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. 20 21 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 22 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.