2004 Florida Statutes
Licensure of nurse registries; requirements; penalties.
(1) A nurse registry is exempt from the licensing requirements of a home health agency but must be licensed as a nurse registry. Each operational site of the nurse registry must be licensed, unless there is more than one site within a county. If there is more than one site within a county, only one license per county is required. Each operational site must be listed on the license.
(2) Each applicant for licensure must comply with the following requirements:
(a) Upon receipt of a completed, signed, and dated application, the agency shall require background screening, in accordance with the level 2 standards for screening set forth in chapter 435, of the managing employee, or other similarly titled individual who is responsible for the daily operation of the nurse registry, and of the financial officer, or other similarly titled individual who is responsible for the financial operation of the registry, including billings for patient care and services. The applicant shall comply with the procedures for level 2 background screening as set forth in chapter 435.
(b) The agency may require background screening of any other individual who is an applicant if the agency has probable cause to believe that he or she has been convicted of a crime or has committed any other offense prohibited under the level 2 standards for screening set forth in chapter 435.
(c) Proof of compliance with the level 2 background screening requirements of chapter 435 which has been submitted within the previous 5 years in compliance with any other health care or assisted living licensure requirements of this state is acceptable in fulfillment of the requirements of paragraph (a).
(d) A provisional license may be granted to an applicant when each individual required by this section to undergo background screening has met the standards for the Department of Law Enforcement background check but the agency has not yet received background screening results from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A standard license may be granted to the applicant upon the agency's receipt of a report of the results of the Federal Bureau of Investigation background screening for each individual required by this section to undergo background screening which confirms that all standards have been met, or upon the granting of a disqualification exemption by the agency as set forth in chapter 435. Any other person who is required to undergo level 2 background screening may serve in his or her capacity pending the agency's receipt of the report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. However, the person may not continue to serve if the report indicates any violation of background screening standards and a disqualification exemption has not been requested of and granted by the agency as set forth in chapter 435.
(e) Each applicant must submit to the agency, with its application, a description and explanation of any exclusions, permanent suspensions, or terminations of the applicant from the Medicare or Medicaid programs. Proof of compliance with the requirements for disclosure of ownership and control interests under the Medicaid or Medicare programs may be accepted in lieu of this submission.
(f) Each applicant must submit to the agency a description and explanation of any conviction of an offense prohibited under the level 2 standards of chapter 435 by a member of the board of directors of the applicant, its officers, or any individual owning 5 percent or more of the applicant. This requirement does not apply to a director of a not-for-profit corporation or organization if the director serves solely in a voluntary capacity for the corporation or organization, does not regularly take part in the day-to-day operational decisions of the corporation or organization, receives no remuneration for his or her services on the corporation or organization's board of directors, and has no financial interest and has no family members with a financial interest in the corporation or organization, provided that the director and the not-for-profit corporation or organization include in the application a statement affirming that the director's relationship to the corporation satisfies the requirements of this paragraph.
(g) A license may not be granted to an applicant if the applicant or managing employee has been found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or has entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, any offense prohibited under the level 2 standards for screening set forth in chapter 435, unless an exemption from disqualification has been granted by the agency as set forth in chapter 435.
(h) The agency may deny or revoke the license if any applicant:
1. Has falsely represented a material fact in the application required by paragraph (e) or paragraph (f), or has omitted any material fact from the application required by paragraph (e) or paragraph (f); or
2. Has had prior action taken against the applicant under the Medicaid or Medicare program as set forth in paragraph (e).
(i) An application for license renewal must contain the information required under paragraphs (e) and (f).
(3) Application for license must be made to the Agency for Health Care Administration on forms furnished by it and must be accompanied by the appropriate licensure fee, as established by rule and not to exceed the cost of regulation under this part. The licensure fee for nurse registries may not exceed $1,000 and must be deposited in the Health Care Trust Fund.
(4) The Agency for Health Care Administration may deny, revoke, or suspend a license or impose an administrative fine in the manner provided in chapter 120 against a nurse registry that:
(a) Fails to comply with this section or applicable rules.
(b) Commits an intentional, reckless, or negligent act that materially affects the health or safety of a person receiving services.
