Category: Uncategorized

Supreme Court Rejects Minimum Wage Case

February 6, 2019 

In the first major demonstration of an ideological shift on the revamped Florida Supreme Court, justices Tuesday refused to consider an appeal in a Miami Beach minimum-wage lawsuit that a former liberal-leaning majority of the court had scheduled to hear next month.

The move by the now-conservative majority was a victory for business groups who have fought an ordinance that Miami Beach passed in 2016 to raise the minimum wage locally. The Supreme Court effectively let stand lower-court decisions that blocked the ordinance.

Justices on Tuesday also dismissed three other cases that the old majority had decided to hear. The decisions were a clear signal that three new justices — appointed since Republican Gov. DeSantis took office Jan. 8 — and three conservatives already on the bench intend to forge a sharply different path from their predecessors.

DeSantis appointed former appellate judges Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck and former U.S. Department of Education General Counsel Carlos Muniz following the retirements in January of longtime justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince. The three former justices, who left the court because of a mandatory retirement age, had frequently joined Justice Jorge Labarga to form a majority that thwarted the Republican-led Legislature and former Gov. Rick Scott.

In his inaugural speech, DeSantis blasted the court for expanding its powers “beyond constitutional bounds” and substituting “legislative will for dispassionate legal judgment.”

DeSantis, a Harvard Law School graduate, likely reshaped the court for decades to come through his appointments of Lagoa, Luck and Muñiz, who each pledged solidarity with the governor’s judicial philosophy and whose first display of a conservative-leaning court came Tuesday.

In a 4-3 decision last year, justices agreed to consider an appeal by Miami Beach in the minimum-wage case and set arguments for March 6. Pariente, Lewis, Quince and Labarga were in the majority in deciding to hear the case.

But in a 5-2 order issued Tuesday, the court reversed its stance and dismissed the case. The majority was made up of Chief Justice Charles Canady and justices Ricky Polston, Alan Lawson, Logoa and Muniz, while Labarga and Luck dissented.

“Upon further consideration, we exercise our discretion and discharge jurisdiction,” the order read.

As is typical when the court chooses to take up or reject a case, justices on Tuesday gave no explanation of their decision. Nevertheless, the new majority sided with opponents of the Miami Beach minimum wage such as the Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

The dismissal keeps intact lower court rulings that said a state law bars Miami Beach from gradually increasing its minimum wage to $13.31 an hour in 2021. The case drew attention from local governments, which sided with Miami Beach.

The legal battle stemmed, in part, from a 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment that gave Florida a higher minimum wage than the federal rate. Former Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office and the business groups argued that another state law — known as a preemption law — effectively requires Florida’s minimum wage to be the same throughout the state and blocks local governments from passing higher rates.

Miami Beach approved an ordinance in 2016 that called for the minimum wage to be set at $10.31 an hour last year and incrementally increase to $13.31. The statewide minimum wage is $8.46 an hour, while the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

Business groups, which successfully challenged the ordinance in Miami-Dade County circuit court and the 3rd District Court of Appeal, hailed the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the case.

“Today’s Florida Supreme Court action serves as a proof point to other local governments that a patchwork of mandated wage regulations are against the law,” Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson said in a prepared statement.

But Philip Levine, a former Miami Beach mayor who was a major force behind the city’s minimum-wage effort and who ran unsuccessfully for governor last year, said the Supreme Court decision is a disservice to Floridians and local governments.

“Number one, most importantly, elections have consequences,” Levine, a Democrat, told The News Service of Florida in a telephone interview Tuesday. “The consequence of the November Democratic loss was the Republican governor that has stocked the Supreme Court with judges that, not that they decided against allowing a local community to set their own minimum wage, but they decided not even to listen to the argument of the case. That’s unfortunate, when it affects millions of people and it affects local governments across the state.”

Laura Huizar, senior staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project, called the court’s reversal “a shameful, indefensible move” worthy of condemnation.

“With this decision, the Florida Supreme Court passed up an important opportunity to protect local democracy and the basic right of cities’ and counties’ to build upon state laws in order to meet local needs, a right that the Florida Legislature and corporate interests have eroded in recent years,” she said in a statement.

Tuesday’s actions could signal how the new majority will come down on future business-related disputes and could spark state lawmakers, whose annual session begins in March, to consider business-backed legislation to address issues that the old court had foiled.

For example, the appointment of the new justices could bolster the business community’s interest in tackling attorney fees in the workers’ compensation insurance system.

