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Lawmakers Ready To Shift Regulatory Power To AHCA

Elderly hands holding near patient bed at hospice.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Lawmakers are poised to give the Agency for Health Care Administration complete rule-making authority over hospice care, assisted living facilities, adult family-care homes and adult day-care programs. 

The Senate on Thursday took up a bill (SB 184) that would transfer the regulatory authority from the Department of Elder Affairs to AHCA. Senators could vote as early as next week on the bill, sponsored by Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Chairwoman Lauren Book, D-Plantation.

Currently, both agencies develop rules, while licensing and inspection of the facilities is solely performed by AHCA. The bifurcated regulation was an obstacle when former Gov. Rick Scott issued orders about requiring emergency backup generators at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Both the Department of Elder Affairs and AHCA were required to issue rules about the backup-power requirements and defend the regulations from administrative challenges.

Members of the House Health & Human Services Committee on Thursday approved a similar proposal (HB 7019), which is now ready to go to the full House.