—
1180 (d) If, at any time during the period for which a license
1181 is issued, a licensee that has not purchased a surety bond or
1182 entered into a self-insurance agreement, as provided in
1183 paragraphs (b) and (c), is requested to provide safekeeping for
1184 the personal funds of a resident, the licensee shall notify the
1185 agency of the request and make application for a surety bond or
1186 for participation in a self-insurance agreement within 7 days
1187 after of the request, exclusive of weekends and holidays. Copies
1188 of the application, along with written documentation of related
1189 correspondence with an insurance agency or group, shall be
1190 maintained by the licensee for review by the agency and the
1191 state Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Facility ombudsman program
1193 Section 25. Subsections (1) and (4) of section 400.19,
1194 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1195 400.19 Right of entry and inspection.—
1196 (1) In accordance with part II of chapter 408, the agency
1197 and any duly designated officer or employee thereof or a
1198 representative member of the state Long-Term Care ombudsman
1199 program Council or the local long-term care ombudsman council
1200 shall have the right to enter upon and into the premises of any
1201 facility licensed pursuant to this part, or any distinct nursing
1202 home unit of a hospital licensed under chapter 395 or any
1203 freestanding facility licensed under chapter 395 which that
1204 provides extended care or other long-term care services, at any
1205 reasonable time in order to determine the state of compliance
1206 with the provisions of this part, part II of chapter 408, and
1207 applicable rules in force pursuant thereto. The agency shall,
1208 within 60 days after receipt of a complaint made by a resident
1209 or resident’s representative, complete its investigation and
1210 provide to the complainant its findings and resolution.
1211 (4) The agency shall conduct unannounced onsite facility
1212 reviews following written verification of licensee noncompliance
1213 in instances in which the state a long-term care ombudsman
1214 program council, pursuant to ss. 400.0071 and 400.0075, has
1215 received a complaint and has documented deficiencies in resident
1216 care or in the physical plant of the facility that threaten the
1217 health, safety, or security of residents, or when the agency
1218 documents through inspection that conditions in a facility
1219 present a direct or indirect threat to the health, safety, or
1220 security of residents. However, the agency shall conduct
1221 unannounced onsite reviews every 3 months of each facility while
1222 the facility has a conditional license. Deficiencies related to
1223 physical plant do not require followup reviews after the agency
1224 has determined that correction of the deficiency has been
1225 accomplished and that the correction is of the nature that
1226 continued compliance can be reasonably expected.
1227 Section 26. Subsection (1) of section 400.191, Florida
1228 Statutes, is amended to read:
1229 400.191 Availability, distribution, and posting of reports
1230 and records.—
1231 (1) The agency shall provide information to the public
1232 about all of the licensed nursing home facilities operating in
1233 the state. The agency shall, within 60 days after a licensure
1234 inspection visit or within 30 days after any interim visit to a
1235 facility, send copies of the inspection reports to the state
1236 local long-term care ombudsman program council, the agency’s
1237 local office, and a public library or the county seat for the
1238 county in which the facility is located. The agency may provide
1239 electronic access to inspection reports as a substitute for
1240 sending copies.
1241 Section 27. Subsection (6) and paragraph (c) of subsection
1242 (7) of section 400.23, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1243 400.23 Rules; evaluation and deficiencies; licensure
1245 (6) Before Prior to conducting a survey of the facility,
1246 the survey team shall obtain a copy of the state local long-term
1247 care ombudsman program council report on the facility. Problems
1248 noted in the report shall be incorporated into and followed up
1249 through the agency’s inspection process. This procedure does not
1250 preclude the state local long-term care ombudsman program
1251 council from requesting the agency to conduct a followup visit
1252 to the facility.
1253 (7) The agency shall, at least every 15 months, evaluate
1254 all nursing home facilities and make a determination as to the
1255 degree of compliance by each licensee with the established rules
1256 adopted under this part as a basis for assigning a licensure
1257 status to that facility. The agency shall base its evaluation on
1258 the most recent inspection report, taking into consideration
1259 findings from other official reports, surveys, interviews,
1260 investigations, and inspections. In addition to license
1261 categories authorized under part II of chapter 408, the agency
1262 shall assign a licensure status of standard or conditional to
1263 each nursing home.
