400.23 Rules; evaluation and deficiencies; licensure status.—
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that rules published and enforced pursuant to this part and part II of chapter 408 shall include criteria by which a reasonable and consistent quality of resident care may be ensured and the results of such resident care can be demonstrated and by which safe and sanitary nursing homes can be provided. It is further intended that reasonable efforts be made to accommodate the needs and preferences of residents to enhance the quality of life in a nursing home. In addition, efforts shall be made to minimize the paperwork associated with the reporting and documentation requirements of these rules.
(2) Pursuant to the intention of the Legislature, the agency, in consultation with the Department of Health and the Department of Elderly Affairs, shall adopt and enforce rules to implement this part and part II of chapter 408, which shall include reasonable and fair criteria in relation to:
(a) The location of the facility and housing conditions that will ensure the health, safety, and comfort of residents, including an adequate call system. In making such rules, the agency shall be guided by criteria recommended by nationally recognized reputable professional groups and associations with knowledge of such subject matters. The agency shall update or revise such criteria as the need arises. The agency may require alterations to a building if it determines that an existing condition constitutes a distinct hazard to life, health, or safety. In performing any inspections of facilities authorized by this part or part II of chapter 408, the agency may enforce the special-occupancy provisions of the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code which apply to nursing homes. Residents or their representatives shall be able to request a change in the placement of the bed in their room, provided that at admission they are presented with a room that meets requirements of the Florida Building Code. The location of a bed may be changed if the requested placement does not infringe on the resident’s roommate or interfere with the resident’s care or safety as determined by the care planning team in accordance with facility policies and procedures. In addition, the bed placement may not be used as a restraint. Each facility shall maintain a log of resident rooms with beds that are not in strict compliance with the Florida Building Code in order for such log to be used by surveyors and nurse monitors during inspections and visits. A resident or resident representative who requests that a bed be moved shall sign a statement indicating that he or she understands the room will not be in compliance with the Florida Building Code, but they would prefer to exercise their right to self-determination. The statement must be retained as part of the resident’s care plan. Any facility that offers this option must submit a letter signed by the nursing home administrator of record to the agency notifying it of this practice with a copy of the policies and procedures of the facility. The agency is directed to provide assistance to the Florida Building Commission in updating the construction standards of the code relative to nursing homes.
(b) The number and qualifications of all personnel, including management, medical, nursing, and other professional personnel, and nursing assistants, orderlies, and support personnel, having responsibility for any part of the care given residents.
(c) All sanitary conditions within the facility and its surroundings, including water supply, sewage disposal, food handling, and general hygiene which will ensure the health and comfort of residents.
(d) The equipment essential to the health and welfare of the residents.
(e) A uniform accounting system.
(f) The care, treatment, and maintenance of residents and measurement of the quality and adequacy thereof, based on rules developed under this chapter and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (Pub. L. No. 100-203) (December 22, 1987), Title IV (Medicare, Medicaid, and Other Health-Related Programs), Subtitle C (Nursing Home Reform), as amended.
(g) The preparation and annual update of a comprehensive emergency management plan. The agency shall adopt rules establishing minimum criteria for the plan after consultation with the Department of Community Affairs. At a minimum, the rules must provide for plan components that address emergency evacuation transportation; adequate sheltering arrangements; postdisaster activities, including emergency power, food, and water; postdisaster transportation; supplies; staffing; emergency equipment; individual identification of residents and transfer of records; and responding to family inquiries. The comprehensive emergency management plan is subject to review and approval by the local emergency management agency. During its review, the local emergency management agency shall ensure that the following agencies, at a minimum, are given the opportunity to review the plan: the Department of Elderly Affairs, the Department of Health, the Agency for Health Care Administration, and the Department of Community Affairs. Also, appropriate volunteer organizations must be given the opportunity to review the plan. The local emergency management agency shall complete its review within 60 days and either approve the plan or advise the facility of necessary revisions.
(h) The availability, distribution, and posting of reports and records pursuant to s. 400.191 and the Gold Seal Program pursuant to s. 400.235.
(3)(a)1. The agency shall adopt rules providing minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes. These requirements shall include, for each nursing home facility:
a. A minimum weekly average of certified nursing assistant and licensed nursing staffing combined of 3.9 hours of direct care per resident per day. As used in this sub-subparagraph, a week is defined as Sunday through Saturday.
b. A minimum certified nursing assistant staffing of 2.7 hours of direct care per resident per day. A facility may not staff below one certified nursing assistant per 20 residents.
c. A minimum licensed nursing staffing of 1.0 hour of direct care per resident per day. A facility may not staff below one licensed nurse per 40 residents.
