CS for CS for SB 988 First Engrossed 2022988e1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to in-person visitation; providing a 3 short title; creating s. 408.823, F.S.; providing 4 applicability; requiring certain providers to 5 establish visitation policies and procedures within a 6 specified timeframe; providing requirements for such 7 policies and procedures; authorizing the resident, 8 client, or patient to designate an essential 9 caregiver; establishing requirements related to 10 essential caregivers; requiring in-person visitation 11 in certain circumstances; providing that the policies 12 and procedures may require visitors to agree in 13 writing to follow such policies and procedures; 14 authorizing providers to suspend in-person visitation 15 of specific visitors under certain circumstances; 16 requiring providers to provide their policies and 17 procedures to the Agency for Health Care 18 Administration at specified times; requiring providers 19 to make their policies and procedures available to the 20 agency for review at any time, upon request; requiring 21 providers to make their policies and procedures easily 22 accessible from the homepage of their websites within 23 a specified timeframe; requiring the agency to 24 dedicate a stand-alone page on its website for 25 specified purposes; providing a directive to the 26 Division of Law Revision; providing an effective date. 27 28 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 29 30 Section 1. This act may be cited as the “No Patient Left 31 Alone Act.” 32 Section 2. Section 408.823, Florida Statutes, is created to 33 read: 34 408.823 In-person visitation.— 35 (1) This section applies to developmental disabilities 36 centers as defined in s. 393.063, hospitals licensed under 37 chapter 395, nursing home facilities licensed under part II of 38 chapter 400, hospice facilities licensed under part IV of 39 chapter 400, intermediate care facilities for the 40 developmentally disabled licensed and certified under part VIII 41 of chapter 400, and assisted living facilities licensed under 42 part I of chapter 429. 43 (2)(a) No later than 30 days after the effective date of 44 this act, each provider shall establish visitation policies and 45 procedures. The policies and procedures must, at a minimum, 46 include infection control and education policies for visitors; 47 screening, personal protective equipment, and other infection 48 control protocols for visitors; permissible length of visits and 49 numbers of visitors, which must meet or exceed the standards in 50 ss. 400.022(1)(b) and 429.28(1)(d), as applicable; and 51 designation of a person responsible for ensuring that staff 52 adhere to the policies and procedures. Safety-related policies 53 and procedures may not be more stringent than those established 54 for the provider’s staff and may not require visitors to submit 55 proof of any vaccination or immunization. The policies and 56 procedures must allow consensual physical contact between a 57 resident, client, or patient and the visitor. 58 (b) A resident, client, or patient may designate a visitor 59 who is a family member, friend, guardian, or other individual as 60 an essential caregiver. The provider must allow in-person 61 visitation by the essential caregiver for at least 2 hours daily 62 in addition to any other visitation authorized by the provider. 63 This section does not require an essential caregiver to provide 64 necessary care to a resident, client, or patient of a provider, 65 and providers may not require an essential caregiver to provide 66 such care. 67 (c) The visitation policies and procedures required by this 68 section must allow in-person visitation in all of the following 69 circumstances, unless the resident, client, or patient objects: 70 1. End-of-life situations. 71 2. A resident, client, or patient who was living with 72 family before being admitted to the provider’s care is 73 struggling with the change in environment and lack of in-person 74 family support. 75 3. The resident, client, or patient is making one or more 76 major medical decisions. 77 4. A resident, client, or patient is experiencing emotional 78 distress or grieving the loss of a friend or family member who 79 recently died. 80 5. A resident, client, or patient needs cueing or 81 encouragement to eat or drink which was previously provided by a 82 family member or caregiver. 83 6. A resident, client, or patient who used to talk and 84 interact with others is seldom speaking. 85 7. For hospitals, childbirth, including labor and delivery. 86 8. Pediatric patients. 87 (d) The policies and procedures may require a visitor to 88 agree in writing to follow the provider’s policies and 89 procedures. A provider may suspend in-person visitation of a 90 specific visitor if the visitor violates the provider’s policies 91 and procedures. 92 (e) The providers shall provide their visitation policies 93 and procedures to the agency when applying for initial 94 licensure, licensure renewal, or change of ownership. The 95 provider must make the visitation policies and procedures 96 available to the agency for review at any time, upon request. 97 (f) Within 24 hours after establishing the policies and 98 procedures required under this section, providers must make such 99 policies and procedures easily accessible from the homepage of 100 their websites. 101 (3) The agency shall dedicate a stand-alone page on its 102 website to explain the visitation requirements of this section 103 and provide a link to the agency’s webpage to report complaints. 104 Section 3. The Division of Law Revision is directed to 105 replace the phrase “30 days after the effective date of this 106 act” wherever it occurs in this act with the date 30 days after 107 this act becomes a law. 108 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.