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The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XX
VETERANS
Chapter 296
VETERANS' HOMES
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CHAPTER 296
CHAPTER 296
VETERANS’ HOMES
PART I
VETERANS’ DOMICILIARY HOME OF FLORIDA ACT
(ss. 296.01-296.17)
PART II
VETERANS’ NURSING HOME OF FLORIDA ACT
(ss. 296.31-296.41)
PART I
VETERANS’ DOMICILIARY HOME
OF FLORIDA ACT
296.01 Short title.
296.02 Definitions.
296.03 Veterans’ Domiciliary Home of Florida.
296.04 Administrator; duties and qualifications; responsibilities.
296.05 Bond of administrator and certain employees.
296.06 State policy; eligibility requirements.
296.07 Certain persons ineligible.
296.08 Priority of admittance.
296.09 Health record and general register to be maintained.
296.10 Residents; contribution to support.
296.11 Funds of home and disposition of moneys.
296.12 Residents’ Deposits Trust Fund.
296.13 Death of resident; disposition of moneys held.
296.14 Personal property; deceased residents; residents leaving.
296.15 Gifts, grants, and endowments to the home.
296.17 Audit; inspection; and standards for the home.
296.01 Short title.This part may be cited as the “Veterans’ Domiciliary Home of Florida Act.”
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 4, ch. 92-80.
296.02 Definitions.For the purposes of this part, except where the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) “Applicant” means a veteran with wartime service or peacetime service as defined in this section who is not in need of hospitalization or nursing home care.
(2) “Department” means the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
(3) “Director” means the executive director of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
(4) “Domiciliary care” means shelter, sustenance, and incidental medical care provided on an ambulatory self-care basis to assist eligible veterans who are disabled by age or disease, but who are not in need of hospitalization or nursing home care services.
(5) “Extended congregate care” has the meaning given to that term under s. 429.02.
(6) “Mentally ill” means having an impairment of the emotional process, of the ability to exercise conscious control of one’s actions, or of the ability to perceive reality or to understand, which impairment substantially interferes with a person’s ability to meet the ordinary demands of living, and which impairment cannot be controlled by medication.
(7) “Peacetime service” means Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, or Air Force service that is not during a wartime era as defined in s. 1.01(14).
(8) “Resident” means any eligible veteran admitted to residency in the home.
(9) “Veteran” means a person who served in the military as defined in s. 1.01(14).
(10) “Veterans’ Domiciliary Home of Florida,” hereinafter referred to as the “home,” means a home established by the state for veterans who served in wartime service or in peacetime service, as defined in this section.
(11) “Wartime service” has the meaning given to that term under s. 1.01(14).
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 5, ch. 92-80; s. 1, ch. 98-16; s. 12, ch. 2006-197.
296.03 Veterans’ Domiciliary Home of Florida.The Veterans’ Domiciliary Home of Florida is for veterans who served in wartime service or peacetime service, as defined in s. 296.02, and is maintained for the use of those veterans who are not in need of hospitalization or nursing home care and who can attend to their personal needs, dress themselves, and attend a general dining facility, or who are in need of extended congregate care.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 6, ch. 92-80; s. 2, ch. 98-16.
296.04 Administrator; duties and qualifications; responsibilities.
(1) The director shall appoint an administrator who shall be responsible for the overall operation of the home and the care of the residents.
(2) The administrator shall have the power to determine the eligibility and admission of applicants to the home in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and, together with the director, shall adopt all rules necessary for the preservation of order and enforcement of discipline in the home. All rules governing the home shall conform as nearly as possible to the rules and regulations for comparable facilities of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
(3) The administrator position shall be assigned to the Selected Exempt Service under part V of chapter 110. The director shall give veterans’ preference in selecting an administrator, as provided in ss. 295.07 and 295.085. In addition, the administrator must have at least a 4-year degree from an accredited university or college and 3 years of administrative experience in a health care facility, or any equivalent combination of experience, training, and education totaling 7 years in work relating to administration of a health care facility.
(4) All employees who fill authorized and established positions appropriated for the home shall be state employees. The department shall classify such employees in the manner prescribed in chapter 110.
(5)(a) The administrator shall administer and enforce all rules of the home, including rules of discipline, and may dismiss any resident of the home for any infraction of the rules, subject to the approval of the director.
(b) When the administrator determines that a resident has caused physical damage to the home, he or she shall determine the cost of repairs and take action to recover such sum from the resident who caused the damage. The administrator shall recover the sum by increasing the resident’s monthly copayment, holding funds of the resident that are on deposit in the Residents’ Deposits Trust Fund, or holding personal property of the resident which is held by the administrator for safekeeping pursuant to s. 296.14.
