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The Florida Senate

2006 Florida Statutes

Section 400.19, Florida Statutes 2006

400.19  Right of entry and inspection.--

(1)  The agency and any duly designated officer or employee thereof or a member of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Council or the local long-term care ombudsman council shall have the right to enter upon and into the premises of any facility licensed pursuant to this part, or any distinct nursing home unit of a hospital licensed under chapter 395 or any freestanding facility licensed under chapter 395 that provides extended care or other long-term care services, at any reasonable time in order to determine the state of compliance with the provisions of this part and rules in force pursuant thereto. The right of entry and inspection shall also extend to any premises which the agency has reason to believe is being operated or maintained as a facility without a license, but no such entry or inspection of any premises shall be made without the permission of the owner or person in charge thereof, unless a warrant is first obtained from the circuit court authorizing same. Any application for a facility license or renewal thereof, made pursuant to this part, shall constitute permission for and complete acquiescence in any entry or inspection of the premises for which the license is sought, in order to facilitate verification of the information submitted on or in connection with the application; to discover, investigate, and determine the existence of abuse or neglect; or to elicit, receive, respond to, and resolve complaints. The agency shall, within 60 days after receipt of a complaint made by a resident or resident's representative, complete its investigation and provide to the complainant its findings and resolution.

(2)  The agency shall coordinate nursing home facility licensing activities and responsibilities of any duly designated officer or employee involved in nursing home facility inspection to assure necessary, equitable, and consistent supervision of inspection personnel without unnecessary duplication of inspections, consultation services, or complaint investigations. To facilitate such coordination, all rules promulgated by the agency pursuant to this part shall be distributed to nursing homes licensed under s. 400.062 30 days prior to implementation. This requirement does not apply to emergency rules.

(3)  The agency shall every 15 months conduct at least one unannounced inspection to determine compliance by the licensee with statutes, and with rules promulgated under the provisions of those statutes, governing minimum standards of construction, quality and adequacy of care, and rights of residents. The survey shall be conducted every 6 months for the next 2-year period if the facility has been cited for a class I deficiency, has been cited for two or more class II deficiencies arising from separate surveys or investigations within a 60-day period, or has had three or more substantiated complaints within a 6-month period, each resulting in at least one class I or class II deficiency. In addition to any other fees or fines in this part, the agency shall assess a fine for each facility that is subject to the 6-month survey cycle. The fine for the 2-year period shall be $6,000, one-half to be paid at the completion of each survey. The agency may adjust this fine by the change in the Consumer Price Index, based on the 12 months immediately preceding the increase, to cover the cost of the additional surveys. The agency shall verify through subsequent inspection that any deficiency identified during the annual inspection is corrected. However, the agency may verify the correction of a class III or class IV deficiency unrelated to resident rights or resident care without reinspecting the facility if adequate written documentation has been received from the facility, which provides assurance that the deficiency has been corrected. The giving or causing to be given of advance notice of such unannounced inspections by an employee of the agency to any unauthorized person shall constitute cause for suspension of not fewer than 5 working days according to the provisions of chapter 110.

(4)  The agency shall conduct unannounced onsite facility reviews following written verification of licensee noncompliance in instances in which a long-term care ombudsman council, pursuant to ss. 400.0071 and 400.0075, has received a complaint and has documented deficiencies in resident care or in the physical plant of the facility that threaten the health, safety, or security of residents, or when the agency documents through inspection that conditions in a facility present a direct or indirect threat to the health, safety, or security of residents. However, the agency shall conduct unannounced onsite reviews every 3 months of each facility while the facility has a conditional license. Deficiencies related to physical plant do not require followup reviews after the agency has determined that correction of the deficiency has been accomplished and that the correction is of the nature that continued compliance can be reasonably expected.

History.--s. 18, ch. 69-309; ss. 19, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 17, ch. 70-361; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 5, ch. 76-201; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 35, 36, ch. 79-190; ss. 13, 18, ch. 80-186; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 12, 19, ch. 82-148; ss. 26, 79, 83, ch. 83-181; ss. 21, 30, ch. 93-177; ss. 25, 49, ch. 93-217; s. 14, ch. 99-394; s. 139, ch. 2000-349; s. 59, ch. 2000-367; s. 27, ch. 2001-45.