A look at bills affecting older Floridians.
SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
State ombudsman program: SB 7018 restructures the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and conforms that program to requirements in the federal Older Americans Act; establishes state districts for the program and requires public district meetings “at least quarterly.”
ON HIS DESK
Guardianship proceedings: HB5 gives clerks of court authority to refer cases of wrongdoing for criminal prosecution; curbs legal wrangling over fees; spells out a guardian’s duty to honor a ward’s desires and file accurate reports to the court; makes it harder to suspend a power of attorney during court proceedings; allows a corporate entity to act as a guardian, and refines the process for appointing guardians. Governor has until June 2 to sign.
PASSED BY BOTH HOUSE AND SENATE
Assisted-living facilities: HB 1001 establishes heightened consumer protections for those in ALFs; strengthens the enforcement of current regulations; mandates additional training for ALF staff; requires additional inspections for facilities cited for significant violations; and requires the Agency for Health Care Administration to add certain content to its website to help consumers select an ALF.
Patient admission status notification: HB 309 requires hospitals to notify patients in their discharge papers if the hospitalization was classified as an observation stay or as an inpatient admission. As a result, nursing homes and Medicare patients will have notice about who will be responsible for rehabilitation care at the outset of the rehab services.
Rights of grandparents: HB 149 allows a grandparent of a minor child whose parents are deceased, missing, or in a persistent vegetative state to petition the court for visitation. A grandparent may also petition for visitation if there are two parents, one of whom is deceased, missing, or in a persistent vegetative state and the other has been convicted of a felony or certain violent crimes.