1264 (c) In evaluating the overall quality of care and services
1265 and determining whether the facility will receive a conditional
1266 or standard license, the agency shall consider the needs and
1267 limitations of residents in the facility and the results of
1268 interviews and surveys of a representative sampling of
1269 residents, families of residents, representatives of the state
1270 ombudsman program council members in the planning and service
1271 area in which the facility is located, guardians of residents,
1272 and staff of the nursing home facility.
1273 Section 28. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3), paragraph (f)
1274 of subsection (5), and subsection (6) of section 400.235,
1275 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1276 400.235 Nursing home quality and licensure status; Gold
1277 Seal Program.—
1278 (3)(a) The Gold Seal Program shall be developed and
1279 implemented by the Governor’s Panel on Excellence in Long-Term
1280 Care which shall operate under the authority of the Executive
1281 Office of the Governor. The panel shall be composed of three
1282 persons appointed by the Governor, to include a consumer
1283 advocate for senior citizens and two persons with expertise in
1284 the fields of quality management, service delivery excellence,
1285 or public sector accountability; three persons appointed by the
1286 Secretary of Elderly Affairs, to include an active member of a
1287 nursing facility family and resident care council and a member
1288 of the University Consortium on Aging; the state Long-Term Care
1289 ombudsman; one person appointed by the Florida Life Care
1290 Residents Association; one person appointed by the State Surgeon
1291 General; two persons appointed by the Secretary of Health Care
1292 Administration; one person appointed by the Florida Association
1293 of Homes for the Aging; and one person appointed by the Florida
1294 Health Care Association. Vacancies on the panel shall be filled
1295 in the same manner as the original appointments.
1296 (5) Facilities must meet the following additional criteria
1297 for recognition as a Gold Seal Program facility:
1298 (f) Evidence that an outstanding record regarding the
1299 number and types of substantiated complaints received and
1300 verified by reported to the state Long-Term Care ombudsman
1301 program Council within the 30 months preceding application have
1302 been resolved or the facility made a good faith effort to
1303 resolve the complaints for the program.
1305 A facility assigned a conditional licensure status may not
1306 qualify for consideration for the Gold Seal Program until after
1307 it has operated for 30 months with no class I or class II
1308 deficiencies and has completed a regularly scheduled relicensure
1310 (6) The agency, nursing facility industry organizations,
1311 consumers, the state Long-Term Care ombudsman program Council,
1312 and members of the community may recommend to the Governor
1313 facilities that meet the established criteria for consideration
1314 for and award of the Gold Seal. The panel shall review nominees
1315 and make a recommendation to the Governor for final approval and
1316 award. The decision of the Governor is final and is not subject
1317 to appeal.
1318 Section 29. Present subsection (25) of section 415.102,
1319 Florida Statutes, is renumbered as subsection (26), subsections
1320 (26) through (28) of that section are renumbered as subsections
1321 (28) through (30), respectively, and new subsections (25) and
1322 (27) are added to that section to read:
1323 415.102 Definitions of terms used in ss. 415.101-415.113.
1324 As used in ss. 415.101-415.113, the term:
1325 (25) “Representative of the state ombudsman program” has
1326 the same meaning as provided in s. 400.0060.
1327 (27) “State ombudsman program” has the same meaning as
1328 provided in s. 400.0060.
1329 Section 30. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
1330 415.1034, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1331 415.1034 Mandatory reporting of abuse, neglect, or
1332 exploitation of vulnerable adults; mandatory reports of death.—
1333 (1) MANDATORY REPORTING.—
1334 (a) Any person, including, but not limited to, any:
1335 1. Physician, osteopathic physician, medical examiner,
1336 chiropractic physician, nurse, paramedic, emergency medical
1337 technician, or hospital personnel engaged in the admission,
1338 examination, care, or treatment of vulnerable adults;
1339 2. Health professional or mental health professional other
1340 than one listed in subparagraph 1.;
1341 3. Practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for
1343 4. Nursing home staff; assisted living facility staff;
1344 adult day care center staff; adult family-care home staff;
1345 social worker; or other professional adult care, residential, or
1346 institutional staff;
1347 5. State, county, or municipal criminal justice employee or
1348 law enforcement officer;
1349 6. An Employee of the Department of Business and
1350 Professional Regulation conducting inspections of public lodging
1351 establishments under s. 509.032;
1352 7. Florida advocacy council member or representative of the
1353 state Long-Term Care ombudsman program council member; or
1354 8. Bank, savings and loan, or credit union officer,
1355 trustee, or employee,
1357 who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a vulnerable
1358 adult has been or is being abused, neglected, or exploited shall
1359 immediately report such knowledge or suspicion to the central
1360 abuse hotline.
