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MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS HEALTH CARE SERVICE POOLS

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The Frequently Asked Questions include the following:

What a health care services pool can do Section 1
Completing the application for registration Section 2
Background Screening Section 3
Location Section 4
Making changes in addresses & other changes Section 5
Other Section 6

 

Section 1:   What a health care services pool can do

1.1 What are the differences between a Nurse Registry (NR), Home Health Agency (HHA) & Health Care Services Pool (HCSP)?

Answer: HCSPs provide temporary staffing opportunities for medically trained and licensed health care personnel in health care facilities such as hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, clinical laboratories, etc. A HCSP cannot provide patient care or contract directly with a patient or send workers to patient’s home. They only provide staff to facilities and agencies. HCSP is not limited geographically and may operate anywhere within state once they received their registration. Both NR and HHA can provide staff to facilities anywhere in the state but their primary business is to provide patient care directly. Also, HCSPs can provide a broader range of staff to facilities. Whereas, NR and HHA can only provide the types of staff for services they are licensed to provide. See also question #1.4.

 

1.2 What kind of services can I provide as a health care services pool?

Answer: Health Care Services Pool provides licensed, certified and/or trained health care personnel to facilities or agencies for temporary work. “Temporary” means employment whereby a pool hires its own employees or independent contractors and assigns them to health care facilities workforce in special work situations such as employee absences, temporary skill shortages, seasonal workloads, special assignments and projects.

 

1.3 If I start with a Health Care Services Pool can I upgrade later to a Home Health Agency?

Answer: No, you would need to apply separately for a Home Health Agency license.

 

1.4 If I have a license for a Home Health Agency do I need to get a Health Care Services Pool also? Or for a Nurse Registry do I need to get a Health Care Services Pool also?

Answer: It depends on our business plan. HCSPs can place broader array of professions in temporary employment than either a HHA or a NR. If you are primarily interested in providing patient care, you do not need a HCSP since they cannot enter into contracts with individuals to provide direct patient care.

 

1.5 If I want to provide therapists to be subcontractors for home health agencies what license do I need?

Answer: The kind of license you need depends on what you intend to do.
If you intend to subcontract with home health agencies for your business to provide therapy to patients on an on-going, as-needed basis – the therapists are assigned to patients by your business, make home visits to patients under the name of your business, you supervise the work of the therapists, and bill the home health agency for the visits made – you would need a home health agency license unless:
(a) your business is a certified rehabilitation agency or a comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility (CORF). The state law exempts from home health agency licensing certified rehabilitation agencies and CORFs (400.464(5) (m), Florida Statutes).
(b) you provide just one type of therapy, such as such as only physical therapy. An entity that provides a single health care professional discipline is not an organization for the purposes of home health agency licensing per 400.462(22), Florida Statutes.
If you intend to subcontract with home health agencies to provide therapists who will actually work as therapy staff for the home health agency on a temporary basis – the home health agency supervises and assigns each therapist to specific patients; the therapists go to the home identified as staff from the home health agency; and you bill the home health agency for use of the temporary staff -- you would need a health care services pool license under 400.980 Florida Statutes. Please note the following:
The state law says that a health care services pool “provides temporary employment in health care facilities, residential facilities, and agencies for licensed, certified, or trained health care personnel” (400.980 (1), Florida Statues).
“Temporary employment” means “employment whereby a pool hires its own employees or independent contractors and assigns them to health care facilities to support or supplement the facilities’ work force in special works situations such as employee absences, temporary skill shortages, seasonal workloads, and special assignments and projects” (59A-27.001 (1), Florida Administrative Code).
Therefore, to provide temporary therapy staff to a home health agency, the home health agency must already employ its own therapists. The health care services pool would only provide the home health agency with temporary therapists to fill in when one of their own therapists was on leave or in special situations as stated in the Florida Administrative Code quoted above. Therapists could not be provided to the home health agencies on an on-going basis.

 

1.6 If I only provide one type of therapy on a temporary basis, do I still need a health care services pool registration?

Answer: Yes.

 

1.7 Do I need to be registered as a Health Care Services Pool to place Medical Techs in Doctor’s offices?

Answer: Yes

 

1.8 Can Health Care Services Pool do private duty as a Health Care Services Pool?

Answer: No. HCSP are for temporary professional staffing only. HCSPs cannot enter into contracts or agreements with individuals to provide direct services in their homes or other places of residence.

