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AHCA Rule Changes Go Into Effect Today for Senior Housing Operators [Gray Area of the Law]

August 16, 2021

Shareholder John Ruffier discusses new AHCA rules that go into effect for senior housing operators and what they need to know to stay in compliance. 
Courtesy of our friends at the Florida Senior Living Association:

Today, August 16, 2021, AHCA’s Final Adopted Version of Rules 59A-36.007 .008, & .028, F.A.C., which implement HB 767 (2020) are effective. These rules revolve around the topics of resident care standards (e.g., third-party services, assistive devices, physical restraints, and infection control procedures), medication practices, and ALF minimum core training curriculum requirements.

What You Need To Know: Changes to the three rules being amended include:

Rule 59A-36.007Resident Care Standards

Third-Party Services:

  • Requires the ALF administrator or designee must ensure that: (1) care coordination includes documented communications about the resident’s condition and response to treatment or services ordered by the physician which may impact the resident’s appropriateness for continued residency in the ALF; (2) communications occur at least once every 30 days and whenever there is a significant change in the resident’s condition; and (3) if physician ordered treatments or services occur less often than once a month, communications must be conducted according to the ordered treatment or service schedule and whenever there is a significant change in the resident’s condition.
  • Requires an ALF to document at least two attempts at communication on two separate days when communication to a third-party provider is unsuccessful.
Assistive Devices:

  • Requires assistive devices to be added to an ALF’s policies, rules and procedures, including the requirements and methods for assessing the physical condition of the assistive devices that may injure the resident and procedures for recommending repair or replacement for the continuing safety of a resident’s assistive device.
  • Requires ALFs to be responsible for ensuring the safe usage of a resident’s assistive devices.
  • Requires documentation of each assistive device a resident uses to be included in the resident’s record.
  • Requires direct care staff using assistive devices while rendering personal services to residents to know how to operate and utilize the equipment.
  • Requires all assistive devices to be clean, in good repair, and free of hazards.
  • Requires ALFs to encourage and allow the resident to function with independence when using the assistive device.
This is an excerpt from a blog post originally written on Gray Area of the Law. To read the entire post, click here.

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John Ruffier concentrates his legal practice on commercial real estate, representing clients within Florida and across the nation. As the firm's Senior Housing Group chair, he also helps companies build their senior living portfolios from the ground up. 

Whether representing companies that are developing, acquiring or selling commercial real estate, or lenders who are making or modifying commercial loans, John’s skills garnered from his championship rowing days serve him well. After all, rowing is a lot like business: both require a clear vision and goal, a well-developed plan, manageable milestones and a laser-like focus – with the flexibility to adjust when necessary.

Restaurants, big box retail stores, office buildings, golf courses, and senior living facilities are among the real estate transactions in John’s dossier, both in Florida and across the United States. Clients appreciate John’s holistic approach to deals – like in his rowing days, John ignores distractions and always keeps his focus on the goal line of getting the deal done. With senior housing, John and his team work on numerous diverse issues such as land use, licensing, financing, labor and employment management and operations, all to provide clients with advice that carefully looks at both immediate needs and the long-term prospects for potential transactions.

When he is not practicing law, John works with The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. He is the past chair of the organization’s board of directors and continues to advise its leadership now that his term has ended. John is also a past president of the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida and was awarded the Chuck Hummer II Visionary Award in recognition of his leadership in the LGBT community. Currently, John serves on the board of directors for both United Arts of Central Florida and the Central Florida Kidney Center.

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