1361 Section 31. Subsection (1) of section 415.104, Florida
1362 Statutes, is amended to read:
1363 415.104 Protective investigations of cases of abuse,
1364 neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults; transmittal of
1365 records to state attorney.—
1366 (1) The department shall, upon receipt of a report alleging
1367 abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult, begin
1368 within 24 hours a protective investigation of the facts alleged
1369 therein. If a caregiver refuses to allow the department to begin
1370 a protective investigation or interferes with the conduct of
1371 such an investigation, the appropriate law enforcement agency
1372 shall be contacted for assistance. If, during the course of the
1373 investigation, the department has reason to believe that the
1374 abuse, neglect, or exploitation is perpetrated by a second
1375 party, the appropriate law enforcement agency and state attorney
1376 shall be orally notified. The department and the law enforcement
1377 agency shall cooperate to allow the criminal investigation to
1378 proceed concurrently with, and not be hindered by, the
1379 protective investigation. The department shall make a
1380 preliminary written report to the law enforcement agencies
1381 within 5 working days after the oral report. The department
1382 shall, within 24 hours after receipt of the report, notify the
1383 appropriate Florida local advocacy council, or the state long
1384 term care ombudsman program council, when appropriate, that an
1385 alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation perpetrated by a second
1386 party has occurred. Notice to the Florida local advocacy council
1387 or the state long-term care ombudsman program council may be
1388 accomplished orally or in writing and shall include the name and
1389 location of the vulnerable adult alleged to have been abused,
1390 neglected, or exploited and the nature of the report.
1391 Section 32. Subsection (8) of section 415.1055, Florida
1392 Statutes, is amended to read:
1393 415.1055 Notification to administrative entities.—
1394 (8) At the conclusion of a protective investigation at a
1395 facility, the department shall notify either the Florida local
1396 advocacy council or the state long-term care ombudsman program
1397 council of the results of the investigation. This notification
1398 must be in writing.
1399 Section 33. Subsection (2) of section 415.106, Florida
1400 Statutes, is amended to read:
1401 415.106 Cooperation by the department and criminal justice
1402 and other agencies.—
1403 (2) To ensure coordination, communication, and cooperation
1404 with the investigation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of
1405 vulnerable adults, the department shall develop and maintain
1406 interprogram agreements or operational procedures among
1407 appropriate departmental programs and the state Long-Term Care
1408 ombudsman program Council, the Florida Statewide Advocacy
1409 Council, and other agencies that provide services to vulnerable
1410 adults. These agreements or procedures must cover such subjects
1411 as the appropriate roles and responsibilities of the department
1412 in identifying and responding to reports of abuse, neglect, or
1413 exploitation of vulnerable adults; the provision of services;
1414 and related coordinated activities.
1415 Section 34. Paragraph (g) of subsection (3) of section
1416 415.107, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1417 415.107 Confidentiality of reports and records.—
1418 (3) Access to all records, excluding the name of the
1419 reporter which shall be released only as provided in subsection
1420 (6), shall be granted only to the following persons, officials,
1421 and agencies:
1422 (g) Any appropriate official of the Florida advocacy
1423 council or the state long-term care ombudsman program council
1424 investigating a report of known or suspected abuse, neglect, or
1425 exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
1426 Section 35. Present subsections (19) through (22) and (23)
1427 through (26) of section 429.02, Florida Statutes, are renumbered
1428 as subsections (20) through (23) and (25) through (28),
1429 respectively, present subsection (20) is amended, and new
1430 subsections (19) and (24) are added to that section, to read:
1431 429.02 Definitions.—When used in this part, the term:
1432 (19) “Representative of the state ombudsman program” has
1433 the same meaning as provided in s. 400.0060.
1434 (21) (20) “Resident’s representative or designee” means a
1435 person other than the owner, or an agent or employee of the
1436 facility, designated in writing by the resident, if legally
1437 competent, to receive notice of changes in the contract executed
1438 pursuant to s. 429.24; to receive notice of and to participate
1439 in meetings between the resident and the facility owner,
1440 administrator, or staff concerning the rights of the resident;
1441 to assist the resident in contacting the state ombudsman program
1442 council if the resident has a complaint against the facility; or
1443 to bring legal action on behalf of the resident pursuant to s.
