Florida Alert!  House Committee Takes on Assisted Living Deregulation Bill Image

Florida Alert!  House Committee Takes on Contentious Assisted Living Deregulation Bill

January 15, 2020

House Bill 767 is scheduled to be heard by the Health Market Reform Subcommittee today at 3:30 PM in Mashburn Hall at Florida’s Capitol.  HB 767, sponsored by Representative Michael Grant (R-Charlotte), is the companion bill to Senator Harrell’s contentious Senate Bill 402.  

Make no mistake, HB 767 and SB 402 are both back door ALF deregulation bills.

Make no mistake, HB 767 and SB 402 are both back door ALF deregulation bills.

While amendments have been made to address some of our concerns, chiefly with the adverse incident reporting, these bills are still dangerous to residents and their safety.

Both would create a nearly impossible standard for ombudsman complaints to be considered when state regulators are making a determination as to whether or not a facility will receive a “full inspection” or an “abbreviated survey.”

Right now, ombudsman complaints are an integral part of the Agency for Health Care Administration’s inspection review process.  If a facility is found to have a “confirmed” ombudsman complaint record, then AHCA would be required to conduct a full inspection.

But HB 767 and SB 402 seek to roll back that review by narrowing ombudsman complaint consideration to only those referred ombudsman complaints that result in “Class I, Class II, or uncorrected Class III violations”—this revision would all but guarantee an escalation of abbreviated surveys in assisted living facilities.

Over the past twenty years, the ombudsman program referred over 2,000 assisted living complaints to state regulators.  More than 80 percent of those complaints were lost to the bureaucratic black hole with the remainder being largely ignored or unsubstantiated.[1]  

If HB 767 and SB 402 are passed, then assisted living resident and family complaints made to ombudsmen will become virtually meaningless in the survey review process.

And if that’s the case, and more abbreviated surveys are utilized by state regulators, you can say goodbye to onsite inspections in your loved one’s facility and hello to worsening ALF care in Florida. 

Call your legislator today and help them understand the consequences to Florida’s elderly if these bills pass. 

Demand a “NO” vote on SB 402 and HB 767.  

PROGRAMING NOTE: Watch the Health Market Reform Subcommittee proceedings on Florida Channel's live stream starting at 3:30 PM.

[1] - Source: National Ombudsman Reporting System (2000 - Present)

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