Florida Senate - 2022                                    SB 1724
       By Senator Harrell
       25-01569-22                                           20221724__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the designation of essential
    3         caregivers for in-person visitations; creating s.
    4         408.823, F.S.; defining terms; authorizing residents
    5         to designate essential caregivers with whom facilities
    6         or program providers may not prohibit in-person
    7         visitation; requiring the Agency for Health Care
    8         Administration to adopt guidelines for visitation
    9         which meet certain requirements; authorizing a
   10         facility or provider to revoke an essential
   11         caregiver’s designation for certain violations;
   12         authorizing the designation of a new essential
   13         caregiver if the original caregiver’s designation is
   14         revoked; requiring the agency to establish an appeals
   15         process; prohibiting any adopted safety protocols from
   16         being more stringent than certain standards; providing
   17         construction; requiring the agency to seek any
   18         necessary federal waivers or authorizations; providing
   19         an effective date.
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   23         Section 1. Section 408.823, Florida Statutes, is created to
   24  read:
   25         408.823 Resident’s right to essential caregiver visits.—
   26         (1)As used in this section, the term:
   27         (a)“Essential caregiver” means a relative, friend,
   28  guardian, or other individual selected by a resident, resident’s
   29  guardian, or resident’s legally authorized representative for
   30  in-person visits.
   31         (b)“Facility” includes all of the following:
   32         1.A nursing home licensed under part II of chapter 400.
   33         2.An assisted living facility licensed under part I of
   34  chapter 429.
   35         3.An intermediate care facility for the developmentally
   36  disabled, licensed under part VIII of chapter 400.
   37         4.Any other state-supported residential facility.
   38         (c)“Program provider” means a person that provides
   39  services through the home and community-based services waiver
   40  program in a residence.
   41         (d)“Residence” means a three-person or four-person
   42  residence, as defined by the home and community-based services
   43  waiver program billing guidelines, which is leased or owned by a
   44  program provider. The term does not include a host home or
   45  companion care.
   46         (e)“Resident” means:
   47         1.An individual, including a patient, who resides in a
   48  facility; or
   49         2.An individual enrolled in the home and community-based
   50  services waiver program who resides in a residence.
   51         (2)A resident, resident’s guardian, or resident’s legally
   52  authorized representative may designate an essential caregiver
   53  with whom the facility or program provider may not prohibit in
   54  person visitation.
   55         (3)Notwithstanding subsection (2), the agency shall
   56  develop by rule guidelines to assist facilities and program
   57  providers in establishing essential caregiver visitation
   58  policies and procedures. The guidelines must require that the
   59  facilities and program providers do all of the following:
   60         (a)Allow a resident, resident’s guardian, or resident’s
   61  legally authorized representative to designate for in-person
   62  visitation an essential caregiver in the same manner that a
   63  resident would designate a power of attorney.
   64         (b)Establish a visitation schedule allowing the essential
   65  caregiver to visit the resident for at least 2 hours each day.
   66         (c)Establish procedures to enable physical contact between
   67  the resident and the essential caregiver.
   68         (d)Obtain the signature of the essential caregiver
   69  certifying that he or she will follow the facility’s or program
   70  provider’s safety protocols and any other rules adopted under
   71  this section.
   72         (4)A facility or program provider may revoke an
   73  individual’s designation as an essential caregiver if he or she
   74  violates the facility’s or program provider’s safety protocols
   75  or rules adopted under this section. If a facility or program
   76  provider revokes an individual’s designation as an essential
   77  caregiver under this subsection, the resident, resident’s
   78  guardian, or resident’s legally authorized representative may
   79  immediately designate another individual as the resident’s
   80  essential caregiver. The agency shall establish by rule an
   81  appeals process to evaluate the revocation of an individual’s
   82  designation as an essential caregiver under this subsection.
   83         (5)Safety protocols adopted by a facility or program
   84  provider for an essential caregiver under this section may not
   85  be more stringent than safety protocols for the staff of the
   86  facility or residence.
   87         (6)This section may not be construed as requiring an
   88  essential caregiver to provide necessary care to a resident, and
   89  a facility or program provider may not require an essential
   90  caregiver to provide necessary care.
   91         (7)If, before implementing this act, the agency determines
   92  that a waiver or authorization from a federal agency is
   93  necessary to implement any provision of this section, the agency
   94  must request the waiver or authorization and may delay
   95  implementing that provision until the waiver or authorization is
   96  granted.
   97         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.