 

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Section 2:  Completing the application for registration

2.1 Where do I get the application?

ANSWER: From this website http://ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/index.shtml#three click on “health care services pool”.

 

2.2 How much does it cost?

ANSWER: The registration fee is $616.00 for a 2 year registration. There are other fees that you may incur including background screening. See the application and health care services pool web page referred to in #2.1 above for details.

 

2.3 How long does it take to get registered?

ANSWER: Generally, from 30 to 90 days. It depends on whether all items required on the application are submitted. If so, it can take 30 days if the application is complete and the fingerprinting results show that the managing employee and financial officer are eligible. If the application is not complete, the Agency is required to send a letter listing the items that are missing and provide you with the opportunity to correct. The Agency received a large number of HCSP applications and responses are generally processed in the dare order received. State law permits the Agency up to 60 days to issue a registration once the application is complete.

 

2.4 When receiving a letter of items needed for my Health Care Services Pool Application, how many days do I have to respond to AHCA?

ANSWER: Requested information omitted from an application, must be sent to AHCA within 21 days of receipt of the letter. If the information is not received, the application will be withdrawn from further consideration. The fees are not refundable.

 

2.5 After the missing information has been sent back to AHCA, how long does AHCA have to issue my license?
 
ANSWER: AHCA has 60 days to issue or deny the license from the date that all missing items are received.

 

2.6 Do I answer all the questions or just the ones that pertain to me on the application?

ANSWER: All questions need to be answered. If a specific question is not applicable to you, write “NA” for not applicable. Or, if the information is that same, such physical and mailing address, write “same”.

 

2.7 Can I provide services prior to receiving registration and wait to bill after receiving my registration?

ANSWER: No. There is a fine of $2,500 for unregistered activity (as required in Florida Administrative code 59A-27.004).

 

2.8 What kind of paper work must I submit for my corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship?

ANSWER: Florida Statutes 400.980(3) (a) requires: “The name and address of any person who has an ownership interest in the business, and in the case of a corporate owner, copies of the articles of incorporation, by-laws and names and addresses of all officers and directors of the corporation”. If you have a corporation and do not have by-laws, you will need to prepare them. If the company is organized as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Partnership, you will need to send us a copy of the company organization papers. In the case of a foreign company (one domiciled in another state), you will need to submit proof of having registered with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations. If operating under a fictitious name from the Division of Corporations. You can get the information at the Division of Corporations web site, www.sunbiz.org. Any business that has employees needs to acquire a Federal Employer Identification Number from the IRS.

 

2.9 Do I need to register a fictitious name for my business?

ANSWER: Yes, if you intend to operate your business under any name other than your legal name (first, middle and last name) or the legal name of your corporation, LLC or partnership. To register the fictitious name of your business, there is information at the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations web site, www.sunbiz.org, or by call (850) 245-6058.

 

2.10 If I am a corporation, LLC or, Partnership do I need to register a fictitious name?

ANSWER: No, unless you are using a name other than your registered corporation, LLC or, Partnership name. However, if the legal name of your corporation, LLC or, Partnership includes the words home health, personal care, patient care, health care, assisted living, or any name that would imply to the public that your business is registered or licensed to provide care to patients in their homes or provide any services that are other than providing temporary employment in health care facilities, residential facilities and agencies.

 

2.11 I don’t have By-Laws. Do I need them and how would I get them?

ANSWER: If you are organized as a corporation, (see question #1B of the application form). You can get information at www.sunbiz.org .

 

2.12 If my registration has expired, what do I need to do?

ANSWER: You must apply as an initial applicant and stop operating until you are registered again.

 

2.13 If my registration expires during AHCA’s review of the application, what should I do?

ANSWER: If your registration expires during the Agency’s review, you may continue to operate. According to the state law, your business is still registered if you have submitted the application and fee prior to the license expiration date.

 

2.14 Insurance – How much? What kind? And where do I get it?

ANSWER: Medical professional liability insurance policy is the most common option for showing financial responsibility to pay claims. Required coverage is a minimum of $1,000,000 per incident, $3,000,000 aggregate. The specific company name and location must be listed as the insured entity of the Certificate of Insurance. Contact your insurance agent. Also, see the application, item #9. We do not keep such a listing. You can view insurance companies licensed in Florida at http://www.floir.com/search_options.aspx . You can make a request for the Agency to prepare such a list to the AHCA Public Records Coordinator at publicrecordsreg@ahca.myflorida.com .