(6) The administrator may require residents of the home to render such assistance in the care of the home and grounds as their physical condition will permit and may compensate a resident for such assistance.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 7, ch. 92-80; s. 255, ch. 95-148; s. 3, ch. 98-16; s. 1, ch. 2002-298.
296.05 Bond of administrator and certain employees.The administrator and those employees of the home who control or distribute moneys or funds shall file a bond in such form and amount as determined by the director. The home may participate in the blanket fidelity bond and the ancillary bond programs which are competitively bid pursuant to chapter 287.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168.
296.06 State policy; eligibility requirements.
(1) It is the policy of the state to admit residents into the home without regard to race, age, sex, creed, religion, national origin, or any other reason that would thereby create a practice of discrimination. However, an applicant’s veteran status shall not constitute discrimination.
(2) To be eligible for residency in the home, a veteran must:
(a) Have wartime service as provided in s. 1.01(14) or peacetime service as defined in s. 296.02.
(b) Be a resident of the state at the time of application.
(c) Not be mentally ill, habitually inebriated, or addicted to drugs.
(d) Not owe money to the department for services rendered during any previous stay at a department facility.
(e) Have applied for all financial assistance reasonably available through governmental sources.
(f) Have been approved as eligible for care and treatment by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 8, ch. 92-80; s. 4, ch. 98-16; s. 1, ch. 2000-282; s. 3, ch. 2010-177; s. 22, ch. 2014-1.
296.07 Certain persons ineligible.A person who is mentally ill, habitually inebriated, or addicted to the use of drugs may not be received or retained in the home. It is the legislative intent that a resident of the home who is discharged therefrom or voluntarily leaves the home because he or she exhibits mental illness, inebriation, or drug addiction shall be referred to appropriate federal, state, or county agencies by the home for treatment.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 5, ch. 98-16.
296.08 Priority of admittance.
(1) In determining the eligibility of applicants to the home, the administrator shall give admittance priority in accordance with the following schedule:
(a) Those veterans with wartime service, as defined in s. 1.01(14), who have service-connected disability or disabilities but are not in need of hospitalization or nursing home care.
(b) Those veterans with wartime service, as defined in s. 1.01(14), who have non-service-connected disability or disabilities but are not in need of hospitalization or nursing home care.
(c) Those veterans with wartime service, as defined in s. 1.01(14), other than those described in paragraphs (a) and (b).
(d) Those veterans with peacetime service, as defined in s. 296.02.
(2) Before admission, each applicant shall file with the administrator a certificate of eligibility, together with a certified copy of his or her discharge, and any other information that the administrator determines to be necessary for admission purposes.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 9, ch. 92-80; s. 256, ch. 95-148; s. 6, ch. 98-16.
296.09 Health record and general register to be maintained.
(1) A health record for each resident must be maintained and must contain an identification sheet, a medical history, a report of initial physical examination, and subsequent records of treatment and progress, including medications, diets, and consultations. An annual reevaluation of the resident’s health status must be conducted and recorded. The health record and the annual reevaluation are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, and must be preserved for a period of time as determined by the director.
(2) The administrator shall keep a general register, in which must be recorded the following information concerning each resident admitted:
(a) Name, age, place of birth, and occupation.
(b) Date of admission.
(c) Residence at time of admission and length of residence in this state immediately prior to admission.
(d) Date of enlistment and date of discharge.
(e) Married or single.
(f) Pension or disability, rate of compensation, estate, and any other income.
(g) Any additional information that the administrator considers necessary.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 106, ch. 90-360; s. 10, ch. 92-80; s. 1, ch. 95-117; s. 150, ch. 96-406; s. 7, ch. 98-16.
296.10 Residents; contribution to support.
(1)(a) Each resident of the home who receives a pension, compensation, or gratuity from the United States Government, or income from any other source of more than $100 per month, with adjustments in accordance with paragraph (b), shall contribute to his or her maintenance and support while a resident of the home in accordance with a schedule of payment determined by the administrator and approved by the director. The total amount of such contributions must be to the fullest extent possible, but may not exceed the actual cost of operating and maintaining the home.
