Section 400.934, Florida Statutes 2009
400.934 Minimum standards.--As a requirement of licensure, home medical equipment providers shall:
(1) Offer and provide home medical equipment and services, as necessary, to consumers who purchase or rent equipment that requires such services.
(2) Provide at least one category of equipment directly, filling orders from its own inventory.
(3) Respond to orders received for other equipment by filling those orders from its own inventory or inventory from other companies with which it has contracted to fill such orders; or customizing or fitting items for sale from supplies purchased under contract.
(4) Maintain trained personnel to coordinate order fulfillment and schedule timely equipment and service delivery.
(5) As necessary in relation to the sophistication of the equipment and services being provided, ensure that delivery personnel are appropriately trained to conduct an environment and equipment compatibility assessment; appropriately and safely set up the equipment; instruct patients and caregivers in the safe operation and client maintenance of the equipment; and recognize when additional education or followup patient compliance monitoring is appropriate.
(6) Ensure that patients are made aware of service hours and emergency service procedures.
(7) At the time of the initial delivery, set up an appropriate followup home medical equipment service schedule as needed for such times as, but not limited to, periodic maintenance, supply delivery, and other related activities.
(8) Arrange for emergency service after normal business hours; provide refresher and review training for appropriate personnel; establish a system for resolution of complaints and service problems; and provide for timely replacement or delivery of disposable or consumable equipment supplies.
(9) Honor all warranties expressed and implied under applicable state law.
(10) Answer any questions or complaints a consumer has about an item or the use of an item that the consumer purchases or rents.
(11) Maintain and repair directly, or through a service contract with another company, items rented to consumers.
(12) Accept returns of substandard or unsuitable items from consumers. As used in this subsection, the term "substandard" means less than full quality for the particular item and the term "unsuitable" means inappropriate for the consumer at the time it was fitted or sold.
(13) Disclose consumer information to each consumer who rents or purchases items, including all applicable warranty information. This information consists of the provider standards to which the item must conform.
(14) Maintain patient payment and service records in accordance with the requirements of this part.
(15)(a) Designate appropriate staff as intake coordinators, and ensure that order intake personnel are appropriately trained in the types of equipment and products, commonly occurring medical conditions, service procedures, third-party billing, and insurance requirements and coverage.
(b) Train intake coordinators in a basic understanding of the following areas: dealing with patient and caregiver needs; other, nonhome medical equipment provider services as they relate to home medical equipment services and home care patient crisis management.
(16) Establish procedures for maintaining a record of the employment history, including background screening as required by s. 400.953, of all home medical equipment provider personnel. A home medical equipment provider must require its personnel to submit an employment history to the home medical equipment provider and must verify the employment history for at least the previous 5 years, unless through diligent efforts such verification is not possible. There is no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action for damages arising against a former employer, a prospective employee, or a prospective independent contractor with a licensed home medical equipment provider, who reasonably and in good faith communicates his or her honest opinions about a former employee's job performance. This subsection does not affect the official immunity of an officer or employee of a public corporation.
(17) Upon request by the consumer or as otherwise required by state law and rules, or federal law and regulations, assist consumers with meeting the necessary filing requirements to obtain third-party payment to which a consumer may be entitled.
(18) Maintain safe premises.
(19) Comply with all other state and federal laws.
(20)(a) Prepare and maintain a comprehensive emergency management plan that meets minimum criteria established by agency rule under s. 400.935. The plan shall be updated annually and shall provide for continuing home medical equipment services for life-supporting or life-sustaining equipment, as defined in s. 400.925, during an emergency that interrupts home medical equipment services in a patient's home. The plan shall include:
1. The means by which the home medical equipment provider will continue to provide equipment to perform 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.
2. The means by which the home medical equipment provider establishes and maintains an effective response to emergencies and disasters, including plans for:
a. Notification of staff when emergency response measures are initiated.
b. Communication between staff members, county health departments, and local emergency management agencies, which includes provisions for a backup communications system.
c. Identification of resources necessary to continue essential care or services or referrals to other organizations subject to written agreement.
d. Contacting and prioritizing patients in need of continued medical equipment services and supplies.
(b) The plan 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 is in accordance with the criteria in the Agency for Health Care Administration rules within 90 days after receipt of the plan. If a home medical equipment provider 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 home medical equipment provider that such 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.
(21) Each home medical equipment provider shall maintain a current prioritized list of patients who need continued services during an emergency. The list shall indicate the means by which services shall be continued for each patient in the event of an emergency or disaster, whether the patient is to be transported to a special needs shelter, and whether the patient has life-supporting or life-sustaining equipment, including the specific type of equipment and related supplies. The list shall be furnished to county health departments and local emergency management agencies upon request.
(22) Home medical equipment providers 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 the provider to reach its patients.
History.--s. 1, ch. 99-189; s. 26, ch. 2006-71.