 

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Section 3:  Background Screening

3.1 Who has to be fingerprinted? Can the managing employee and financial officer be the same person & if so, do they need to be rescreened for each position?

ANSWER: The managing employee and the financial officer positions are both required to have a level 2 background screening. They can be the same person and if so, the individual would only need to be screened once. All persons that do temporary staffing in or for health care facilities and provide personal care or other services to patients in those facilities must have level 2 background screening. Fingerprinting is done by scanning, but persons who live out of state can send fingerprint cards to the Cogent Systems Office in Ohio. See the background screening page at http://ahca.myflorida.com/backgroundscreening.

 

3.2. I have a level 2 conviction on my record, what do I need to do?

ANSWER: You can request an exemption from disqualification by completing the application for an exemption at the AHCA web site under Background Screening www.ahca.myflorida.com/backgroundscreening (scroll down to Information & Resources and select “Exemptions from Disqualification”).  Call the AHCA Background Screening office at (850) 412-4503 for further information.

 

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Section 4:  Location 

4.1 My company is based in another state, what must I do to operate in Florida?

ANSWER: You must file for an Affidavit of Foreign Incorporation with the Florida Department of State. See the response to Section 2 question #2.7 of the application. You will need to obtain a health care services pool registration from AHCA, as provided at this site.

 

4.2 Can I have an office address in another state?

ANSWER: Yes

 

4.3 Can I operate all my offices on the one registration?

ANSWER: No, there must be a separate registration for each physical location from which you are conducting business.

 

4.4 Can I operate from my home or do I need an office?

ANSWER: You may operate from with your home or a commercial office as long as you comply with your local zoning laws.  Please note that you may get inspected on an unannounced basis during the weekday if a complaint is received by AHCA. Also, your business name, your street address, and your telephone number will appear at the AHCA web site www.FloridaHealthFinder.gov.

 

4.5 Am I restricted to a certain geographic area of the state to operate?

ANSWER: No

 

4.6 Can a managing employee or financial officer cover more than one office?

ANSWER: Yes

 

4.7 I am out of state and want to transport nurses to Florida, do I have to be registered?

ANSWER: Yes

 

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Section 5:  Making changes in addresses & other changes

5.1 How do I report an address change and what are the requirements? How do I report a name change and what are the requirements?

ANSWER: Florida Administrative code 59A-27.002(5), Change of Registration Information. Within 21 days prior to any change in registration information, a registered health care services pool shall advise the Agency of any change in business name; location; mailing address; or phone number. Complete and submit Section 1 of Healthcare Licensing Application, Health Care Services Pool along with proof of insurance coverage in the new name or address which shall be mailed to AHCA (2727 Mahan Drive – Mailstop 34, Tallahassee, Florida 32308) along with a check or money order in the amount of $25.00 made payable to AHCA. Any requests that results in the agency issuing a revised registration certificate other that an initial, renewal or change of ownership application, requires a fee of $25.00.

 

5.2 How do I report a personnel change and what are the requirements?

ANSWER: Only change is the managing employee and the financial officer must be reported. Send the information in a letter along with proof of level 2 background screening. These positions must be filled by someone who has successfully completed a level 2 background screening. If a new background screening check is necessary, visit the Agency’s background screening web page for information on the requirements for fingerprinting and the locations throughout the state when the scanning of fingerprints is done: http://ahca.myflorida.com/backgroundscreening click on “background screening”.

 

5.3 I am moving to another suite in this building, do I need to send a new application?

ANSWER: No, but you need to notify AHCA of the change of address.  Send a letter to the AHCA Home Care Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive – Mail Stop 34, Tallahassee, FL 32308 to request an address change, giving your registration number, your old address, the new address, and new telephone number, fax number and email address if changed. A check or money order for $25 payable to AHCA is required. A revised registration certificate will be mailed to you with the new address.