(b) Whenever there is an increase in benefit amounts payable under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. ss. 401 et seq., as a result of a determination made under s. 215(i) of such act, 42 U.S.C. s. 415(i), the administrator shall increase the amount that each resident shall be allowed to retain. The increased amount will be determined by the percentage used to increase the benefits under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. ss. 401 et seq. This first such increase to residents’ personal use funds will take place on January 1, 2004, and shall be continued each ensuing year that there is an increase in benefits under the said act.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), each resident who participates in a vocational rehabilitation or work incentive program shall contribute to his or her support in an amount that is determined by the administrator and approved by the director, is computed at 50 percent of the resident’s net earnings after taxes and after the setoff of the first $100 per month, and does not exceed the cost of care. The resident is required to authorize the administrator of the home to secure from the employer sufficient information to verify the resident’s earnings under the program.
(3) The administrator may, if there is room, admit to residency in the home veterans who have sufficient means for their own support, but are otherwise eligible to become residents of the home, on payment of the full cost of their support, which cost and method of collection shall be fixed by the administrator.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 11, ch. 92-80; s. 8, ch. 98-16; s. 4, ch. 2003-42; s. 23, ch. 2004-5.
296.11 Funds of home and disposition of moneys.
(1) The home shall deposit all moneys it receives for care of residents from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and residents into the Operations and Maintenance Trust Fund. All such moneys must be expended for the purpose of supporting program operations that benefit veterans or the operation, maintenance, or construction of a home, subject to the requirements of chapter 216.
(2) The home shall deposit all moneys received pursuant to s. 296.15 into the Grants and Donations Trust Fund. Moneys in the Grants and Donations Trust Fund must be expended for the common benefit of the residents of the home, such as improved facilities, recreational equipment, recreational supplies, and goods and services offered or available to all residents, subject to the requirements of chapter 216.
(3) This section does not prohibit the use of revolving funds or clearing accounts if they are established in the manner prescribed by law.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 12, ch. 92-80; s. 49, ch. 96-418; s. 9, ch. 98-16; s. 2, ch. 2002-298; s. 2, ch. 2008-18; s. 3, ch. 2017-157.
296.12 Residents’ Deposits Trust Fund.
(1) There is created a Residents’ Deposits Trust Fund. All moneys received by the home under this section must be deposited into the Residents’ Deposits Trust Fund, a local fund that is administered by the home and is not a part of the State Treasury. The home’s financial manager shall account for all moneys deposited and any interest accruing on the trust fund.
(2) The residents of the home may voluntarily deposit with the home moneys that the home must receive and keep without charge in the Residents’ Deposits Trust Fund. Moneys deposited and interest earned may be withdrawn, in whole or in part, at the will of the resident. Upon the resident’s death, any balance that remains and is neither disposed of by will nor paid to his or her heirs at law must be paid to the state in accordance with the provisions of chapter 717.
(3) Upon a resident’s discharge or voluntary departure from the home, if such moneys are not demanded at the time of discharge or departure, or within a period of 3 years thereafter, or demanded by the heirs, devisees, or legatees in case of the resident’s decease after his or her discharge or voluntary departure, the moneys must be paid to the state as provided in chapter 717.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 13, ch. 92-80; s. 257, ch. 95-148; s. 50, ch. 96-418; s. 10, ch. 98-16; s. 3, ch. 2002-298.
296.13 Death of resident; disposition of moneys held.
(1) Any balance of moneys which belongs to a resident and is held by the home, or by its authority, at the time of the resident’s death and which is not disposed of by will, must be held as a special trust fund to be paid by the home upon proof that the administrator considers proper, directly and without probate, to heirs of the resident, except that the administrator may disburse funds of any deceased resident for payment of the resident’s funeral expenses.
(2) If no heirs are discovered within 1 year after the death of a resident, or if the heirs who are discovered within that time are not entitled to all of the remaining moneys, the moneys that are not paid to the heirs nor disposed of by will must be paid to the state as provided in chapter 717.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 11, ch. 98-16.
296.14 Personal property; deceased residents; residents leaving.
(1) Any resident of the home may deposit personal property other than money with the administrator for safekeeping. The property must be returned to the depositor upon demand, and a written statement of acceptance must be executed by the depositor under oath.
(2) The administrator or the administrator’s designee must maintain an itemized record of the deposit of personal property which contains, but need not be limited to, the name of the depositor, the date of deposit, a description of the article or articles deposited, the disposition of the article or articles, and the date of disposition.
(3) The personal property of a deceased resident which is not otherwise provided for may be held for the heirs, devisees, or legatees for a period of 1 year after the date of the resident’s death. The personal property of a resident who is discharged or voluntarily leaves may be held for the resident or for his or her heirs, devisees, or legatees for a period of 1 year after the date of discharge or departure.
(4) The administrator may make a monthly charge for the safekeeping of unclaimed personal property. If the charge is not paid, a lien upon the property to secure its payment accrues to the home.
