(1) Procedures Regarding Emergency Environmental Control for Nursing Homes. Nursing homes shall, within forty-five (45) days of the effective date of this emergency rule, provide in writing, to the Agency for Health Care Administration and to the local emergency management agency for review and approval, a detailed plan which includes the following criteria:
(a) The acquisition of a sufficient generator or sufficient generators to ensure that current licensees of nursing homes will be equipped to ensure ambient temperatures will be maintained at 80 degrees or less for a period of a minimum of ninety-six (96) hours in the event of the loss of electrical power.
(b) The acquisition and safe maintenance of sufficient fuel to ensure that in an emergency situation the generators can function to maintain ambient temperatures at 80 degrees or less for a period of a minimum of ninety-six (96) hours in the event of the loss of electrical power.
(c) The acquisition of services necessary to install, maintain, and test the equipment and its functions to ensure the safe and sufficient operation of the generator system installed in the nursing home
(2) Each nursing home shall, within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this rule, have implemented the plan required under this rule.
(3) If the facility’s initial submission of the plan is denied, then the local emergency management agency shall report the denial to the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the facility within forty-eight (48) hours of the date of denial.
(4) Within ten (10) business days of the date of the local county emergency management agency’s notice of denial, the facility shall resubmit their plan.
(5) The county shall post all approved facility emergency management plans to their website within ten (10) days of the plan’s approval.
(6) Within forty-eight (48) hours of the approval of the plan from the local emergency management agency, the facility shall submit in writing proof of approval to the Agency for Health Care Administration.
(7) The State Fire Marshall shall conduct inspections to ensure compliance with this rule within fifteen (15) days of installation.
(8) Each nursing home facility shall develop and implement written policies and procedures to ensure that the facility can effectively and immediately activate, operate and maintain the generators and alternate fuel required for the operation of the generators.
(9) The Agency for Health Care Administration may revoke the nursing home’s license for failure to comply with this rule.
(10) In addition to other remedies provided by law, violation of this rule shall result in a fine or sanction of $1,000 per day.
(11) The facility shall implement policies and procedures to ensure that the health care facility can effectively and immediately activate and maintain the generators and alternate fuel required for the operation of the generators. Rulemaking Authority 400.23, 408.819, 408.821(4) FS. Law Implemented 400.23, 408.819, 408.821(4) FS. History – New 9/
SPECIFIC REASONS FOR FINDING AN IMMEDIATE DANGER TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY OR WELFARE:
The State has experienced extreme shortages of electrical power that have jeopardized, and continue to jeopardize, thehealth,safety,andwelfareofresidentsinFlorida’snursinghomes. AccordingtotheUnitedStatesCensus Bureau, Florida has the largest percentage of residents age 65 and older in the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people age 65 years or older are more prone to heal-related health problems. An incompetent response by a nursing facility to a loss of air conditioning after Hurricane Irma resulted in the tragic loss of eight senior citizens at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. Thousands of frail seniors reside in nursing homes in Florida. Ensuring that nursing homes maintain sufficient resources to provide alternative power sources during emergency situations mitigates the concerns related to the health, safety, and welfare of residents in those nursing homes that experience loss of electrical power. This emergency rule establishes a process for certain nursing homes to obtain sufficient equipment and resources to ensure that the ambient temperature of the nursing homes will be maintained at 80 degrees or less within the facilities for a minimum of ninety-six (96) hours in the event of the loss of electrical power. Prompt implementation of this rule is necessary to ensure continuity of care and to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of residents of Florida’s nursing homes.
REASON FOR CONCLUDING THAT THE PROCEDURE IS FAIR UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES:
The procedure used to adopt this emergency rule is fair, as the State of Florida is under a declaration of emergency due to the massive destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, and it is essential to ensure as soon as possible that temperatures in nursing homes are maintained at a level providing for the safety of the residents residing therein; provides at least the procedural protection given by other statutes, the State Constitution, or the United States Constitution; and takes only the action necessary to protect the public interest under the emergency procedure. SUMMARY: This emergency rule establishes a process for the Agency for Health Care Administration to ensure that licensees of nursing homes develop and implement plans that ensure ambient temperatures will be maintained at 80 degrees or less for a minimum of ninety-six (96) hours in the event of the loss of electrical power to a health care facility.
THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE EMERGENCY RULE IS: Kimberly Stewart, Agency for Health Care Administration, Division of Health Quality Assurance, Bureau of Health Facility Regulation, 2727 Mahan Drive, MS# 28A, Tallahassee, FL 32308.