Florida Restarts Assisted Living Facility Reform Efforts With June 25, 2012 Public Meeting
Jun 10, 2012
Carrying out Governor Rick Scott’s directive to reconvene the Assisted Living Workgroup, the Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) announced on June 5, 2012 that there will be three public meetings held during the summer months and final recommendations will be presented in the fall. The first meeting is scheduled for June 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Jacksonville. The second and third meetings will likely be in Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando, respectively.
The workgroup’s purpose is to develop recommendations for improvement in the State’s ability to monitor quality and safety in assisted living facilities and the well-being of their residents. The Workgroup will continue its comprehensive review of the regulation and oversight of assisted living facilities in Florida.
“The Agency is pleased to continue this important effort,” said Secretary Liz Dudek. “Our aim is a safe and comfortable living environment for all residents in assisted living facilities, and the input from advocates and stakeholders is crucial in helping achieve that standard.”
During Phase I, the Assisted Living Workgroup made significant recommendations for legislative and program changes in the regulation of assisted living facilities. While proposed legislation did not pass during the 2012 Legislative Session, the Governor would like the members to continue working on the full slate of possible opportunities to improve oversight and coordination in facilities moving forward.
Independent of the legislative process, the Agency has initiated several operational changes to strengthen interagency collaboration, consumer awareness and regulatory oversight, including:
Monthly press releases to increase consumer awareness about closures at licensed facilities, as well as emergency actions and Medicaid terminations taken by the Agency
Enhanced consumer information through the Agency’s www.FloridaHealthFinder.gov site by adding sanction information, Medicaid services provided by each facility, and the release of a Smartphone application to locate facilities faster;
Revised the assisted living inspection process so that it has a greater resident focus;
Conducted joint training sessions for assisted living administrators/operators and Agency staff throughout the state, as well as the addition of specialized inspection staff to focus on assisted living enforcement coordination in each field office;
Provided ALF awareness training for Medicaid waiver support coordinators and Agency staff;
Improved communication tools with partner agencies, including monthly interagency meetings to discuss regulatory actions and joint training activities with other state agencies that are involved in assisted living oversight; and
Partnered with the Department of Elder Affairs to initiate changes to administrative rules regarding training and qualifications.
Phase II of the Assisted Living Workgroup includes representatives of assisted living providers and residents, policy experts, and advocates. Larry Polivka, Director and Scholar in Residence at the Claude Pepper Center, has agreed to continue as Chairman of the workgroup. A complete listing of workgroup members and additional information can be found on the website at http://ahca.myflorida.com/SCHS/ALWG2011/alwg2011.shtml
The Agency for Health Care Administration is committed to better health care for all Floridians. The Agency administers Florida’s Medicaid program, licenses and regulates more than 40,000 health care facilities and 37 health maintenance organizations, and publishes health care data and statistics at FloridaHealthFinder.gov. For more information about the health information exchange, visit AHCA.MyFlorida.com.
Meeting Materials and Call-In Information for the June 25 meeting are provided below. To view the Web page for the Workgroup, click here.
The call-in number and conference code for joining via teleconference is: (888) 808-6959 / Conference Code: 850-414-0344.
If you have any difficulty accessing the teleconference, please call the Assisted Living Facility Unit’s main number at (850) 412-4304.
FDLE Training Center
921 N. Davis Street, Bldg. E
Jacksonville, FL 32209