(5) The administrator shall cause a public sale to be held when in the judgment of the administrator the probable value of the property exceeds the probable cost of the sale. All cost incurred in the sale of the unclaimed personal property must be reimbursed to the home along with any lien on the property. All unclaimed funds must be disposed of in accordance with chapter 717.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 258, ch. 95-148; s. 12, ch. 98-16.
296.15 Gifts, grants, and endowments to the home.The home may receive and accept gifts, grants, and endowments in the name of the home. All such gifts, grants, and endowments are to be used for the benefit of the home and its residents. The administrator, together with the director, shall determine how these gifts, grants, and endowments could best benefit the home and its residents unless the benefactor requests or instructs that the gift, grant, or endowment be used for a specific purpose.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 13, ch. 98-16.
296.17 Audit; inspection; and standards for the home.The home shall be open at any time to audit and inspection by the Auditor General and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, as provided by law, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and to any other audits or inspections as required by law to maintain appropriate standards in the home. The standards that the department shall use to regulate the operation of the home shall be those prescribed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, provided that where the state’s standards are more restrictive, the standards of the state shall apply.
History.s. 8, ch. 89-168; s. 97, ch. 2001-266.
PART II
VETERANS’ NURSING HOME OF FLORIDA ACT
296.31 Short title.
296.32 Purpose.
296.33 Definitions.
296.34 Administrator; qualifications, duties, and responsibilities.
296.35 Nondiscrimination policy of the home.
296.36 Eligibility and priority of admittance.
296.37 Residents; contribution to support.
296.38 Funds of home and disposition of moneys.
296.41 Audit; inspection; standards for the home.
296.31 Short title.This part may be cited as the “Veterans’ Nursing Home of Florida Act.”
History.s. 14, ch. 92-80.
296.32 Purpose.The purpose of this part is to provide for the establishment of basic standards for the operation of veterans’ nursing homes for eligible veterans in need of such services.
History.s. 14, ch. 92-80; s. 4, ch. 2002-298.
296.33 Definitions.As used in this part, the term:
(1) “Administrator” means the licensed person who has been appointed to serve as the chief executive of the home and has the general administrative charge of the facility.
(2) “Department” means the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
(3) “Director” means the executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
(4) “Home” means a licensed health care facility operated by the department pursuant to part II of chapter 400.
(5) “Resident” means any eligible veteran admitted to the home.
(6) “Veteran” means a person as defined in s. 1.01(14).
History.s. 14, ch. 92-80; s. 84, ch. 99-13; s. 5, ch. 2002-298.
296.34 Administrator; qualifications, duties, and responsibilities.
(1) The director shall appoint an administrator of each home who shall be responsible for the overall operation of the home and the care of the residents.
(2) The position shall be assigned to the Selected Exempt Service under part V of chapter 110. The director shall give veterans preference in selecting an administrator, as provided in ss. 295.07 and 295.085. The administrator, at the time of entering employment and at all times while employed as the administrator must hold a current valid license as a nursing home administrator under part II of chapter 468.
(3) The administrator shall determine the eligibility of applicants for admission to the home in accordance with provisions of this part and, together with the director, shall adopt all rules necessary for the proper administration of the home, including rules for the preservation of order and enforcement of discipline in the home. All rules governing the home shall conform as nearly as possible to the rules and regulations for comparable facilities of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
(4) All employees who fill authorized and established positions appropriated for the home shall be state employees. The department shall classify such employees in the manner prescribed in chapter 110.
(5) The administrator shall administer and enforce all rules of the home, including rules of discipline, and shall have the power to dismiss any resident of the home for any infraction of rules, subject to the approval of the director.
History.s. 14, ch. 92-80; s. 259, ch. 95-148; s. 15, ch. 98-16; s. 6, ch. 2002-298.
296.35 Nondiscrimination policy of the home.It is the policy of the state to admit residents into the home without regard to race, age, sex, creed, religion, national origin, or any other reason that would thereby create a practice of discrimination. However, consideration of an applicant’s veteran status shall not constitute discrimination.
History.s. 14, ch. 92-80.
296.36 Eligibility and priority of admittance.
(1) To be eligible for admittance to the home, the person must be a veteran as provided in s. 1.01(14) or have eligible peacetime service as defined in s. 296.02 and must:
(a) Be in need of nursing home care.
(b) Be a resident of the state at the time of application for admission to the home.
(c) Not owe money to the department for services rendered during any previous stay at a department facility.
(d) Have applied for all financial assistance reasonably available through governmental sources.