In addition to the minimum-wage dispute, the court Tuesday also dismissed three other cases that the former majority — Labarga, Lewis, Pariente and Quince — had agreed to hear.

One case involved a deceased smoker’s daughter, who was originally awarded more than $3 million by a jury. In a 4-1 July order in which Polston dissented, the court agreed to consider the case. But siding with tobacco companies on Tuesday, the court unanimously dismissed the petition for review “as improvidently granted.” Lagoa was recused from the case.

Another case centered on a dispute between a woman who purchased a car from a Brandon car dealership. Polston again was the lone “no” vote in last year’s decision to hear the case. Labarga and Luck dissented in the court’s 5-2 decision Tuesday to dismiss the case.

Also on Tuesday, the court reversed a previous decision to hear an appeal filed by an Okaloosa County man convicted of molesting a child under age 12. Canady had dissented in the 4-1 December decision to take up the case. Polston and Labarga dissented in Tuesday’s order dismissing the review “as improvidently granted.”

DOEA Approves Process for Additional Extension of Generator Implementation

Department of Elder Affairs Approves Process for Additional Extension of Generator Implementation Date Past January 1, 2019

Did you file a petition for variance from rule 58A-5.036, Emergency Environmental Control for Assisted Living Facilities, with the Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) requesting approval of an implementation date past January 1, 2019?

Do you now have information that makes it unlikely that you will meet the new implementation date you requested in your petition or the date granted in your final order?

In response to member concerns, Florida Senior Living Association staff met with new DOEA Secretary Richard Prudom, General Counsel Francis Carbone, and other staff to discuss generator compliance issues. We expressed the need to determine a streamlined process for the communities that need to move the implementation date a second time. Two types of situations were identified and a process agreed upon as follows:

Scenario 1 – Petition filed and awaiting final adjudication (a final order):

The community can either submit a comment through the DOEA web portal (http://elderaffairs-apps.state.fl.us/alf-waivers/) or, send an email referencing the case number and petition file date to agencyclerk@elderaffairs.org.

The community needs to include:

  1. The new compliance date desired;
  2. The circumstances outside of the community’s control which dictates the need for a new date; and
  3. If the community is requesting a date that is during the summer heat, the community must identify how they will respond appropriately to meet the resident comfort requirements of the rule.

Scenario 2 – Petition filed and final order issued, but new implementation date will not be met:

Submit a new petition that incorporates and adopts the original petition and that requests a new implementation date.

  1. In the new petition, update the beginning paragraphs identifying the party submitting the petition if necessary, add a paragraph describing a brief history of the first petition (date filed, supplemental materials submitted, date final order granted with DOEA file number, date granted for final implementation).
  2. Add a paragraph that incorporates and adopts the original petition, including all supplemental materials submitted, excepting any specific portion requesting a date for implementation that does not meet your current time estimations.
  3. Request a new implementation date and support the request with the same type of information as in Scenario 1.
    1. The new compliance date desired;
    2. The circumstances outside of the community’s control which dictates the need for a new date; and
    3. The community is requesting a date that is during the summer heat, the community must identify how they will respond appropriately to meet the resident comfort requirements of the rule.
  4. Make sure to include new supplemental information if necessary to support the new date requested, such as correspondence from your contractor.

These filings are meant to be simplified since the filings are essentially based on the original petition.  If your implementation date is less than 90 days from the date that you become aware that you will not be able to meet that timeline, you should consider styling your petition as an emergency petition.

The DOEA must act on an emergency petition within 30 days. An “emergency” may be alleged with an explanation of an intervening event or new facts that have come to light since the date of the final order. For instance, a letter from a contractor dated after the final order that explains the need to move the time frame up even further.<

Please contact Susan Anderson, V.P. of Public Policy & Legal Affairs at sanderson@floridaseniorliving.org or 850-708-4971 if you have any questions.

Still Interviewing the Same Old Way? Up Your Game in 2019!

By: Julie Rupenski, President & Founder, MedBest

As a Hiring Manager for a senior living organization, if you’re not regularly assessing the strength of your hiring process, 2019 is the year to start. In a candidate-driven market, you need to make a conscious effort to find new ways to attract job candidates, implement the latest interviewing tools, and shorten your hiring process.

With that in mind, here’s 6 ways to up your game when interviewing job candidates in 2019:

Add Video Conferencing

Consider using video-conferencing before personally meeting job candidates. This will show candidates that you’re up-to-date with technology and in touch with how they want to communicate. Plus, it enables you to get a good sense of what your candidate is all about. It could also ease your scheduling burden. If you are interviewing a multitude of candidates, you can quickly pare them down to a remaining few.

