Section 400.980, Florida Statutes 2009
400.980 Health care services pools.--
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Agency" means the Agency for Health Care Administration.
(b) "Health care services pool" means any person, firm, corporation, partnership, or association engaged for hire in the business of providing temporary employment in health care facilities, residential facilities, and agencies for licensed, certified, or trained health care personnel including, without limitation, nursing assistants, nurses' aides, and orderlies. However, the term does not include nursing registries, a facility licensed under this chapter or chapter 429, a health care services pool established within a health care facility to provide services only within the confines of such facility, or any individual contractor directly providing temporary services to a health care facility without use or benefit of a contracting agent.
(2) The requirements of part II of chapter 408 apply to the provision of services that require licensure or registration pursuant to this part and part II of chapter 408 and to entities registered by or applying for such registration from the agency pursuant to this part. Registration or a license issued by the agency is required for the operation of a health care services pool in this state. In accordance with s. 408.805, an applicant or licensee shall pay a fee for each license application submitted using this part, part II of chapter 408, and applicable rules. The agency shall adopt rules and provide forms required for such registration and shall impose a registration fee in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of administering this part and part II of chapter 408. In addition to the requirements in part II of chapter 408, the registrant must provide the agency with any change of information contained on the original registration application within 14 days prior to the change.
(3) 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 patients.
(4) A health care services pool may not require an employee to recruit new employees from persons employed at a health care facility to which the health care services pool employee is assigned. Nor shall a health care facility to which employees of a health care services pool are assigned recruit new employees from the health care services pool.
(5) A health care services pool shall document that each temporary employee provided to a health care facility has met the licensing, certification, training, or continuing education requirements, as established by the appropriate regulatory agency, for the position in which he or she will be working.
(6) When referring persons for temporary employment in health care facilities, a health care services pool shall comply with all pertinent state and federal laws, rules, and regulations relating to health, background screening, and other qualifications required of persons working in a facility of that type.
(7)(a) As a condition of registration and prior to the issuance or renewal of a certificate of registration, a health care services pool applicant must prove financial responsibility to pay claims, and costs ancillary thereto, arising out of the rendering of services or failure to render services by the pool or by its employees in the course of their employment with the pool. The agency shall promulgate rules establishing minimum financial responsibility coverage amounts which shall be adequate to pay potential claims and costs ancillary thereto.
(b) Each health care services pool shall give written notification to the agency within 20 days after any change in the method of assuring financial responsibility or upon cancellation or nonrenewal of professional liability insurance. Unless the pool demonstrates that it is otherwise in compliance with the requirements of this subsection, the agency shall suspend the registration of the pool pursuant to s. 408.814. Any suspension under this section shall remain in effect until the pool demonstrates compliance with the requirements of this subsection.
(c) Proof of financial responsibility must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the agency, through one of the following methods:
1. Establishing and maintaining an escrow account consisting of cash or assets eligible for deposit in accordance with s. 625.52;
2. Obtaining and maintaining an unexpired irrevocable letter of credit established pursuant to chapter 675. Such letters of credit shall be nontransferable and nonassignable and shall be issued by any bank or savings association organized and existing under the laws of this state or any bank or savings association organized under the laws of the United States that has its principal place of business in this state or has a branch office which is authorized under the laws of this state or of the United States to receive deposits in this state; or
3. Obtaining and maintaining professional liability coverage from one of the following:
a. An authorized insurer as defined under s. 624.09;
b. An eligible surplus lines insurer as defined under s. 626.918(2);
c. A risk retention group or purchasing group as defined under s. 627.942; or
d. A plan of self-insurance as provided in s. 627.357.
(d) If financial responsibility requirements are met by maintaining an escrow account or letter of credit, as provided in this subsection, upon the entry of an adverse final judgment arising from a medical malpractice arbitration award from a claim of medical malpractice either in contract or tort, or from noncompliance with the terms of a settlement agreement arising from a claim of medical malpractice either in contract or tort, the financial institution holding the escrow account or the letter of credit shall pay directly to the claimant the entire amount of the judgment together with all accrued interest or the amount maintained in the escrow account or letter of credit as required by this subsection, whichever is less, within 60 days after the date such judgment became final and subject to execution, unless otherwise mutually agreed to in writing by the parties. If timely payment is not made, the agency shall suspend the registration of the pool pursuant to procedures set forth by the agency through rule. Nothing in this paragraph shall abrogate a judgment debtor's obligation to satisfy the entire amount of any judgment.
(e) Each health care services pool carrying claims-made coverage must demonstrate proof of extended reporting coverage through either tail or nose coverage, in the event the policy is canceled, replaced, or not renewed. Such extended coverage shall provide coverage for incidents that occurred during the claims-made policy period but were reported after the policy period.
(f) The financial responsibility requirements of this subsection shall apply to claims for incidents that occur on or after January 1, 1991, or the initial date of registration in this state, whichever is later.
(g) Meeting the financial responsibility requirements of this subsection must be established at the time of issuance or renewal of a certificate of registration.
(8) In addition to the requirements of part II of chapter 408, the agency shall adopt rules to implement this part, including rules providing for the establishment of:
(a) Minimum standards for the operation and administration of health care personnel pools, including procedures for recordkeeping and personnel.
(b) Fines for the violation of this part, part II of chapter 408, or applicable rules in an amount not to exceed $2,500.
History.--s. 1, ch. 89-354; s. 1, ch. 90-158; s. 1, ch. 90-192; s. 30, ch. 90-295; s. 184, ch. 91-108; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 52, ch. 94-218; s. 1061, ch. 95-148; s. 128, ch. 96-410; s. 3, ch. 97-264; s. 1, ch. 98-130; s. 24, ch. 2000-349; s. 38, ch. 2001-62; s. 29, ch. 2003-57; s. 18, ch. 2004-267; s. 70, ch. 2006-197; s. 121, ch. 2007-230.
Note.--Former s. 402.48.