(5) A license issued for the operation of a nurse registry, unless sooner suspended or revoked, expires 1 year after its date of issuance. Sixty days before the expiration date, an application for renewal must be submitted to the Agency for Health Care Administration on forms furnished by it. The Agency for Health Care Administration shall renew the license if the applicant has met the requirements of this section and applicable rules. A nurse registry against which a revocation or suspension proceeding is pending at the time of license renewal may be issued a conditional license effective until final disposition by the Agency for Health Care Administration of such proceedings. If judicial relief is sought from the final disposition, the court having jurisdiction may issue a conditional license for the duration of the judicial proceeding.
(6) The Agency for Health Care Administration may institute injunctive proceedings under s. 400.515
(7) A person that offers or advertises to the public that it provides any service for which licensure is required under this section must include in such advertisement the license number issued to it by the Agency for Health Care Administration.
(8) It is unlawful for a person to offer or advertise to the public services as defined by rule without obtaining a valid license from the Agency for Health Care Administration. It is unlawful for any holder of a license to advertise or hold out to the public that he or she holds a license for other than that for which he or she actually holds a license. A person who violates this subsection is subject to injunctive proceedings under s. 400.515
(9) Any duly authorized officer or employee of the Agency for Health Care Administration may make such inspections and investigations as are necessary to respond to complaints or to determine the state of compliance with this section and applicable rules.
(a) If, in responding to a complaint, an agent or employee of the Agency for Health Care Administration has reason to believe that a crime has been committed, he or she shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency.
(b) If, in responding to a complaint, an agent or employee of the Agency for Health Care Administration has reason to believe that abuse, neglect, or exploitation has occurred, according to the definitions in chapter 415, he or she shall file a report under chapter 415.
(10)(a) A nurse registry may refer for contract in private residences registered nurses and licensed practical nurses registered and licensed under part I of chapter 464, certified nursing assistants certified under part II of chapter 464, home health aides who present documented proof of successful completion of the training required by rule of the agency, and companions or homemakers for the purposes of providing those services authorized under s. 400.509(1). Each person referred by a nurse registry must provide current documentation that he or she is free from communicable diseases.
(b) A certified nursing assistant or home health aide may be referred for a contract to provide care to a patient in his or her home only if that patient is under a physician's care. A certified nursing assistant or home health aide referred for contract in a private residence shall be limited to assisting a patient with bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming, eating, physical transfer, and those normal daily routines the patient could perform for himself or herself were he or she physically capable. A certified nursing assistant or home health aide may not provide medical or other health care services that require specialized training and that may be performed only by licensed health care professionals. The nurse registry shall obtain the name and address of the attending physician and send written notification to the physician within 48 hours after a contract is concluded that a certified nursing assistant or home health aide will be providing care for that patient.
(c) A registered nurse shall make monthly visits to the patient's home to assess the patient's condition and quality of care being provided by the certified nursing assistant or home health aide. Any condition which in the professional judgment of the nurse requires further medical attention shall be reported to the attending physician and the nurse registry. The assessment shall become a part of the patient's file with the nurse registry and may be reviewed by the agency during their survey procedure.
(11) A person who is referred by a nurse registry for contract in private residences and who is not a nurse licensed under part I of chapter 464 may perform only those services or care to clients that the person has been certified to perform or trained to perform as required by law or rules of the Agency for Health Care Administration or the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Providing services beyond the scope authorized under this subsection constitutes the unauthorized practice of medicine or a violation of the Nurse Practice Act and is punishable as provided under chapter 458, chapter 459, or part I of chapter 464.
(12) Each nurse registry must require every applicant for contract to complete an application form providing the following information:
(a) The name, address, date of birth, and social security number of the applicant.
(b) The educational background and employment history of the applicant.
(c) The number and date of the applicable license or certification.
(d) When appropriate, information concerning the renewal of the applicable license, registration, or certification.
(13) Each nurse registry must comply with the procedures set forth in s. 400.512 for maintaining records of the employment history of all persons referred for contract and is subject to the standards and conditions set forth in that section. However, an initial screening may not be required for persons who have been continuously registered with the nurse registry since September 30, 1990.
(14) The nurse registry must maintain the application on file, and that file must be open to the inspection of the Agency for Health Care Administration. The nurse registry must maintain on file the name and address of the client to whom the nurse or other nurse registry personnel is sent for contract and the amount of the fee received by the nurse registry. A nurse registry must maintain the file that includes the application and other applicable documentation for 3 years after the date of the last file entry of client-related information.