Update Your Interview Questions

Re-examine the interview questions you have been using for years. Are they still relevant? Do they address important issues such as company culture, career path, purposeful work, etc.? According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)(https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/employee-relations/pages/accommodating-millennials-is-a-business-imperative.aspx) today’s job candidates, especially the Millennials, should be asked questions that are targeted to their viewpoints such as: What kind of relationship do you expect to have with your boss? What is something in your career that you are most proud of or consider a major accomplishment? How did you go about making it happen? Tell me about a time you worked in a diverse group with diverse opinions? What does a typical workday look like? What’s your definition of a work/life balance?

Streamline Your Hiring Process

Time kills deals. This is especially true in a candidate-driven market. While you were busy scheduling a third, fourth or even fifth interview for your job candidate, chances are good they were snatched up. The average time top talent stays in the job market today is 10 days. Gone are the days of taking your time and grilling candidates by a number of your managers. You now need to put your best foot forward and sell the job during the first interview especially when it comes to talent in high-demand such as a Director of Nursing and Director of Resident Care. You might also want to involve the most engaging and convincing member of your team to present the opportunity, provide reasons why to work at your organization, and facilitate the tour.

Create Convenience for Passive Candidates

While passive candidates are not active job seekers, they can often be persuaded to learning more about a new opportunity if it piques their interest and is convenient to pursue. Hiring Managers need to create a convenient interview schedule and experience for passive candidates. An initial over the phone interview just might be the ticket or a short video conference could be the way to go. Otherwise, if they have to drive across town in the middle of the day, they will probably opt out and suddenly you’ve lost a potential great new hire.

Offer a Great Candidate Experience

Today, the candidate experience is fundamentally important to how job seekers perceive and react to your sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding processes. Examples of a great candidate experience include: Communicate often and in a manner of how they want to be reached, by text or email, before the personal interview, provide a warm welcome once through the door, allow candidate to meet some of their future co-workers, sell your organization as a place where they can grow their career and be excited about coming to work each day, share employee testimonials, etc. It’s all about establishing a real relationship with your job candidate and adding the human and personal touch.

Hire for Culture Fit

We’ve heard it before, hire for culture fit. Today, culture fit may be the most important aspect of hiring and retaining great employees in the senior living industry. However, it doesn’t mean hiring people you like or being discriminatory. Hiring for culture fit means recruiting people who will thrive in your environment. Before you start interviewing candidates, define your company’s values and long-term objectives. Then evaluate whether candidates share the same values as you.

ABOUT JULIE RUPENSKI

Julie Rupenski is the Founder, President & CEO of MedBest, opening the doors in 2001. Since that time, Julie has gained national recognition for providing top talent solutions exclusively for the Senior Living Industry. Julie is a Succession Planning specialist and also a seasoned recruiter at filling C-Suite, Vice President, Regional, and Property level positions.

Julie has an in-depth knowledge of the Senior Living Industry since she previously worked in operations for both Senior Housing and Senior Living. Today, Julie makes it her personal and professional mission to place qualified people in health care positions where they have the greatest impact.

Julie earned her degree in Gerontology at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida and continues to cultivate her career through senior living conferences, forums, trade shows, and expos.

Contact Julie Rupenski at jrupenski@medbest.com / 727 526-1294.

ABOUT MEDBEST

MedBest is a nationwide senior living executive recruiting firm that was established in 2001.
We specialize in recruiting quality executive talent for all types of senior living facilities across the US including Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Memory Care, Independent Living, and Skilled Nursing Homes. For more information, visit www.medbest.com and follow us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Long-Distance Caregivers: Supporting Your Senior Loved One From Afar

Claire Wentz
caringfromafar.com
claire@caringfromafar.com

Most of us need assistance as we age. It’s quite common for seniors to face a variety of challenges, such as financial problems, medical issues, loneliness, mobility limitations, and mistreatment. Although many seniors function just fine on their own, a little help from supportive loved ones ensures they can maintain their health and happiness. If you’re trying to care for a senior loved one who lives miles away, there is still plenty you can do.

Stay Up to Date on Their Coverage

Many seniors depend on Medicare for help with medical expenses, including things like doctor’s visits, short-term nursing care, surgeries, and lab tests. If your loved one doesn’t get online very often, it will be hard for them to stay up to date on their healthcare coverage. You should stay informed of any changes to their plan so they aren’t met with unexpected charges when they go for a routine checkup or if an emergency occurs. There are many excellent resources available online where you can learn about the current plans available in your state and any supplementary options that will cover additional expenses such as prescription drugs. It’s also a good idea to keep track of the Medicare enrollment process and time periods during which your loved one can make any necessary changes to their plan.