1445 (24) “State ombudsman program” has the same meaning as
1446 provided in s. 400.0060.
1447 Section 36. Paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of section
1448 429.07, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1449 429.07 License required; fee.—
1450 (3) In addition to the requirements of s. 408.806, each
1451 license granted by the agency must state the type of care for
1452 which the license is granted. Licenses shall be issued for one
1453 or more of the following categories of care: standard, extended
1454 congregate care, limited nursing services, or limited mental
1456 (b) An extended congregate care license shall be issued to
1457 facilities providing, directly or through contract, services
1458 beyond those authorized in paragraph (a), including services
1459 performed by persons licensed under part I of chapter 464 and
1460 supportive services, as defined by rule, to persons who would
1461 otherwise be disqualified from continued residence in a facility
1462 licensed under this part.
1463 1. In order for extended congregate care services to be
1464 provided, the agency must first determine that all requirements
1465 established in law and rule are met and must specifically
1466 designate, on the facility’s license, that such services may be
1467 provided and whether the designation applies to all or part of
1468 the facility. Such designation may be made at the time of
1469 initial licensure or relicensure, or upon request in writing by
1470 a licensee under this part and part II of chapter 408. The
1471 notification of approval or the denial of the request shall be
1472 made in accordance with part II of chapter 408. Existing
1473 facilities qualifying to provide extended congregate care
1474 services must have maintained a standard license and may not
1475 have been subject to administrative sanctions during the
1476 previous 2 years, or since initial licensure if the facility has
1477 been licensed for less than 2 years, for any of the following
1479 a. A class I or class II violation;
1480 b. Three or more repeat or recurring class III violations
1481 of identical or similar resident care standards from which a
1482 pattern of noncompliance is found by the agency;
1483 c. Three or more class III violations that were not
1484 corrected in accordance with the corrective action plan approved
1485 by the agency;
1486 d. Violation of resident care standards which results in
1487 requiring the facility to employ the services of a consultant
1488 pharmacist or consultant dietitian;
1489 e. Denial, suspension, or revocation of a license for
1490 another facility licensed under this part in which the applicant
1491 for an extended congregate care license has at least 25 percent
1492 ownership interest; or
1493 f. Imposition of a moratorium pursuant to this part or part
1494 II of chapter 408 or initiation of injunctive proceedings.
1495 2. A facility that is licensed to provide extended
1496 congregate care services shall maintain a written progress
1497 report on each person who receives services which describes the
1498 type, amount, duration, scope, and outcome of services that are
1499 rendered and the general status of the resident’s health. A
1500 registered nurse, or appropriate designee, representing the
1501 agency shall visit the facility at least quarterly to monitor
1502 residents who are receiving extended congregate care services
1503 and to determine whether if the facility is in compliance with
1504 this part, part II of chapter 408, and relevant rules. One of
1505 the visits may be in conjunction with the regular survey. The
1506 monitoring visits may be provided through contractual
1507 arrangements with appropriate community agencies. A registered
1508 nurse shall serve as part of the team that inspects the
1509 facility. The agency may waive one of the required yearly
1510 monitoring visits for a facility that has been licensed for at
1511 least 24 months to provide extended congregate care services ,
1512 if, during the inspection, the registered nurse determines that
1513 extended congregate care services are being provided
1514 appropriately , and if the facility has no class I or class II
1515 violations and no uncorrected class III violations. The agency
1516 must first consult with the state long-term care ombudsman
1517 program council for the area in which the facility is located to
1518 determine whether if any complaints have been made and
1519 substantiated about the quality of services or care. The agency
1520 may not waive one of the required yearly monitoring visits if
1521 complaints have been made and substantiated.
1522 3. A facility that is licensed to provide extended
1523 congregate care services must:
1524 a. Demonstrate the capability to meet unanticipated
1525 resident service needs.
1526 b. Offer a physical environment that promotes a homelike
1527 setting, provides for resident privacy, promotes resident
1528 independence, and allows sufficient congregate space as defined
1529 by rule.
1530 c. Have sufficient staff available, taking into account the
1531 physical plant and firesafety features of the building, to
1532 assist with the evacuation of residents in an emergency.
