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OIR CCRC Coronavirus Alert #1 - March 19, 2020

Joel L. Anderson, Chair | Steve Bahmer, President/CEO

1812 Riggins Rd | Tallahassee, FL 32308 | P: (850) 671-3700 | F: (850) 671-3790

Continuing Care/Life Plan Coronavirus Alert #1
3/19/2020

Filing of Annual and Quarterly Reports/Quarterly Meetings with Residents  —  At the request of LeadingAge Florida and a similar request from FLiCRA, the Office of Insurance Regulation agreed to the following: 

  • The OIR will grant an extension to all CCRCs to file their annual reports by June 1, rather than May 1, and first quarter reports by June 15, rather than May 15. For those of you who have time to file a report before the revised deadlines, we will soon post the revised forms on our website.  
  • OIR understands that CCRCs may need to postpone or cancel a quarterly meeting required by s. 651.085, Florida Statutes. In such cases, “the CCRC must document that the meeting was postponed due to the Coronavirus and either make up the meeting at a later date or combine it with the next quarterly meeting. The OIR will not take issue with a meeting not taking place in the quarter until it is safe to have another meeting.” 

Informational Memorandum OIR-20-03M Issued March 16, 2020 – Over the past two days, we received clarification on what is expected of CCRCs in complying with the Informational Memorandum that insurance entities received requiring them to submit either a “Business Continuity” or “Continuity of Operations Plan” to OIR. The goal is to determine that every regulated insurance entity is aware of the potential impact of the Coronavirus on its essential operations and that a plan is in place to address business continuity through what has been declared a public health emergency in the State of Florida.  The OIR understands the pressure that CCRCs are under, but given the gravity of the Coronavirus, they do not feel they can waive the requirement for CCRCs.   

Based on a conversation with Leean Chojnowski, Deputy Director, OIR Life & Health Financial Oversight, it would be sufficient for CCRCs to list in bullet form the major steps they are taking to be aware of, and comply with, state and federal guidelines and directives that are being issued to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect residents and staff. As an example, the bullets would be something like:

XXXX activated its business continuity plan on XXXX. This includes:
  • Participating in daily briefings initiated by LeadingAge Florida updating members about newly released state and federal guidelines and directives related to the coronavirus.
  • Requiring non-essential administrative employees to work from home.
  • Complying with CDC guidelines for self-isolation of independent living residents and staff who meet certain high risk criteria.
  • Eliminating face to face marketing. 
  • Using AHCA and CMS guidelines to screen all nursing home and assisted living employees and contract workers on a daily basis for the virus.
  • Modifying meal and service policies to allow for social distancing as recommended by the President and Governor DeSantis. 
  • Notifying the local emergency management office of any problems obtaining necessary supplies. 
  • Etc.

At this point, we are able to provide all essential services to residents and will let you know if anything changes. Our contact person is xxxxxx (name, phone number, and email address of the CCRC’s point of contact.)

The plan should be emailed to
COVID-19@floir.com. Click here for a copy of the Memorandum if you have not received it. For an example of a plan that was submitted to OIR this week but that has not yet been approved, click here

“Notice of the activation of a business continuity plan due to COVID-19 provides the OIR with a better understanding of market impacts and does not necessarily require any action on the part of OIR,” an OIR spokesperson said in a statement to Insurance Journal, a publication for the Property & Casualty Insurance industry. “OIR is requesting this notification and point of contact so it can immediately work with insurers to avoid any disruption in consumer services in response to COVID-19.”

According to Ms. Chojnowski, OIR should be informed when a CCRC is having problems taking care of residents. This would include having to relocate residents due to a lack of sufficient staff or the need to isolate residents. Such information should be emailed to
COVID-19@floir.com

Non-compliant residents — Section 651.061(1), Florida Statutes, may be a helpful provision when faced with a resident who refuses to comply with self-isolation, social distancing, and other policies instituted to protect residents and staff. 

s. 651.061 Dismissal or discharge of resident; refund.—
(1)No contract for care shall permit dismissal or discharge of the resident from the facility providing care before the expiration of the contract, without just cause for such a removal. For any contract entered into on or after October 1, 1997, and terminated by a provider for just cause, the provider shall pay to the resident any refund due upon the resident’s vacating the facility, less a reasonable amount to cover the anticipated cost of utilities, telephone, or other obligations, if applicable and as documented by the provider. Any funds retained and not used for such purposes will be refunded to the resident within 45 days of vacating the unit. For contracts written prior to October 1, 1997, any refund due shall be made in accordance with the terms of the contract. The term “just cause” includes, but is not limited to, a good faith determination that a resident is a danger to herself or himself or others while remaining in the facility. The term “just cause” does not include termination of contract holders for the purpose of decertifying a facility from this chapter.

Please retain this alert in your files to use during your next OIR Examination/Triennial Audit in the event that there are questions about compliance with regulatory requirements referenced in this document during the Coronavirus public health emergency.

For questions or more information, please contact Mary Ellen Early, Public Policy Liaison, via email or by phone at (386) 734-7681

1812 Riggins Rd, Tallahassee FL 32308
Phone: (850) 671-3700
Website https://www.LeadingAgeFlorida.org

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