On March 20, 2018, Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 622 into law, which made significant changes relevant to various health care facilities governed by the Agency for Health Care Administration (“AHCA”). This law is effective July 1, 2018.
One change is with regards to the health care clinic certificate of exemption. A health care clinic is an entity that provides health care services and bills third party payors (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, Private Insurance). Health care clinics are required to be licensed in Florida unless they qualify for a statutory exemption from licensure (e.g., the entity is wholly-owned by one or more licensed health care practitioners (e.g., physician), or the licensed health care practitioner and the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of the practitioner).
If a health care facility qualifies for exemption, the facility may apply for a certificate of exemption from AHCA. Although obtaining a certificate of exemption is voluntary, certain government health care programs and other third-party payors require facilities to provide a copy of this certificate as part of provider applications and/or reimbursement. Under current law, the certificate is $100.00 and valid indefinitely. The new law makes the certificate only valid for two (2) years.
AHCA will send current certificate holders a notice of renewal (the “Renewal Notice”). The Renewal Notices will be staggered over an eighteen-month period, starting with the older certificates first, and working toward the more recent certificates. The Renewal Notice will provide a renew by date and the standard 60-120 days prior timeframe window within which to respond.
If an exempt facility has changed addresses and not updated their AHCA file, they may not receive the Renewal Notice and their status will change to “Failure to Renew”. If that happens, then the facility will need to reapply if they want to maintain their exempt certificate status.
All certificate of exemptions issued after July 1, 2018, will now show the expiration date on the certificate and facilities will be sent Renewal Notices at 120 days in advance of the expiration date.
For more information regarding this Client Alert and if you need assistance with obtaining or renewing your certificate of exemption, contact:
Elizabeth D. Shaw, Esq. |Partner
Florida Bar Board Certified in Health Law
816 A1A North, Suite 204
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082
(904) 567-1175 (direct) | (904) 657-9002 (cell) | (904) 567-1066 (fax)