In response to the current State of Emergency in Florida, AHCA notified HCAF of concerns they have with how some home health agencies’ are fulfilling their responsibility to patients in SNFs/ALFs. Please review the regulation they provided below – AHCA is clearly wanting to remind providers to take care of these patients before, during and after the storm. We would also encourage HH agencies to communicate with the ALF related to treatment plans and logistics. Our communities will need us now more than at any other time, we will rise to the challenges and it will be one of our finest moments.
59A-8.027(10), F.A.C. – During emergency situations, when there is not a mandatory evacuation order issued by the local Emergency Management agency, some patients may decide not to evacuate and will stay in their homes. The home health agency must establish procedures, prior to the time of an emergency, which will delineate to what extent the agency will continue care during and immediately following an emergency. The (home health) agency shall also ascertain which patients remaining at home will need care from the home health agency and which patients have plans to receive care from their family or caregivers. The (home health) agency shall designate staff to continue the services specified in the treatment orders to residents in the assisted living facility or adult family care home during and following the emergency. If the assisted living facility or adult family care home does relocate the residents to another assisted living facility or adult family care home within the geographic service area the home health agency is licensed to serve, the agency will continue to provide services to the residents, except in certain situations as specified in Section 400.492(3), F.S. If the residents should go to a special needs shelter outside of the geographic service area the home health agency is licensed to serve, the home health agency may provide services to the residents at the shelter pursuant to Section 400.492(4), F.S.
400.492(3), F.S. – Home health agencies shall not be required to continue to provide care to patients in emergency situations that are beyond their control and that make it impossible to provide services, such as when roads are impassable or when patients do not go to the location specified in their patient records. Home health agencies may establish links to local emergency operations centers to determine a mechanism by which to approach specific areas within a disaster area in order for the agency to reach its clients. Home health agencies shall demonstrate a good faith effort to comply with the requirements of this subsection by documenting attempts of staff to follow procedures outlined in the home health agency’s comprehensive emergency management plan, and by the patient’s record, which support a finding that the provision of continuing care has been attempted for those patients who have been identified as needing care by the home health agency and registered under s. 252.355, in the event of an emergency or disaster under subsection (1).
More to come.
– HCAF staff