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The Florida Statutes

The 2009 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
Chapter 400
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Section 400.148, Florida Statutes 2009

400.148  Medicaid "Up-or-Out" Quality of Care Contract Management Program.--

(1)  The Legislature finds that the federal Medicare program has implemented successful models of managing the medical and supportive-care needs of long-term nursing home residents. These programs have maintained the highest practicable level of good health and have the potential to reduce the incidence of preventable illnesses among long-stay residents of nursing homes, thereby increasing the quality of care for residents and reducing the number of lawsuits against nursing homes. Such models are operated at no cost to the state. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Agency for Health Care Administration replicate such oversight for Medicaid recipients in poor-performing nursing homes and in assisted living facilities and nursing homes that are experiencing disproportionate numbers of lawsuits, with the goal of improving the quality of care in such homes or facilitating the revocation of licensure.

(2)  The Agency for Health Care Administration shall develop a pilot project in selected counties to demonstrate the effect of assigning skilled and trained medical personnel to ensure the quality of care, safety, and continuity of care for long-stay Medicaid recipients in the highest-scoring nursing homes in the Florida Nursing Home Guide on the date the project is implemented. The agency is authorized to begin the pilot project, subject to appropriation, in the highest-scoring homes in counties where such services are immediately available. On January 1 of each year of the pilot project, the agency shall submit to the appropriations and substantive committees of the Legislature and the Governor an assessment of the program and a proposal for expansion of the program to additional facilities. The staff of the pilot project shall assist regulatory staff in imposing regulatory sanctions, including revocation of licensure, pursuant to s. 400.121 against nursing homes that have quality-of-care violations.

(3)  The pilot project must ensure:

(a)  Oversight and coordination of all aspects of a resident's medical care and stay in a nursing home;

(b)  Facilitation of close communication between the resident, the resident's guardian or legal representative, the resident's attending physician, the resident's family, and staff of the nursing facility;

(c)  Frequent onsite visits to the resident;

(d)  Early detection of medical or quality problems that have the potential to lead to adverse outcomes and unnecessary hospitalization;

(e)  Close communication with regulatory staff;

(f)  Immediate investigation of resident quality-of-care complaints and communication and cooperation with the appropriate entity to address those complaints, including the ombudsman, state agencies, agencies responsible for Medicaid program integrity, and local law enforcement agencies;

(g)  Assistance to the resident or the resident's representative to relocate the resident if quality-of-care issues are not otherwise addressed; and

(h)  Use of Medicare and other third-party funds to support activities of the program, to the extent possible.

(4)  The agency shall model the pilot project activities after such Medicare-approved demonstration projects.

(5)  The agency may contract to provide similar oversight services to Medicaid recipients.

(6)  The agency shall, jointly with the Statewide Public Guardianship Office, develop a system in the pilot project areas to identify Medicaid recipients who are residents of a participating nursing home or assisted living facility who have diminished ability to make their own decisions and who do not have relatives or family available to act as guardians in nursing homes listed on the Nursing Home Guide Watch List. The agency and the Statewide Public Guardianship Office shall give such residents priority for publicly funded guardianship services.

History.--s. 25, ch. 2001-45.

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