Organize Important Documents

Don’t be left scrambling for important documents when an emergency occurs. Instead, gather everything together and organize it now. A Place For Mom recommends obtaining copies of your loved one’s birth certificate, driver’s license, medical insurance card, marriage certificate, Social Security card, and mortgage. Also, keep a list detailing where official records are kept so you can access them when needed. These documents may include a living will, tax returns, power of attorney, investments, funeral arrangements, and insurance policies. These documents will help you protect your loved one’s financial health and ensure their end-of-life care wishes are met. Finally, include contact information for your loved one’s attorney, financial planner, beneficiaries, and credit card companies.

Get to Know People in Their Community

Although you aren’t close enough to check up on your loved one, provide transportation, or respond to an emergency, others are. Get to know your loved one’s neighbors and ask them to keep an eye out for you. They’ll be able to tell if something significant changes in your loved one’s behavior, like if they stop getting their mail or opening the blinds in the morning. Talk to your loved one’s friends, senior centers, and local healthcare providers and tell them that you would like to stay informed about your loved one’s health and happiness. These people may also be able to step in if you have to take a temporary pause in your caregiver tasks to help with scheduling appointments, coordinating transportation, or paying bills for your loved one. Also, ask your loved one’s doctor for a list of their medication and make it clear that you want to receive up-to-date information about their well-being.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

There are a variety of apps, websites, and tech devices to help you stay in contact with your loved one and organize information for their care team. Instead of calling them on the phone, get them set up with a video chat service like Skype or Google Hangouts. This can help you get a better picture of how your loved one is doing while alleviating loneliness for them. Smart home technology and home monitoring devices can also be useful to help ensure your senior loved one is comfortable and safe in their own home. Also, check out this list of handy mobile apps that can help you track the many aspects of caregiving for you and your loved one’s care team.

Many remote caregivers experience guilt that they aren’t doing enough. Care.com stresses the importance of accepting that these feelings are normal and acknowledging that there are real limits on what you can offer as a long-distance caregiver. Providing long-distance care and support can take a toll on your own well-being, so address any problems with chronic stress or burnout as soon as possible. You have to take care of yourself before you can care for others.

Florida 2018 Legislative Wrap-Up

Florida’s legislative session is complete for 2018 and will not take place again until March 2019. The 2018 session was dominated by the tragic loss of life that occurred in the wake of Hurricane Irma and the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. The end of session produced legislation that adopted emergency generator rules for assisted living communities and nursing homes, and increased safety measures involving guns and public schools. The fewest bills in 15 years ended up passing the full legislature.

Details on bills involving senior living and senior care that were supported, opposed or monitored by the Florida Senior Living Association are as follows:

BILLS THAT PASSED

Emergency Preparedness, SB 7028
(Senate Rules Committee)

This bill ratified and adopted the emergency power source rule for assisted living communities, Rule 58A-5.036. Assisted living communities are currently implementing this rule, which basically requires generators and fuel be maintained at the community in order to provide enough electricity to run equipment that cools portions of the building to 81F° during a power outage.

Status: Approved by Governor, Laws of Florida Chapter No. 2018-122
Effective Date: March 26, 2018

HB 7087
(Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast)

The only other hurricane related bill that passed provides an exemption from Florida sales tax of up to $15,000 for the purchase of a generator for any single assisted living community or nursing home facility during the period of July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018. The exemption is applied at the time of purchase or is available through a refund process to be developed by the Florida Department of Revenue. The application for a refund must be submitted by September 23, 2018.

Status: Approved by Governor, Laws of Florida Chapter No. 2018-118
Effective Date: March 23, 2018 and retroactive to July 1, 2017

AHCA Regulation, SB 622
(Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring)

This bill affects health care providers throughout the state that are regulated by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). The bill eliminates obsolete language, eliminates licensing of heath care facility risk managers, and repeals state licensure of clinical laboratories in favor of deferring to federal requirements. The bill also revises several assisted living regulations that Florida Senior Living Association worked on with the agency over that past two sessions:

  • Increases penalties for operating an assisted living community without a license;
  • Assisted living community may not be operated more than 120 consecutive days without an administrator who has completed core training;
  • A resident may be charged for a new service without the requirement of a 30-day notice;
  • The resident right of access to adequate and appropriate health care has been revised to better fit the assisted living model with an emphasis on providing assistance;
  • Codifies rule that requires an administrator to complete core training within 90 days of employment;
  • Licensees with multiple communities may request that expiration dates of all licenses be aligned;
  • Expands level II background screening to persons contracted to work 20 or more hours per week who have access to resident funds, personal property or living areas; and
  • Clarifies that no person may have an ownership interest, directly or indirectly, if that person has a disqualifying offense or had an interest in a provider that had a license revoked. This does not apply to shareholders of publicly traded corporations.

