400.506 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. The requirements of part II of chapter 408 apply to the provision of services that require licensure pursuant to ss. 400.506-400.518 and part II of chapter 408 and to entities licensed by or applying for such license from the Agency for Health Care Administration pursuant to ss. 400.506-400.518. A license issued by the agency is required for the operation of 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 and each licensee must comply with all provisions of part II of chapter 408 and this section.
(3) In accordance with s. 408.805, an applicant or licensee shall pay a fee for each license application submitted under ss. 400.506-400.518, part II of chapter 408, and applicable rules. The amount of the fee shall be established by rule and may not exceed $2,000 per biennium.
(4) A person that provides, offers, or advertises to the public 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. The agency shall assess a fine of not less than $100 against any licensee who fails to include the license number when submitting the advertisement for publication, broadcast, or printing. The fine for a second or subsequent offense is $500.
(5)(a) In addition to the requirements of s. 408.812, any person who owns, operates, or maintains an unlicensed nurse registry and who, within 10 working days after receiving notification from the agency, fails to cease operation and apply for a license under this part commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Each day of continued operation is a separate offense.
(b) If a nurse registry fails to cease operation after agency notification, the agency may impose a fine of $500 for each day of noncompliance.
(6)(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). A licensed nurse registry shall ensure that each certified nursing assistant referred for contract by the nurse registry and each home health aide referred for contract by the nurse registry is adequately trained to perform the tasks of a home health aide in the home setting. 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) When a certified nursing assistant or home health aide is referred to a patient’s home by a nurse registry, the nurse registry shall advise the patient, the patient’s family, or any other person acting on behalf of the patient at the time the contract for services is made that registered nurses are available to make visits to the patient’s home for an additional cost.
(7) 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.
(8) 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.
(e) Proof of completion of a continuing educational course on modes of transmission, infection control procedures, clinical management, and prevention of human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome with an emphasis on appropriate behavior and attitude change. Such instruction shall include information on current Florida law and its effect on testing, confidentiality of test results, and treatment of patients and any protocols and procedures applicable to human immunodeficiency virus counseling and testing, reporting, offering HIV testing to pregnant women, and partner notification issues pursuant to ss. 381.004 and 384.25.
1(9) Each nurse registry must comply with the background screening requirements in s. 400.512 for all persons referred for contract. However, an initial screening may not be required for persons who have been continuously registered with the nurse registry since October 1, 2000.
(10) 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 patient or client to whom nurse registry personnel are referred 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 patient-related or client-related information.
(11) 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.
(12) 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 include the means by which the nurse registry will continue to provide the same type and quantity of services to its patients who evacuate to special needs shelters which were being provided to those patients prior to evacuation. 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 residences. Nurse registries may establish links to local emergency operations centers to determine a mechanism by which to approach specific areas within a disaster area in order for a provider to reach its clients. Nurse registries shall demonstrate a good faith effort to comply with the requirements of this subsection by documenting attempts of staff to follow procedures outlined in the nurse registry’s comprehensive emergency management plan which support a finding that the provision of continuing care has been attempted for patients identified as needing care by the nurse registry and registered under s. 252.355 in the event of an emergency under this subsection.
(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 contact state and local health and medical stakeholders when necessary. The county health department shall complete its review to ensure that the plan complies with the criteria in the Agency for Health Care Administration rules within 90 days after receipt of the plan and shall either approve the plan or advise the nurse registry of necessary revisions. If a nurse registry fails to submit a plan or fails to submit requested information or revisions to the county health department within 30 days after written notification from the county health department, the county health department shall notify the Agency for Health Care Administration. The agency shall notify the nurse registry that its failure constitutes a deficiency, subject to a fine of $5,000 per occurrence. If the plan is not submitted, information is not provided, or revisions are not made as requested, the agency may impose the fine.
(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.
(13) 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, physician assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner, acting within his or her respective scope of practice, and reviewed in consultation with the licensed nurse at least every 2 months. Any additional order or change in orders must be obtained from the physician, physician assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner and reduced to writing and timely signed by the physician, physician assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner. 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.
(14) The nurse registry must comply with the notice requirements of s. 408.810(5), relating to abuse reporting.
(15)(a) The agency may deny, suspend, or revoke the license of a nurse registry and shall impose a fine of $5,000 against a nurse registry that:
1. Provides services to residents in an assisted living facility for which the nurse registry does not receive fair market value remuneration.
2. Provides staffing to an assisted living facility for which the nurse registry does not receive fair market value remuneration.
3. Fails to provide the agency, upon request, with copies of all contracts with assisted living facilities which were executed within the last 5 years.
4. Gives remuneration to a case manager, discharge planner, facility-based staff member, or third-party vendor who is involved in the discharge planning process of a facility licensed under chapter 395 or this chapter and from whom the nurse registry receives referrals. A nurse registry is exempt from this subparagraph if it does not bill the Florida Medicaid program or the Medicare program or share a controlling interest with any entity licensed, registered, or certified under part II of chapter 408 that bills the Florida Medicaid program or the Medicare program.
5. Gives remuneration to a physician, a member of the physician’s office staff, or an immediate family member of the physician, and the nurse registry received a patient referral in the last 12 months from that physician or the physician’s office staff. A nurse registry is exempt from this subparagraph if it does not bill the Florida Medicaid program or the Medicare program or share a controlling interest with any entity licensed, registered, or certified under part II of chapter 408 that bills the Florida Medicaid program or the Medicare program.
(b) The agency shall also impose an administrative fine of $15,000 if the nurse registry refers nurses, certified nursing assistants, home health aides, or other staff without charge to a facility licensed under chapter 429 in return for patient referrals from the facility.
(c) The proceeds of all fines collected under this subsection shall be deposited into the Health Care Trust Fund.
(16) 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.
(17) The Agency for Health Care Administration shall adopt rules to implement this section and part II of chapter 408.
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; s. 1, ch. 2005-170; s. 1, ch. 2005-172; s. 8, ch. 2005-243; s. 23, ch. 2006-71; s. 79, ch. 2007-5; s. 80, ch. 2007-230; s. 103, ch. 2008-4; s. 2, ch. 2008-103; s. 9, ch. 2008-246; s. 7, ch. 2009-223; s. 7, ch. 2010-114.
1Note.—Section 58, ch. 2010-114, provides that “[t]he changes made by this act are intended to be prospective in nature. It is not intended that persons who are employed or licensed on the effective date of this act be rescreened until such time as they are otherwise required to be rescreened pursuant to law, at which time they must meet the requirements for screening as set forth in this act.”