2. Nursing assistants employed under s. 400.211(2) may be included in computing the staffing ratio for certified nursing assistants only if their job responsibilities include only nursing-assistant-related duties.
3. Each nursing home must document compliance with staffing standards as required under this paragraph and post daily the names of staff on duty for the benefit of facility residents and the public.
4. The agency shall recognize the use of licensed nurses for compliance with minimum staffing requirements for certified nursing assistants, provided that the facility otherwise meets the minimum staffing requirements for licensed nurses and that the licensed nurses are performing the duties of a certified nursing assistant. Unless otherwise approved by the agency, licensed nurses counted toward the minimum staffing requirements for certified nursing assistants must exclusively perform the duties of a certified nursing assistant for the entire shift and not also be counted toward the minimum staffing requirements for licensed nurses. If the agency approved a facility’s request to use a licensed nurse to perform both licensed nursing and certified nursing assistant duties, the facility must allocate the amount of staff time specifically spent on certified nursing assistant duties for the purpose of documenting compliance with minimum staffing requirements for certified and licensed nursing staff. In no event may the hours of a licensed nurse with dual job responsibilities be counted twice.
(b) Nonnursing staff providing eating assistance to residents shall not count toward compliance with minimum staffing standards.
(c) Licensed practical nurses licensed under chapter 464 who are providing nursing services in nursing home facilities under this part may supervise the activities of other licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, and other unlicensed personnel providing services in such facilities in accordance with rules adopted by the Board of Nursing.
(4) Rules developed pursuant to this section shall not restrict the use of shared staffing and shared programming in facilities which are part of retirement communities that provide multiple levels of care and otherwise meet the requirement of law or rule.
(5) The agency, in collaboration with the Division of Children’s Medical Services of the Department of Health, must, no later than December 31, 1993, adopt rules for minimum standards of care for persons under 21 years of age who reside in nursing home facilities. The rules must include a methodology for reviewing a nursing home facility under ss. 408.031-408.045 which serves only persons under 21 years of age. A facility may be exempt from these standards for specific persons between 18 and 21 years of age, if the person’s physician agrees that minimum standards of care based on age are not necessary.
(6) Prior to conducting a survey of the facility, the survey team shall obtain a copy of the local long-term care ombudsman council report on the facility. Problems noted in the report shall be incorporated into and followed up through the agency’s inspection process. This procedure does not preclude the local long-term care ombudsman council from requesting the agency to conduct a followup visit to the facility.
(7) The agency shall, at least every 15 months, evaluate all nursing home facilities and make a determination as to the degree of compliance by each licensee with the established rules adopted under this part as a basis for assigning a licensure status to that facility. The agency shall base its evaluation on the most recent inspection report, taking into consideration findings from other official reports, surveys, interviews, investigations, and inspections. In addition to license categories authorized under part II of chapter 408, the agency shall assign a licensure status of standard or conditional to each nursing home.
(a) A standard licensure status means that a facility has no class I or class II deficiencies and has corrected all class III deficiencies within the time established by the agency.
(b) A conditional licensure status means that a facility, due to the presence of one or more class I or class II deficiencies, or class III deficiencies not corrected within the time established by the agency, is not in substantial compliance at the time of the survey with criteria established under this part or with rules adopted by the agency. If the facility has no class I, class II, or class III deficiencies at the time of the followup survey, a standard licensure status may be assigned.
(c) In evaluating the overall quality of care and services and determining whether the facility will receive a conditional or standard license, the agency shall consider the needs and limitations of residents in the facility and the results of interviews and surveys of a representative sampling of residents, families of residents, ombudsman council members in the planning and service area in which the facility is located, guardians of residents, and staff of the nursing home facility.
(d) The current licensure status of each facility must be indicated in bold print on the face of the license. A list of the deficiencies of the facility shall be posted in a prominent place that is in clear and unobstructed public view at or near the place where residents are being admitted to that facility. Licensees receiving a conditional licensure status for a facility shall prepare, within 10 working days after receiving notice of deficiencies, a plan for correction of all deficiencies and shall submit the plan to the agency for approval.