1533 d. Adopt and follow policies and procedures that maximize
1534 resident independence, dignity, choice, and decisionmaking to
1535 permit residents to age in place, so that moves due to changes
1536 in functional status are minimized or avoided.
1537 e. Allow residents or, if applicable, a resident’s
1538 representative, designee, surrogate, guardian, or attorney in
1539 fact to make a variety of personal choices, participate in
1540 developing service plans, and share responsibility in
1542 f. Implement the concept of managed risk.
1543 g. Provide, directly or through contract, the services of a
1544 person licensed under part I of chapter 464.
1545 h. In addition to the training mandated in s. 429.52,
1546 provide specialized training as defined by rule for facility
1548 4. A facility that is licensed to provide extended
1549 congregate care services is exempt from the criteria for
1550 continued residency set forth in rules adopted under s. 429.41.
1551 A licensed facility must adopt its own requirements within
1552 guidelines for continued residency set forth by rule. However,
1553 the facility may not serve residents who require 24-hour nursing
1554 supervision. A licensed facility that provides extended
1555 congregate care services must also provide each resident with a
1556 written copy of facility policies governing admission and
1558 5. The primary purpose of extended congregate care services
1559 is to allow residents, as they become more impaired, the option
1560 of remaining in a familiar setting from which they would
1561 otherwise be disqualified for continued residency. A facility
1562 licensed to provide extended congregate care services may also
1563 admit an individual who exceeds the admission criteria for a
1564 facility with a standard license, if the individual is
1565 determined appropriate for admission to the extended congregate
1566 care facility.
1567 6. Before the admission of an individual to a facility
1568 licensed to provide extended congregate care services, the
1569 individual must undergo a medical examination as provided in s.
1570 429.26(4) and the facility must develop a preliminary service
1571 plan for the individual.
1572 7. When a facility can no longer provide or arrange for
1573 services in accordance with the resident’s service plan and
1574 needs and the facility’s policy, the facility shall make
1575 arrangements for relocating the person in accordance with s.
1577 8. Failure to provide extended congregate care services may
1578 result in denial of extended congregate care license renewal.
1579 Section 37. Subsection (9) of section 429.19, Florida
1580 Statutes, is amended to read:
1581 429.19 Violations; imposition of administrative fines;
1583 (9) The agency shall develop and disseminate an annual list
1584 of all facilities sanctioned or fined for violations of state
1585 standards, the number and class of violations involved, the
1586 penalties imposed, and the current status of cases. The list
1587 shall be disseminated, at no charge, to the Department of
1588 Elderly Affairs, the Department of Health, the Department of
1589 Children and Families, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities,
1590 the area agencies on aging, the Florida Statewide Advocacy
1591 Council, and the state and local ombudsman program councils. The
1592 Department of Children and Families shall disseminate the list
1593 to service providers under contract to the department who are
1594 responsible for referring persons to a facility for residency.
1595 The agency may charge a fee commensurate with the cost of
1596 printing and postage to other interested parties requesting a
1597 copy of this list. This information may be provided
1598 electronically or through the agency’s Internet site.
1599 Section 38. Subsection (8) of section 429.26, Florida
1600 Statutes, is amended to read:
1601 429.26 Appropriateness of placements; examinations of
1603 (8) The Department of Children and Families may require an
1604 examination for supplemental security income and optional state
1605 supplementation recipients residing in facilities at any time
1606 and shall provide the examination whenever a resident’s
1607 condition requires it. Any facility administrator; personnel of
1608 the agency, the department, or the Department of Children and
1609 Families; or representative of the state ombudsman program long
1610 term care ombudsman council member who believes a resident needs
1611 to be evaluated shall notify the resident’s case manager, who
1612 shall take appropriate action. A report of the examination
1613 findings shall be provided to the resident’s case manager and
1614 the facility administrator to help the administrator meet his or
1615 her responsibilities under subsection (1).
1616 Section 39. Subsection (2) and paragraph (b) of subsection
1617 (3) of section 429.28, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
1618 429.28 Resident bill of rights.—
1619 (2) The administrator of a facility shall ensure that a
1620 written notice of the rights, obligations, and prohibitions set
1621 forth in this part is posted in a prominent place in each
1622 facility and read or explained to residents who cannot read.