Status: Approved by Governor, Laws of Florida Chapter No. 2018-024
Effective Date: July 1, 2018

Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult, HB 1059
(Rep. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland)

The bill creates a cause of action and court procedure for obtaining an injunction to protect a vulnerable adult from exploitation by freezing the assets and credit lines of the vulnerable adult, and freezing assets of the individual exploiting the vulnerable adult where assets are traceable to the exploitation. The injunction may be sought by the vulnerable adult, a guardian or another entity that has consent.

Status: Approved by Governor, Laws of Florida Chapter No. 2018-100
Effective Date: July 1, 2018

Opioids, HB 21
(Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton)

The bill addresses opioid abuse by expanding the use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), increasing regulation of prescribers and dispensers, amending criminal laws and making appropriations. The bill also:

  • Limits prescribing of opioids for acute pain to a three-day supply, or a seven-day supply if deemed medically necessary by the prescriber;
  • The bill excludes prescribing limits for pain related to cancer, terminal illness, palliative care and serious traumatic injury; and
  • Requires physicians or their staff members to check with a statewide database before prescribing or dispensing drugs.

Status: Approved by Governor, Laws of Florida Chapter No. 2018-013
Effective Date: July 1, 2018

BILLS THAT DID NOT PASS

Continuing Care Contracts, SB438/HB783

These bills proposed to improve the early warning signs of a CCRC’s solvency issues. The bills proposed to revise the Office of Insurance Regulation’s authority to regulate providers of continuing care, revise and streamlines applications for licensing and acquisition of a CCRC, increase reporting requirements, and revise provisions related to reserve requirements. FSLA was supportive of this legislation.

Additional Regulatory Requirements, SB 1428/HB 443

These companion bills required ALFs to provide copies of notices for relocation or termination of residency to the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, required the ALF to duplicate information already provided to AHCA and provide it separately to the Ombudsman Program, and required nursing home facilities to provide access to or copies of resident’s medical records under certain conditions & within a very short timeframe. The Ombudsman Program has indicated it will pursue this bill again in the 2019 Legislative Session. FSLA opposed this bill.

Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams, SB 422/HB 259

The bills create an elder abuse fatality review team in each judicial circuit to review closed cases where the death of an elderly person was alleged or found to have been caused by, or related to, abuse or neglect The teams are comprised of volunteers from public and private entities that study, treat, investigate, or prevent elder abuse and may include persons who have knowledge of the laws concerning fatalities due to elder abuse. Each team may review information from law enforcement and Adult Protective Services files under the condition that the information remain confidential. The teams are charged with developing practice standards and recommendations for changes in law, rules, and policy to support the care of elderly person and prevent elder abuse deaths. FSLA opposed provisions of this bill.

Additional bills of interest to senior living providers are available here.

Join us for Legislative Days at the Capitol in 2018

Florida Senior Living Association’s Legislative Advocacy Days is a great opportunity to learn the legislative process as well as to educate legislators about the effect of current proposed legislation on senior living in Florida. You will receive CEs for this event while networking with fellow executive directors, the FSLA Board, industry partners, and some of Florida’s key legislators. We encourage you to join us January 22 -23, 2018 for this event and share your knowledge and passion. Help us shape the future of senior living! Registration information coming soon.

Click http://conta.cc/2iEghu8 for more information.

Political Committee Call to Action

The 2018 Florida Legislative Session is expected to be challenging and hectic considering the slew of emergency preparedness bills in addition to the normal bills we see that that could have a huge impact on senior living.

Since the 2018 session starts on January 9, the Florida Senior Living Association / Florida Argentum has started meeting with various legislators to express our concerns about bills being filed that would create additional regulations and costs for providers without substantial improvements for residents. In addition, we will be proactively working with the Legislature to develop meaningful emergency preparedness legislation that will clarify the conflicting and confusing regulations proposed by AHCA.

Raising funds for Florida’s Senior Living Political Committee (FSL PC) is critical to educating legislators and other key leaders about the complex issues facing senior living communities. FSL PC strengthens relationships with legislators by distributing funds to candidates who will help advance our advocacy agenda and support senior living issues of great concern and significant importance to our membership.

