Section 400.509, Florida Statutes 2003
400.509 Registration of particular service providers exempt from licensure; certificate of registration; regulation of registrants.--
(1) Any organization that provides companion services or homemaker services and does not provide a home health service to a person is exempt from licensure under this part. However, any organization that provides companion services or homemaker services must register with the agency.
(2) Registration consists of annually filing with the agency, under oath, on forms provided by it, the following information:
(a) If the registrant is a firm or partnership, the name, address, date of birth, and social security number of every member.
(b) If the registrant is a corporation or association, its name and address; the name, address, date of birth, and social security number of each of its directors and officers; and the name and address of each person having at least a 5 percent interest in the corporation or association.
(c) The name, address, date of birth, and social security number of each person employed by or under contract with the organization.
(3) The agency shall charge a registration fee of $25 to be submitted with the information required under subsection (2).
(4) Each applicant for registration 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 1 standards for screening set forth in chapter 435, of every individual who will have contact with the client. The agency shall require background screening of the managing employee or other similarly titled individual who is responsible for the operation of the entity, and of the financial officer or other similarly titled individual who is responsible for the financial operation of the entity, including billings for client services in accordance with the level 2 standards for background screening as set forth in chapter 435.
(b) The agency may require background screening of any other individual who is affiliated with the applicant if the agency has a reasonable basis for believing 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 paragraph (a).
(d) A provisional registration may be granted to an applicant when each individual required by this section to undergo background screening has met the standards for the abuse-registry background check through the agency and 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 registration 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 if 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 which was committed 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 who 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's or organization's board of directors, and has no financial interest and no family members having a financial interest in the corporation or organization, if 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 registration 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 registration of any applicant who:
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 licensure renewal must contain the information required under paragraphs (e) and (f).
(5) Each registrant must obtain the employment or contract history of persons who are employed by or under contract with the organization and who will have contact at any time with patients or clients in their homes by:
(a) Requiring such persons to submit an employment or contractual history to the registrant; and
(b) Verifying the employment or contractual history, unless through diligent efforts such verification is not possible. The agency shall prescribe by rule the minimum requirements for establishing that diligent efforts have been made.
There is no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action for damages arises against, a former employer of a prospective employee of or prospective independent contractor with a registrant who reasonably and in good faith communicates his or her honest opinions about the former employee's or contractor's job performance. This subsection does not affect the official immunity of an officer or employee of a public corporation.
(6) On or before the first day on which services are provided to a patient or client, any registrant under this part must inform the patient or client and his or her immediate family, if appropriate, of the right to report abusive, neglectful, or exploitative practices. The statewide toll-free telephone number for the central abuse hotline must be provided to patients or clients in a manner that is clearly legible and must include the words: "To report abuse, neglect, or exploitation, please call toll-free (phone number) ." Registrants must establish appropriate policies and procedures for providing such notice to patients or clients.
(7) The provisions of s. 400.512 regarding screening apply to any person or business entity registered under this section on or after October 1, 1994.
(8) Upon verification that all requirements for registration have been met, the Agency for Health Care Administration shall issue a certificate of registration valid for no more than 1 year.
(9) The Agency for Health Care Administration may deny, suspend, or revoke the registration of a person 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.
(10) The Agency for Health Care Administration may institute injunctive proceedings under s. 400.515.
(11) A person that offers or advertises to the public a service for which registration is required must include in its advertisement the registration number issued by the Agency for Health Care Administration.
(12) It is unlawful for a person to offer or advertise to the public services, as defined by rule, without obtaining a certificate of registration from the Agency for Health Care Administration. It is unlawful for any holder of a certificate of registration to advertise or hold out to the public that he or she holds a certificate of registration for other than that for which he or she actually holds a certificate of registration. Any person who violates this subsection is subject to injunctive proceedings under s. 400.515.
(13) Any duly authorized officer or employee of the Agency for Health Care Administration has the right to make such inspections and investigations as are necessary in order 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 officer 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 officer 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.
(14) 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 registration, the registration shall not be issued until the assessment is paid or arrangements for payment of the assessment are made.
(15) The Agency for Health Care Administration shall adopt rules to administer this section.
History.--ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-123; s. 3, ch. 88-219; s. 66, ch. 91-221; s. 30, ch. 91-263; ss. 6, 23, ch. 93-214; s. 787, ch. 95-148; s. 11, ch. 99-332; s. 162, ch. 2000-318; s. 81, ch. 2000-349.
Note.--Former s. 400.478.