January 23, 2020
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The Florida Statutes

The 2003 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 400
NURSING HOMES AND RELATED HEALTH CARE FACILITIES
View Entire Chapter
Section 400.512, Florida Statutes 2003

400.512  Screening of home health agency personnel; nurse registry personnel; and companions and homemakers.--The agency shall require employment or contractor screening as provided in chapter 435, using the level 1 standards for screening set forth in that chapter, for home health agency personnel; persons referred for employment by nurse registries; and persons employed by companion or homemaker services registered under s. 400.509.

(1)(a)  The Agency for Health Care Administration may, upon request, grant exemptions from disqualification from employment or contracting under this section as provided in s. 435.07, except for health care practitioners licensed by the Department of Health or a regulatory board within that department.

(b)  The appropriate regulatory board within the Department of Health, or that department itself when there is no board, may, upon request of the licensed health care practitioner, grant exemptions from disqualification from employment or contracting under this section as provided in s. 435.07.

(2)  The administrator of each home health agency, the managing employee of each nurse registry, and the managing employee of each companion or homemaker service registered under s. 400.509 must sign an affidavit annually, under penalty of perjury, stating that all personnel hired, contracted with, or registered on or after October 1, 1994, who enter the home of a patient or client in their service capacity have been screened and that its remaining personnel have worked for the home health agency or registrant continuously since before October 1, 1994.

1(3)  As a prerequisite to operating as a home health agency, nurse registry, or companion or homemaker service under s. 400.509, the administrator or managing employee, respectively, must submit to the agency his or her name and any other information necessary to conduct a complete screening according to this section. The agency shall submit the information to the Department of Law Enforcement for state processing. The agency shall review the record of the administrator or manager with respect to the offenses specified in this section and shall notify the owner of its findings. If disposition information is missing on a criminal record, the administrator or manager, upon request of the agency, must obtain and supply within 30 days the missing disposition information to the agency. Failure to supply missing information within 30 days or to show reasonable efforts to obtain such information will result in automatic disqualification.

1(4)  Proof of compliance with the screening requirements of chapter 435 shall be accepted in lieu of the requirements of this section if the person has been continuously employed or registered without a breach in service that exceeds 180 days, the proof of compliance is not more than 2 years old, and the person has been screened by the Department of Law Enforcement. A home health agency, nurse registry, or companion or homemaker service registered under s. 400.509 shall directly provide proof of compliance to another home health agency, nurse registry, or companion or homemaker service registered under s. 400.509. The recipient home health agency, nurse registry, or companion or homemaker service registered under s. 400.509 may not accept any proof of compliance directly from the person who requires screening. Proof of compliance with the screening requirements of this section shall be provided upon request to the person screened by the home health agencies; nurse registries; or companion or homemaker services registered under s. 400.509.

1(5)  There is no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action for damages arises against, a licensed home health agency, licensed nurse registry, or companion or homemaker service registered under s. 400.509, that, upon notice that the employee or contractor has been found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, any offense prohibited under s. 435.03 or under any similar statute of another jurisdiction, terminates the employee or contractor, whether or not the employee or contractor has filed for an exemption with the agency in accordance with chapter 435 and whether or not the time for filing has expired.

(6)  The costs of processing the statewide correspondence criminal records checks must be borne by the home health agency; the nurse registry; or the companion or homemaker service registered under s. 400.509, or by the person being screened, at the discretion of the home health agency, nurse registry, or s. 400.509 registrant.

(7)(a)  It is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable under s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for any person willfully, knowingly, or intentionally to:

1.  Fail, by false statement, misrepresentation, impersonation, or other fraudulent means, to disclose in any application for voluntary or paid employment a material fact used in making a determination as to such person's qualifications to be an employee under this section;

2.  Operate or attempt to operate an entity licensed or registered under this part with persons who do not meet the minimum standards for good moral character as contained in this section; or

13.  Use information from the criminal records obtained under this section for any purpose other than screening that person for employment as specified in this section or release such information to any other person for any purpose other than screening for employment under this section.

(b)  It is a felony of the third degree, punishable under s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, for any person willfully, knowingly, or intentionally to use information from the juvenile records of a person obtained under this section for any purpose other than screening for employment under this section.

History.--s. 14, ch. 93-214; s. 21, ch. 94-134; s. 21, ch. 94-135; s. 1057, ch. 95-148; s. 17, ch. 95-152; s. 14, ch. 95-158; s. 1, ch. 95-201; s. 40, ch. 95-228; s. 128, ch. 95-418; s. 11, ch. 96-268; ss. 230, 231, ch. 96-406; s. 12, ch. 99-332; ss. 105, 163, ch. 2000-318; s. 82, ch. 2000-349.

1Note.--As amended by s. 82, ch. 2000-349. For a description of multiple acts in the same session affecting a statutory provision, see preface to the Florida Statutes, "Statutory Construction." Subsections (3)-(5) and subparagraph (7)(a)3. were also amended by s. 163, ch. 2000-318, and that version reads:

(3)  As a prerequisite to operating as a home health agency, nurse registry, or companion or homemaker service under s. 400.509, the administrator or managing employee, respectively, must submit to the agency his or her name and any other information necessary to conduct a complete screening according to this section. The agency shall submit the information to the Department of Law Enforcement and shall conduct a search for any report of confirmed abuse. The agency shall review the record of the administrator or manager with respect to the offenses specified in this section and shall notify the owner of its findings. If disposition information is missing on a criminal record, the administrator or manager, upon request of the agency, must obtain and supply within 30 days the missing disposition information to the agency. Failure to supply missing information within 30 days or to show reasonable efforts to obtain such information will result in automatic disqualification.

(4)  Proof of compliance with the screening requirements of chapter 435 shall be accepted in lieu of the requirements of this section if the person has been continuously employed or registered without a breach in service that exceeds 180 days, the proof of compliance is not more than 2 years old, and the person has been screened through the agency for any reports of confirmed abuse and for any criminal record from the Department of Law Enforcement. A home health agency, nurse registry, or companion or homemaker service registered under s. 400.509 shall directly provide proof of compliance to another home health agency, nurse registry, or companion or homemaker service registered under s. 400.509. The recipient home health agency, nurse registry, or companion or homemaker service registered under s. 400.509 may not accept any proof of compliance directly from the person who requires screening. Proof of compliance with the screening requirements of this section shall be provided upon request to the person screened by the home health agencies; nurse registries; or companion or homemaker services registered under s. 400.509.

(5)(a)  There is no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action for damages arises against, a licensed home health agency, licensed nurse registry, or companion or homemaker service registered under s. 400.509, that, upon notice of a confirmed report of adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation through the agency, terminates the employee or contractor against whom the report was issued, whether or not the employee or contractor has filed for an exemption with the agency in accordance with chapter 435 and whether or not the time for filing has expired.

(b)  If a home health agency is asked about a person who was employed by or contracted with that agency, there is no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action for damages arising against, a former employer of the person for that agency, who reasonably and in good faith communicates his or her honest opinions about the former caregiver's job performance. This paragraph does not affect the official immunity of an officer or employee of a public corporation.

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3.  Use information from the criminal records or the agency's reports of confirmed abuse obtained under this section for any purpose other than screening that person for employment as specified in this section or release such information to any other person for any purpose other than screening for employment under this section.

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