Additionally, supporting legislators who can effectively represent our best interests, especially in the wake of Hurricane Irma’s devastation and the rush to create new policies to address preparedness and resident safety is of utmost importance.

As many of you know, timing is everything. To make a significant impact before the beginning of the 2018 Legislative Session, we are seeking to raise $60,000. We are nearly one-third of the way there, and Argentum’s PAC has committed to matching donations made through December 15, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000 to double the impact of whatever you contribute.

Argentum President & CEO James Balda is encouraging all senior living providers to step up and support FSL PC, saying “This is a critical moment for our industry to educate lawmakers and back those that put the lives and safety of our residents above scoring political points. Florida is ground zero for emergency preparedness in the industry and the rest of the states will look to Florida for guidance going forward. What happens in Florida will have consequences across the country. That is why I am pleased to use Argentum’s Silver PAC to match dollar for dollar, up to $25,000, to support FSL PC. I encourage your company to contribute before December 15 so Florida Argentum has the resources needed to advocate for our industry at this crucial time.”

Can we count on your corporation and communities to help us continue to protect Florida’s senior living communities, and thousands of jobs by contributing to Florida’s Senior Living Political Committee?

Our future depends on your financial support. Thank you for your contribution.

Warm regards,


David Nussbaum
Florida Senior Living PC Chair

Contribution Pledge

FSLA PC is a political action committee established under the laws of the State of Florida. FSLA PC Committee will make contributions to political candidates, political organizations, and to political parties who demonstrate their commitment to our principles and support of the association’s mission and vision.

 

about

New Name, New Mission

We’re excited to announce an important change at FL Argentum. As of today, we will be known as the Florida Senior Living Association. This name change will better reflect what we do and the people we serve throughout the state.

Our mission is to serve professionally managed communities that provide choice, dignity, independence and quality of life for seniors. We will continue to advocate for and promote quality environments for seniors and the communities and workforces that serve them.

We are proud to represent you, our members, before the Florida Legislature, Governor’s Executive Agencies, and other state and local entities where senior living policy is decided. Moving forward, we are thrilled to continue offering our members high-level continuing education, a state-of-the-art conference and responsive support on a number of issues affecting this profession.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, like us on Facebook or visit our LinkedIn page . From all of us here at the Florida Senior Living Association, thank you for your membership and support!

DOEA Publishes Supplement Rule 58AER17-2

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:
  1. Steps the assisted living facility has taken to implement the detailed plan required by Emergency Rule 58AER17-1,
  2. Specific circumstances beyond the facilities control that have prevented full implementation of the detailed plan within the 60 day time frame,
  3. 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,
  4. 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
  5. 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.

Updated Q&A Regarding Emergency Rule

AHCA and DOEA have provided a link to an updated Q&A document with answers to questions received, a Frequently Asked Questions document regarding requests for a waiver or variance of portions of the rule, and a NEW County Emergency Management Agency Q&A document.

Links to the licensure web pages, as well as DOEA’s website, where these documents are maintained are also provided below. As responses are finalized to the questions and comments received they will be added to the web pages. Please review the pages frequently for updated information.

Read below for changes to Questions and Answers – The answers to the following questions were revised on 10/10/2017:

Question 4 : Will a mobile generator meet the requirements of the rule?
Answer : The rule does not restrict the type of generator required, but it must be installed and maintained at the facility. If the emergency generator used to meet the temperature requirements in the rule also supplies power for life safety and critical equipment, a level 1 generator must be used and the fuel supply and distribution equipment must be protected from debris impact as required by the Florida Building Code.

Question 5 : Can natural gas be used as a fuel source?
Answer : Yes . Piped natural gas is an allowable fuel source under the rule. The plan submitted for review should include fuel information.

Links to documents related to 58AER17-1

Assisted Living Facility Emergency Rule (58AER17-1)

Statutes and rules related to assisted living facilities can be found on AHCA’s Assisted Living Facility webpage or on DOEA’s homepage.

Rule Waiver/Variance FAQs

NEW County EM Q&As added 10/10/2017

Remember, assisted living facility emergency power plans must be submitted to the local emergency management agency and the Department of Elder Affairs at ALFEMP@elderaffairs.org.

You may submit additional questions or comments regarding the emergency rules to: ALFRuleComment@elderaffairs.org or BHFR@ahca.myflorida.com.

We will continue to send updates as they become available.