|GENERAL BILL By Representative Peterman
Effective Date: Not Specified
Review Period Ending Date: Not Specified
Referred Committees and Committee Actions:
Subcommittee on Elder Affairs & Long-Term
Future of Florida's Families
are deletions; words underlined are
A bill to be entitled
An act relating to nursing home contracts;
amending s. 400.424, F.S.; requiring each nursing home facility to use
a standard contract approved by the Department of Elderly Affairs for use
at that facility; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the
State of Florida:
Section 1. Section 400.424,
Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
(1) The presence of each resident in a facility shall be covered
by a contract, executed at the time of admission or prior thereto, between
the licensee and the resident or his or her designee or legal representative.
Each party to the contract shall be provided with a duplicate original
thereof, and the licensee shall keep on file in the facility all such contracts.
The licensee may not destroy or otherwise dispose of any such contract
until 5 years after its expiration.
(2) Each contract must contain express provisions specifically setting
forth the services and accommodations to be provided by the facility; the
rates or charges; provision for at least 30 days' written notice of a rate
increase; the rights, duties, and obligations of the residents, other than
those specified in s. 400.428; and other matters that the parties deem
appropriate. Each nursing home facility must use
a standard contract approved for use at that facility by the department.
Whenever money is deposited or advanced by a resident in a contract as
security for performance of the contract agreement or as advance rent for
other than the next immediate rental period:
(a) Such funds shall be deposited
in a banking institution in this state that is located, if possible, in
the same community in which the facility is located; shall be kept separate
from the funds and property of the facility; may not be represented as
part of the assets of the facility on financial statements; and shall be
used, or otherwise expended, only for the account of the resident.
(b) The licensee shall, within
30 days of receipt of advance rent or a security deposit, notify the resident
or residents in writing of the manner in which the licensee is holding
the advance rent or security deposit and state the name and address of
the depository where the moneys are being held. The licensee shall notify
residents of the facility's policy on advance deposits.
(3)(a) The contract shall include a refund policy to be implemented
at the time of a resident's transfer, discharge, or death. The refund policy
shall provide that the resident or responsible party is entitled to a prorated
refund based on the daily rate for any unused portion of payment beyond
the termination date after all charges, including the cost of damages to
the residential unit resulting from circumstances other than normal use,
have been paid to the licensee. For the purpose of this paragraph, the
termination date shall be the date the unit is vacated by the resident
and cleared of all personal belongings. If the amount of belongings does
not preclude renting the unit, the facility may clear the unit and charge
the resident or his or her estate for moving and storing the items at a
rate equal to the actual cost to the facility, not to exceed 20 percent
of the regular rate for the unit, provided that 14 days' advance written
notification is given. If the resident's possessions are not claimed within
45 days after notification, the facility may dispose of them. The contract
shall also specify any other conditions under which claims will be made
against the refund due the resident. Except in the case of death or a discharge
due to medical reasons, the refunds shall be computed in accordance with
the notice of relocation requirements specified in the contract. However,
a resident may not be required to provide the licensee with more than 30
days' notice of termination. If after a contract is terminated, the facility
intends to make a claim against a refund due the resident, the facility
shall notify the resident or responsible party in writing of the claim
and shall provide said party with a reasonable time period of no less than
14 calendar days to respond. The facility shall provide a refund to the
resident or responsible party within 45 days after the transfer, discharge,
or death of the resident. The agency shall impose a fine upon a facility
that fails to comply with the refund provisions of the paragraph, which
fine shall be equal to three times the amount due to the resident. One-half
of the fine shall be remitted to the resident or his or her estate, and
the other half to the Health Care Trust Fund to be used for the purpose
specified in s. 400.418.
(b) If a licensee agrees to
reserve a bed for a resident who is admitted to a medical facility, including,
but not limited to, a nursing home, health care facility, or psychiatric
facility, the resident or his or her responsible party shall notify the
licensee of any change in status that would prevent the resident from returning
to the facility. Until such notice is received, the agreed-upon daily rate
may be charged by the licensee.
(c) The purpose of any advance
payment and a refund policy for such payment, including any advance payment
for housing, meals, or personal services, shall be covered in the contract.
(4) The contract shall state whether or not the facility is affiliated
with any religious organization and, if so, which organization and its
general responsibility to the facility.
(5) Neither the contract nor any provision thereof relieves any licensee
of any requirement or obligation imposed upon it by this part or rules
adopted under this part.
(6) In lieu of the provisions of this section, facilities certified
under chapter 651 shall comply with the requirements of s. 651.055.
(7) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, facilities which
consist of 60 or more apartments may require refund policies and termination
notices in accordance with the provisions of part II of chapter 83, provided
that the lease is terminated automatically without financial penalty in
the event of a resident's death or relocation due to psychiatric hospitalization
or to medical reasons which necessitate services or care beyond which the
facility is licensed to provide. The date of termination in such instances
shall be the date the unit is fully vacated. A lease may be substituted
for the contract if it meets the disclosure requirements of this section.
For the purpose of this section, the term "apartment" means a room or set
of rooms with a kitchen or kitchenette and lavatory located within one
or more buildings containing other similar or like residential units.
(8) The department may by rule clarify terms, establish procedures,
clarify refund policies and contract provisions, and specify documentation
as necessary to administer this section.
Section 2. This act shall take effect
January 1, 2005.
are deletions; words underlined are