(e) Have been approved as eligible for care and treatment by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
(2) The director may waive the residency requirement for a veteran who is otherwise eligible under Florida law for admittance to a home. The waiver must be limited to a veteran who is a disaster evacuee of a state that is under a declared state of emergency.
(3) Admittance priority must be given to eligible veterans in the following order of priority:
(a) An eligible veteran who is a resident of the State of Florida.
(b) An eligible veteran who has a service-connected disability as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or was discharged or released from military service for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty and the disability is the condition for which nursing home care is needed.
(c) An eligible veteran who has a non-service-connected disability and is unable to defray the expense of nursing home care and so states under oath before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer an oath.
History.s. 14, ch. 92-80; s. 16, ch. 98-16; s. 2, ch. 2000-282; s. 1, ch. 2006-239; s. 4, ch. 2010-177; s. 23, ch. 2014-1.
296.37 Residents; contribution to support.
(1) Every resident of the home who receives a pension, compensation, or gratuity from the United States Government, or income from any other source of more than $105 per month, shall contribute to his or her maintenance and support while a resident of the home in accordance with a schedule of payment determined by the administrator and approved by the director. The total amount of such contributions shall be to the fullest extent possible but shall not exceed the actual cost of operating and maintaining the home.
(2) The administrator may, if there is room, admit to residency in the home a veteran who has sufficient means for his or her own support, but is otherwise eligible to become a resident of the home, on payment of the full cost of his or her support, which cost and method of collection shall be fixed from time to time by the administrator.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), each resident of the home who receives a pension, compensation, or gratuity from the United States Government, or income from any other source, of more than $105 per month shall contribute to his or her maintenance and support while a resident of the home in accordance with a payment schedule determined by the administrator and approved by the director. The total amount of such contributions shall be to the fullest extent possible, but, in no case, shall exceed the actual cost of operating and maintaining the home. This subsection expires July 1, 2017.
History.s. 14, ch. 92-80; s. 17, ch. 98-16; s. 11, ch. 2014-53; s. 22, ch. 2015-222; s. 47, ch. 2016-62; s. 4, ch. 2017-157.
296.38 Funds of home and disposition of moneys.
(1) The home shall deposit all moneys it receives for care of residents from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and residents into the Operations and Maintenance Trust Fund. All such moneys shall be expended for the purpose of supporting program operations that benefit veterans or the operation, maintenance, or construction of a home, subject to the requirements of chapter 216.
(2) The home shall be empowered to receive and accept gifts, grants, and endowments in the name of the home. All such gifts, grants, and endowments are to be used for the benefit of the home and its residents. The administrator, together with the director, shall have the authority to determine how these gifts, grants, and endowments could best benefit the home and its residents unless the benefactor requests or instructs that the gift, grant, or endowment be used for a specific purpose. The home shall deposit all moneys received pursuant to this subsection into the Grants and Donations Trust Fund. Moneys in the Grants and Donations Trust Fund shall be expended for the common benefit of the residents of the home, such as recreational equipment, improved facilities, recreational supplies, and goods and services offered or available to all residents.
(3)(a) There is created a Residents’ Deposits Trust Fund. All moneys received by the home pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Residents’ Deposits Trust Fund, a local fund administered by the home and which is not a part of the State Treasury. The home’s financial manager shall account for all moneys deposited and any interest accruing on the trust fund.
(b) The residents of the home may voluntarily deposit moneys with the home, which the home shall receive and keep without charge in the Residents’ Deposits Trust Fund. Moneys deposited and interest earned may be withdrawn, in whole or in part, at the will of the resident. Any balance remaining upon the resident’s death, undisposed of by will and not paid to his or her heirs at law, shall be paid to the state in accordance with the provisions of chapter 717.
(c) Upon a resident’s discharge or voluntary departure from the home, if such moneys are not so demanded at the time of discharge or departure, or within a period of 3 years thereafter, or demanded by the heirs, devisees, or legatees in case of the resident’s decease after his or her discharge or voluntary departure, the same shall be paid to the state as provided in chapter 717.
History.s. 14, ch. 92-80; s. 260, ch. 95-148; s. 51, ch. 96-418; s. 18, ch. 98-16; s. 7, ch. 2002-298; s. 3, ch. 2008-18; s. 5, ch. 2017-157.
296.41 Audit; inspection; standards for the home.The home shall be open at any time to audit and inspection by the Auditor General and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, as provided by law, the department, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and to any other audits or inspections as required by law to maintain appropriate standards in the home. The standards that the department shall use to regulate the operation of the home shall be those prescribed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, provided that where the state’s standards are more restrictive, the standards of the state shall apply.
History.s. 14, ch. 92-80; s. 98, ch. 2001-266.