The DeSantis administration is moving to amend its licensure regulations to require certain long term care providers to submit health care workforce data to the state.
The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) on Monday published a proposed amendment to its licensure rule that would require licensure application forms for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health agencies, and homemaker/companion service providers to include data on pay, benefit, vacancy and turnover rates for registered nurses and direct care workers, a term that includes certified nursing assistants (CNAs), home health aides, and personal care assistants.
The law also requires the facilities to report to the state the contributing factors behind staff turnovers.
AHCA was directed to develop a survey meant to capture the information that the facilities are required to use. The information was required, effective Jan. 1, 2021, to be submitted to the state during the licensure renewal applications. The law banned AHCA from renewing any licenses from facilities that didn’t report the data.
More than two years after the mandate took effect, AHCA sent an advisory to impacted long term care providers June 27, 2023 advising them of the survey requirements, which, along with the licensure process, is completed online.
“The agency has been gathering information from the survey for those providers since the alert was sent,” AHCA said in an email.
It’s not clear, though, that the agency has been publicly posting the information as required by law.
Lawmakers in 2020 passed the reporting requirement in HB 607 to try to get a better understanding of the health care workforce in long term care settings. A legislative staff analysis of the bill quotes federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data that indicates the demand for home health aides and nursing assistants is expected to increase by 34% by 2025 but that the turnover rate in long term care professions is projected to be between 45 and 66%.
“Many factors contribute to the high turnover rate, including compensation, lack of full-employment, and low job satisfaction. Direct care workers also often have substantial family caregiving obligations, which adds to the stress of the job and contributes to the days missed from work,” the staff analysis noted.
AHCA published the proposed rule amendment as the Legislature prepares to delve into healthcare workforce issues during the 2024 Session that begins Jan. 9, 2024.