Monday, April 30, 2012

Governor Signs Bill That Will Put Patients Ahead of Paperwork

On Friday, April 27, Governor Rick Scott signed important legislation that will help put patients ahead of paperwork by eliminating duplicative paperwork and regulations in Florida's nursing homes. HB 787 by Rep. Carlos Trujillo (R-116), for which FHCA and its members strongly advocated this session, will give caregivers more time to focus on delivering high-quality care to residents and patients.

The provisions in HB 787 will result in the following:

• Elimination of the 24-hour Adverse Incident report;
• Elimination of the quarterly staffing report;
• Clarification of eviction and nursing home discharge laws;
• Implementation of requirements to allow nursing homes to provide respite care;
• Placement of pediatric staffing standards into statute;
• Allowance of home-office audited financial records in the CON process; and
• Care plan and medical records revisions, as well as other regulatory fixes.

FHCA members only can click here for a more detailed list of these changes that go into effect July 1, 2012.

Landmark elder care reform passed in 2001 by the Florida Legislature (SB 1202) implemented tougher regulations and quality improvement programs that have resulted in measurable improvements in Florida nursing home care. The benefits of improved oversight, however, resulted in several outdated requirements and regulations. New federal regulations were trumping outdated state regulations and duplicative paperwork requirements were taking staff time away from the resident's bedside.

This new law will have a positive impact on residents, and  FHCA would like to thank Governor Scott and Rep. Trujillo, along with Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff (R-25), Sen. Jack Latvala (R-16) and Rep. Jim Frishe (R-54), whose Senate and House bills offered the original language that was carried by HB 787, for their support of the thousands of employees working in long term care who are dedicated to meeting the needs of the residents and patients in their facilities.