Yesterday, the Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) filed rule 58AER17-2 Variances from Emergency Rule 58AER17-1 – Procedures Regarding Emergency Environmental Control for Assisted Living Facilities.
In explanation of the rule, DOEA stated, “58AER17-2 is a supplement to the Emergency Rule and outlines the rule variance process where, under extreme circumstances beyond a facility’s control, a facility can request more time to comply with this life-saving rule (58AER17-1) per Florida law” According to 58AER17-2, each variance request must contain the following:
- Steps the assisted living facility has taken to implement the detailed plan required by Emergency Rule 58AER17-1,
- Specific circumstances beyond the facilities control that have prevented full implementation of the detailed plan within the 60 day time frame,
- What arrangements have been made to pending full implementation of the detailed plan to ensure that residents of the ALF will not be exposed to temperatures above 80 degrees in the event of a power failure or loss of AC due to loss of power,
- A delineation of the steps remaining for full implementation of the detailed plan and the ALF’s estimate of the time needed to fully implement 58AER17-1, and
- All steps taken by the ALF to provided to the residents and family members or legal guardians that the ALF has applied for a variance or waiver from Emergency Rule 58AER17-1 and the steps the ALF is taking to comply with the Emergency Rule.
DOEA also states that it will consider each request and the reasonable efforts undertaken by the assisted living facility to provide the protections required by the Emergency Rule. Administrative action or sanctions for non-compliance with the Emergency Rule will be evaluated based upon the information submitted by the ALF in conjunction with any variance request under existing law (see section 120.542, Florida Statues).
NOTE: This rule does not repeal or modify the requirements of the Emergency Rule.
A notice issued yesterday by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) stated that on October 11, 2017, “Governor Rick Scott directed AHCA and the Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) to begin the full rulemaking process to make the emergency power plan rule permanent. Again this variance process is already defined in Florida law and does not change the emergency rule that was issued on September 16 th in any way. AHCA will continue to aggressively enforce this emergency rule to keep patients safe.”
Click here for a copy of the notice of emergency rule.