 

5.4 The wrong person is listed in www.floridahealthfinder.gov as our managing employee, how do I get this corrected?

ANSWER: The information in www.floridahealthfinder.gov comes from your registration application. Send a letter to the AHCA Home Care Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive – Mail Stop 34, Tallahassee, FL 32308 and notify them of the person who should be listed as the managing employee. State law requires that the person be level 2 background screened (fingerprinted), unless he or she has already been screened and this is verified by AHCA.

 

5.5 What constitutes a Change of Ownership?

ANSWER: “Change of ownership” means:
(a) An event which the license sells or otherwise transfers its ownership to a different individual or entity as evidence by a change in federal identification number or taxpayer identification number; or
(b) An event in which 51 percent or more of the ownership shares, membership, or controlling interest of a licensee is in any manner transferred or otherwise assigned. This paragraph does not apply to a licensee that is publicly traded on an organized stock exchange.
A change solely in the Management Company or Board of Directors is not a change of ownership.
You must notify AHCA 30 days prior to the change and the new owner must submit a new application with an asset purchase agreement, Bill of Sale, Article of Incorporation, if it’s a Corporation or Affidavit of Fictitious Name, if corporate with DBA, it still needs Articles of Fictitious Name and Corporation by laws.

 

5.6 How do I file for a change of ownership?

ANSWER: The applicant must submit a change of ownership application at least 60 days prior to the proposed effective date of change of ownership.  Include the following with the application:

  • A copy of the signed and dated asset purchase agreement indicating that a change of ownership is pending. 
  • A copy of the company organizational papers or partnership agreement for the buyer.
  • A copy of the signed closing document (bill of sale) showing the date of the transfer of ownership is also required.  The closing document is not required initially when you submit the application, since you must apply for a change of ownership before the sale is completed.  The closing document is submitted after the date of the transfer of ownership. 

Please note:  The seller’s (transferors) registration must be active on the date the Agency issues the license to the buyer. The seller’s registration cannot be expired, denied or revoked. 

 

5.7 If my Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN#) changes and not the ownership percentage(s) is this a change of ownership?

ANSWER: Yes.

 

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Section 6: Other

6.1 Will I be fined if I am late submitting my renewal application or documents?

ANSWER: Yes. Your application is to be submitted 60 days prior to expiration.  In accordance with section 408.806(2) (d), F.S., the licensee’s failure to timely file a renewal application and license application fee with the agency shall result in a $50 per day late fee charged to the licensee by the agency; however, the aggregate amount of the late fee may not exceed 50 percent of the licensure fee or $500, whichever is less.

 

6.2 How long are files supposed to be kept for the staff sent of out the health care facilities and agencies?

ANSWER: The state law and rules for health care services pools do not specify the length of time that personnel files or records are to be retained. You are expected to have records on all personnel that you have placed and are still working in positions at facilities and agencies that you placed them with.

 

6.3 Can I have contractors or just employees with my registration?

ANSWER: You can have both.

 

6.4 How do I file a complaint against a Health Care Services Pool (HCSP) that provides services beyond the scope of its HCSP registration?

ANSWER: Call the AHCA Complaint call center: 1-888-419-3456

 

6.5 Are Health Care Services Pools inspected or surveyed?

ANSWER: No, but a field office surveyor may make an unannounced visit when a complaint is received by AHCA that alleges any violation of the state laws or rules for the health care services pool. The most common complaint received is about providing personal care, such as services provided by a home health aide or CNA, without a home health agency or nurse registry license.

 

6.6 What are the procedures for closing a Health Care Services Pool business?

ANSWER: The state law [408.810(4) (a), Florida Statutes] requires that you inform the agency not less than 30 days prior to the discontinuance of operation and inform clients that you are closing and when. Immediately upon discontinuing operation, send the registration certificate to the AHCA Home Care Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive – Mail Stop 34, Tallahassee, FL 32308.

 

6.7 I cannot locate my current registration certificate; how do I get a duplicate copy?

ANSWER: Send a letter requesting a duplicate copy of your registration, along with a check or money order for $25 payable to AHCA, to the Home Care Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive – Mail Stop 34, Tallahassee, FL 32308. Be sure to include your registration number, current address, telephone number, fax number and email address.

 

6.8 Do I have to have a website for this business?

ANSWER: No. If you do not have a website, write "NA" for not applicable when you are completing the application form. If you do have a website, your license (registration) number must appear on this site.

 

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