1623 This notice must shall include the statewide toll-free telephone
1624 number and e-mail address of the state ombudsman program and the
1625 telephone number of the name, address, and telephone numbers of
1626 the local ombudsman council and central abuse hotline and, when
1627 applicable, the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities,
1628 Inc., and the Florida local advocacy council, where complaints
1629 may be lodged. The facility must ensure a resident’s access to a
1630 telephone to call the state local ombudsman program council, the
1631 central abuse hotline, the Advocacy Center for Persons with
1632 Disabilities, Inc., and the Florida local advocacy council.
1634 (b) In order to determine whether the facility is
1635 adequately protecting residents’ rights, the biennial survey
1636 shall include private informal conversations with a sample of
1637 residents and consultation with the state ombudsman program
1638 council in the planning and service area in which the facility
1639 is located to discuss residents’ experiences within the
1641 Section 40. Section 429.34, Florida Statutes, is amended to
1643 429.34 Right of entry and inspection.—In addition to the
1644 requirements of s. 408.811, a any duly designated officer or
1645 employee of the department, the Department of Children and
1646 Families, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Office of the
1647 Attorney General, the state or local fire marshal, or a
1648 representative member of the state or local long-term care
1649 ombudsman program may council shall have the right to enter
1650 unannounced upon and into the premises of any facility licensed
1651 under pursuant to this part in order to determine the state of
1652 compliance with the provisions of this part, part II of chapter
1653 408, and applicable rules. Data collected by the state or local
1654 long-term care ombudsman program councils or the state or local
1655 advocacy councils may be used by the agency in investigations
1656 involving violations of regulatory standards.
1657 Section 41. Subsection (2) of section 429.35, Florida
1658 Statutes, is amended to read:
1659 429.35 Maintenance of records; reports.—
1660 (2) Within 60 days after the date of the biennial
1661 inspection visit required under s. 408.811 or within 30 days
1662 after the date of any interim visit, the agency shall forward
1663 the results of the inspection to the state local ombudsman
1664 program council in whose planning and service area, as defined
1665 in part II of chapter 400, the facility is located; to at least
1666 one public library or, in the absence of a public library, the
1667 county seat in the county in which the inspected assisted living
1668 facility is located; and, when appropriate, to the district
1669 Adult Services and Mental Health Program Offices.
1670 Section 42. Subsection (6) of section 429.67, Florida
1671 Statutes, is amended to read:
1672 429.67 Licensure.—
1673 (6) In addition to the requirements of s. 408.811, access
1674 to a licensed adult family-care home must be provided at
1675 reasonable times for the appropriate officials of the
1676 department, the Department of Health, the Department of Children
1677 and Families, the agency, and the State Fire Marshal , who are
1678 responsible for the development and maintenance of fire, health,
1679 sanitary, and safety standards, to inspect the facility to
1680 assure compliance with these standards. In addition, access to a
1681 licensed adult family-care home must be provided at reasonable
1682 times to representatives of the state for the local long-term
1683 care ombudsman program council.
1684 Section 43. Subsection (2) of section 429.85, Florida
1685 Statutes, is amended to read:
1686 429.85 Residents’ bill of rights.—
1687 (2) The provider shall ensure that residents and their
1688 legal representatives are made aware of the rights, obligations,
1689 and prohibitions set forth in this part. Residents must also be
1690 given the statewide toll-free telephone number and e-mail
1691 address of the state ombudsman program and the telephone number
1692 of names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the local
1693 ombudsman council and the central abuse hotline where they may
1694 lodge complaints.
1695 Section 44. Present subsections (19) through (22) of
1696 section 744.102, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections
1697 (20) through (23), respectively, and a new subsection (19) is
1698 added to that section to read:
1699 744.102 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
1700 (19) “Representative of the state ombudsman program” has
1701 the same meaning as provided in s. 400.0060.
1702 Section 45. Subsection (17) of section 744.444, Florida
1703 Statutes, is amended to read:
1704 744.444 Power of guardian without court approval.—Without
1705 obtaining court approval, a plenary guardian of the property, or
1706 a limited guardian of the property within the powers granted by
1707 the order appointing the guardian or an approved annual or
1708 amended guardianship report, may:
1709 (17) Provide confidential information about a ward which
1710 that is related to an investigation arising under part I of
1711 chapter 400 to a representative of the local or state ombudsman
1712 program council member conducting such an investigation. Any
1713 such ombudsman shall have a duty to maintain the confidentiality
1714 of such information.
1715 Section 46. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.