Florida Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog


Florida law introduces ALF reforms, should keep some residents from having to move to nursing homes

September 9, 2015
ALF

A new Florida law is expected to prevent assisted living residents from having to enter nursing homes prematurely. The new law, HB 1001, gives ALF staff who have certain training the authority to help residents perform routine health-related tasks such as insulin monitoring, using nebulizers, connecting cpap machines, etc. In the past, otherwise healthy residents who were not capable of performing these tasks independently often have had to transfer out to nursing homes.

The law also directs the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to provide consumers with more data about the state’s assisted living facilities, allowing for more informed choices. HB 1001 went into effect July 1, a culmination of four years of legislative efforts to raise the quality of the state’s 3,027 assisted living facilities. It imposes stricter regulations and empowers the Agency for Health Care Administration to levy tougher fines on facilities that don’t measure up.

Other features of the new law include:

  • Requires facilities to inform residents that any complaint lodged by a resident with the state’s long-term care ombudsman is confidential, and imposes fines on facilities that retaliate against a resident who has made a complaint.
  • Requires staff members to go through 2 hours of training before they may interact with residents.
  • Fines a facility $500 if it does not do a background check on a new hire.
  • Doubles fines on facilities that do not correct serious violations within six months.
  • Requires special mental health licensing for an ALF that is caring for one or more state-supported residents who is mentally ill.

 

You can read the text of the law here.