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FAQs Section 5: Home health agency location requirements

5.1 Can I operate a home health agency out of my home?

No, a home health agency cannot be operated from a private residence. A home health agency is not a home-based business due to the traffic with staff coming in and out of the office and the unannounced inspections by AHCA. There are no square footage requirements for your office location. You need room for administrative staff and space for file cabinets to hold confidential files. When you submit your application you must provide the following information:

5.2 How many counties can I serve with my home health agency license? How do I add counties?

The state home health agency rules at 59A-8.007(1), Florida Administrative Code, requires that home health agencies apply for a license within a single geographic service area. Agencies are restricted to operate within the boundaries established in law. At the time of initial licensure, the applicant indicates on the application how many counties within the geographic service area they wish to serve.

If an agency wishes to operate in a county which is not located in the existing geographic service area, that agency needs to have an office in the other county and submit an initial home health agency application to AHCA to obtain a separate license prior to opening and serving patients. Once the application has been approved and an initial survey has been passed, the new office will receive a separate license number and can begin serving patients.

AHCA Area Boundaries
Areas Counties
Area 1 Escambia, Walton, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa
Area 2 Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington
Area 3 Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee and Union
Area 4 Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns and Volusia
Area 5 Pasco and Pinellas
Area 6 Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee and Polk
Area 7 Brevard, Orange, Osceola and Seminole
Area 8 Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota
Area 9 Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie
Area 10 Broward
Area 11 Dade and Monroe

5.4 Where are the Agency field offices located and what areas do they cover:

There are eight Agency for Health Care Administration field offices. These are the offices that send out surveyors to home health agencies to conduct surveys or investigate complaints. Program related questions need to be directed to the Agency’s Home Care Unit in Tallahassee, (850) 412-4403. The field offices include the following locations:

Agency field offices
Field Office Geographi Service Area(s) Phone
Tallahassee Areas 1 and 2 (850) 412-4540
Alachua Area 3 (386) 462-6201
Jacksonville Area 4 (904) 798-4201
St Petersburg Areas 5 and 6 (727) 552-1911
Orlando Area 7 (407) 420-2502
Fort Myers Area 8 (239) 335-1315
Delray Beach Areas 9 and 10 (561) 381-5840
Miami Area 11 (305) 593-3100

5.5 Can I move my license to another county in another geographic service area?

A license cannot be relocated to a county in another geographic service area. The licensee must submit an initial application for a home health agency license for the new location.

5.6 How do I change the address of my home health agency?

Per 59A-35.040 (2) (b) Florida Administrative Code the home health agency must submit their requested change of address at least 21 days in advance of the move in order to avoid a $500 fine. This includes changes in suite numbers. The home health agency must submit zoning documentation and evidence of legal right to the property. Zoning documentation is a letter from the zoning department in your city or county that states the location is zoned appropriately for a home health agency. A business tax receipt is not evidence of zoning.

Legal right to property includes a lease, rental agreement, warranty deeds or contract for deeds. (See s. 408.810 (6) F.S. for information).

Effective July 14, 2010, the home health agency must submit the change of address using the sections of the home health agency application form, AHCA Form 3110-1011 with a $25 fee. Read the Application Checklist Section D Change During Licensure Period for instructions on which sections of the application to complete and the items that need to be submitted to the Agency.

5.7 How do I add a Satellite office or Drop-off Site?

A Satellite office is another home health agency office in the same county as the agency’s main office. Supplies and records can be stored at a satellite office and phone business can be conducted the same as in the main office. The satellite office shares administration with the main office and is not separately licensed. You can have a sign and can advertise the location of the satellite.

Licensed only agencies: To add or change the location of a satellite: please complete and send sections 1,2,13 and 15 of the Health Care Licensing Application AHCA Form 3110-1011 along with the $25 fee. Include evidence of zoning and legal right to the property. 21 days advance notice is required.

Medicare and/or Medicaid certified agencies: A satellite office needs to be approved as a branch office by Medicare and Medicaid. Please see the above question 4.2 How do I get a branch office approved for my home health agency?

The satellite office for licensed agencies only will be added to the front of the license and sent to you. The satellite (branch) office for Medicare and/or Medicaid agencies will be added to the license when the branch is approved.

A Drop-off site can be opened in any county within the geographic service area specified on the license. A drop-off site may be used for pick-up or drop-off of supplies or records, for agency staff to use to complete paperwork or to communicate with the main office, existing or prospective agency staff or existing patients or clients. Training of home health agency staff can be done at a drop off site. Prospective patients cannot be contacted and billing cannot be done from a drop-off location. No other business shall be conducted at the drop-off site including the housing of clinical records. The agency name cannot appear at the location unless required by law or by the rental contract. The location cannot appear on agency letterhead or agency advertising.

To establish a drop-off site, send a letter to the Home Care Unit with the address information of the location. The letter will be added to your licensure file. There is no charge for adding a drop-off site.