(15) Nurse registries shall assist persons who would need assistance and sheltering during evacuations because of physical, mental, or sensory disabilities in registering with the appropriate local emergency management agency pursuant to s. 252.355
(16) Each nurse registry shall prepare and maintain a comprehensive emergency management plan that is consistent with the criteria in this subsection and with the local special needs plan. The plan shall be updated annually. The plan shall specify how the nurse registry shall facilitate the provision of continuous care by persons referred for contract to persons who are registered pursuant to s. 252.355 during an emergency that interrupts the provision of care or services in private residencies.
(a) All persons referred for contract who care for persons registered pursuant to s. 252.355 must include in the patient record a description of how care will be continued during a disaster or emergency that interrupts the provision of care in the patient's home. It shall be the responsibility of the person referred for contract to ensure that continuous care is provided.
(b) Each nurse registry shall maintain a current prioritized list of patients in private residences who are registered pursuant to s. 252.355 and are under the care of persons referred for contract and who need continued services during an emergency. This list shall indicate, for each patient, if the client is to be transported to a special needs shelter and if the patient is receiving skilled nursing services. Nurse registries shall make this list available to county health departments and to local emergency management agencies upon request.
(c) Each person referred for contract who is caring for a patient who is registered pursuant to s. 252.355 shall provide a list of the patient's medication and equipment needs to the nurse registry. Each person referred for contract shall make this information available to county health departments and to local emergency management agencies upon request.
(d) Each person referred for contract shall not be required to continue to provide care to patients in emergency situations that are beyond the person's control and that make it impossible to provide services, such as when roads are impassable or when patients do not go to the location specified in their patient records.
(e) The comprehensive emergency management plan required by this subsection is subject to review and approval by the county health department. During its review, the county health department shall ensure that, at a minimum, the local emergency management agency, the Agency for Health Care Administration, and the local chapter of the American Red Cross or other lead sheltering agency are given the opportunity to review the plan. The county health department shall complete its review within 60 days after receipt of the plan and shall either approve the plan or advise the nurse registry of necessary revisions.
(f) The Agency for Health Care Administration shall adopt rules establishing minimum criteria for the comprehensive emergency management plan and plan updates required by this subsection, with the concurrence of the Department of Health and in consultation with the Department of Community Affairs.
(17) All persons referred for contract in private residences by a nurse registry must comply with the following requirements for a plan of treatment:
(a) When, in accordance with the privileges and restrictions imposed upon a nurse under part I of chapter 464, the delivery of care to a patient is under the direction or supervision of a physician or when a physician is responsible for the medical care of the patient, a medical plan of treatment must be established for each patient receiving care or treatment provided by a licensed nurse in the home. The original medical plan of treatment must be timely signed by the physician and reviewed by him or her in consultation with the licensed nurse at least every 2 months. Any additional order or change in orders must be obtained from the physician and reduced to writing and timely signed by the physician. The delivery of care under a medical plan of treatment must be substantiated by the appropriate nursing notes or documentation made by the nurse in compliance with nursing practices established under part I of chapter 464.
(b) Whenever a medical plan of treatment is established for a patient, the initial medical plan of treatment, any amendment to the plan, additional order or change in orders, and copy of nursing notes must be filed in the office of the nurse registry.
(18) The nurse registry must comply with the notice requirements of s. 400.495, relating to abuse reporting.
(19) In addition to any other penalties imposed pursuant to this section or part, the agency may assess costs related to an investigation that results in a successful prosecution, excluding costs associated with an attorney's time. If the agency imposes such an assessment and the assessment is not paid, and if challenged is not the subject of a pending appeal, prior to the renewal of the license, the license shall not be issued until the assessment is paid or arrangements for payment of the assessment are made.
(20) The Agency for Health Care Administration shall adopt rules to implement this section.
History.--ss. 2, 4, ch. 90-101; s. 27, ch. 91-57; ss. 13, 23, ch. 93-214; s. 51, ch. 94-218; s. 1056, ch. 95-148; ss. 49, 71, ch. 98-171; s. 10, ch. 99-332; s. 14, ch. 2000-140; s. 21, ch. 2000-153; ss. 104, 161, ch. 2000-318; s. 80, ch. 2000-349; s. 25, ch. 2001-53; s. 2, ch. 2001-67; s. 148, ch. 2001-277; s. 48, ch. 2004-267.