(e) The agency shall adopt rules that:
1. Establish uniform procedures for the evaluation of facilities.
2. Provide criteria in the areas referenced in paragraph (c).
3. Address other areas necessary for carrying out the intent of this section.
(8) The agency shall adopt rules pursuant to this part and part II of chapter 408 to provide that, when the criteria established under subsection (2) are not met, such deficiencies shall be classified according to the nature and the scope of the deficiency. The scope shall be cited as isolated, patterned, or widespread. An isolated deficiency is a deficiency affecting one or a very limited number of residents, or involving one or a very limited number of staff, or a situation that occurred only occasionally or in a very limited number of locations. A patterned deficiency is a deficiency where more than a very limited number of residents are affected, or more than a very limited number of staff are involved, or the situation has occurred in several locations, or the same resident or residents have been affected by repeated occurrences of the same deficient practice but the effect of the deficient practice is not found to be pervasive throughout the facility. A widespread deficiency is a deficiency in which the problems causing the deficiency are pervasive in the facility or represent systemic failure that has affected or has the potential to affect a large portion of the facility’s residents. The agency shall indicate the classification on the face of the notice of deficiencies as follows:
(a) A class I deficiency is a deficiency that the agency determines presents a situation in which immediate corrective action is necessary because the facility’s noncompliance has caused, or is likely to cause, serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to a resident receiving care in a facility. The condition or practice constituting a class I violation shall be abated or eliminated immediately, unless a fixed period of time, as determined by the agency, is required for correction. A class I deficiency is subject to a civil penalty of $10,000 for an isolated deficiency, $12,500 for a patterned deficiency, and $15,000 for a widespread deficiency. The fine amount shall be doubled for each deficiency if the facility was previously cited for one or more class I or class II deficiencies during the last licensure inspection or any inspection or complaint investigation since the last licensure inspection. A fine must be levied notwithstanding the correction of the deficiency.
(b) A class II deficiency is a deficiency that the agency determines has compromised the resident’s ability to maintain or reach his or her highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being, as defined by an accurate and comprehensive resident assessment, plan of care, and provision of services. A class II deficiency is subject to a civil penalty of $2,500 for an isolated deficiency, $5,000 for a patterned deficiency, and $7,500 for a widespread deficiency. The fine amount shall be doubled for each deficiency if the facility was previously cited for one or more class I or class II deficiencies during the last licensure inspection or any inspection or complaint investigation since the last licensure inspection. A fine shall be levied notwithstanding the correction of the deficiency.
(c) A class III deficiency is a deficiency that the agency determines will result in no more than minimal physical, mental, or psychosocial discomfort to the resident or has the potential to compromise the resident’s ability to maintain or reach his or her highest practical physical, mental, or psychosocial well-being, as defined by an accurate and comprehensive resident assessment, plan of care, and provision of services. A class III deficiency is subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for an isolated deficiency, $2,000 for a patterned deficiency, and $3,000 for a widespread deficiency. The fine amount shall be doubled for each deficiency if the facility was previously cited for one or more class I or class II deficiencies during the last licensure inspection or any inspection or complaint investigation since the last licensure inspection. A citation for a class III deficiency must specify the time within which the deficiency is required to be corrected. If a class III deficiency is corrected within the time specified, a civil penalty may not be imposed.
(d) A class IV deficiency is a deficiency that the agency determines has the potential for causing no more than a minor negative impact on the resident. If the class IV deficiency is isolated, no plan of correction is required.
(9) Civil penalties paid by any licensee under subsection (8) shall be deposited in the Health Care Trust Fund and expended as provided in s. 400.063.
(10) Agency records, reports, ranking systems, Internet information, and publications must be promptly updated to reflect the most current agency actions.
History.—s. 22, ch. 69-309; ss. 19, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 19, ch. 70-361; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 7, ch. 76-201; s. 2, ch. 76-252; s. 2, ch. 77-188; s. 13, ch. 77-401; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 1, ch. 78-393; ss. 8, 9, ch. 79-268; ss. 3, 12, ch. 80-198; ss. 1, 2, ch. 80-211; s. 251, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 30, 79, 83, ch. 83-181; s. 2, ch. 86-253; s. 1, ch. 90-125; ss. 9, 77, ch. 91-282; s. 30, ch. 93-177; s. 25, ch. 93-211; ss. 29, 49, ch. 93-217; s. 42, ch. 98-89; s. 121, ch. 99-8; s. 14, ch. 99-332; s. 17, ch. 99-394; s. 29, ch. 2000-141; s. 97, ch. 2000-318; s. 141, ch. 2000-349; s. 6, ch. 2000-350; s. 61, ch. 2000-367; ss. 30, 54, ch. 2001-45; s. 34, ch. 2001-186; s. 3, ch. 2001-372; s. 39, ch. 2003-1; s. 2, ch. 2003-405; s. 1, ch. 2004-270; s. 4, ch. 2004-298; s. 2, ch. 2005-60; s. 2, ch. 2005-147; s. 1, ch. 2005-234; s. 4, ch. 2006-28; s. 72, ch. 2007-230; s. 44, ch. 2009-223; s. 3, ch. 2010-156.