(1) There is created within the Agency for Health Care Administration a Quality of Long-Term Care Facility Improvement Trust Fund to support activities and programs directly related to improvement of the care of nursing home and assisted living facility residents. The trust fund shall be funded through proceeds generated pursuant to ss. 400.0238 and 429.298, through funds specifically appropriated by the Legislature, through gifts, endowments, and other charitable contributions allowed under federal and state law, and through federal nursing home civil monetary penalties collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and returned to the state. These funds must be utilized in accordance with federal requirements. (2) Expenditures from the trust fund shall be allowable for direct support of the following:
(a) Development and operation of a mentoring program, in consultation with the Department of Health and the Department of Elderly Affairs, for increasing the competence, professionalism, and career preparation of long-term care facility direct care staff, including nurses, nursing assistants, and social service and dietary personnel.
(b) Development and implementation of specialized training programs for long-term care facility personnel who provide direct care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, residents at risk of developing pressure sores, and residents with special nutrition and hydration needs.
(c) Addressing areas of deficient practice identified through regulation or state monitoring.
(d) Provision of economic and other incentives to enhance the stability and career development of the nursing home direct care workforce, including paid sabbaticals for exemplary direct care career staff to visit facilities throughout the state to train and motivate younger workers to commit to careers in long-term care.
(e) Promotion and support for the formation and active involvement of resident and family councils in the improvement of nursing home care.
(f) Evaluation of special residents’ needs in long-term care facilities, including challenges in meeting special residents’ needs, appropriateness of placement and setting, and cited deficiencies related to caring for special needs.
(g) Other initiatives authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the use of federal civil monetary penalties, including projects recommended through the Medicaid “Up-or-Out” Quality of Care Contract Management Program pursuant to s. 400.148.
(3) The agency shall carry out through the trust fund the priorities and directives specified in legislative appropriations.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301, and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.