Personnel Requirements of a Florida Home Health Agency – Part 1

Every home health agency licensed by the State of Florida must have a person designated as the Administrator, and a person designated as the Alternate Administrator, who serves in the temporary absence of the Administrator.

To qualify to serve as the Administrator an individual must be a direct employee, … “who is a licensed physician, physician assistant, or registered nurse licensed to practice in [the State of Florida] or an individual having at least 1 year of supervisory or administrative experience in home health care”… or in a hospital or ambulatory surgical center, nursing home or an assisted living facilities. A direct employee is one for whom the agency withholds and pays payroll taxes; a direct employee is not a 1099 or independent contractor.

Medicare has no such specific qualifications for the Administrators but does require the skilled nursing and other therapeutic services furnished to be under the supervision and direction of a physician or a registered nurse. Since the Alternate Administrator must be able to assume the Administrator’s functions in his or her extended absence, the Alternate Administrator must meet the same requirements as the Administrator.

Being licensed as an MD, PA or RN is easy enough to verify. However, qualifying as an Administrator by having “at least 1 year of supervisory or administrative experience in home health care” can be a fairly subjective. The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) requires this experience to be demonstrated through a resume. Simply stating that the prospective Administrator was “supervisor at WYZ Home Health Agency” may not suffice. In the case of experience, more is always better, so the prospective Administrator should provide details of the type of supervision that was provided and the type of personnel supervised. Similarly, administrative experience should be clearly described. Supervision or administrative responsibility over non-direct care personnel generally will not satisfy the qualification requirements, because the Administrator of a home health agency is responsible for the daily operation of the agency. Such responsibilities include interaction with skilled medical care providers, detailed knowledge of state operational laws and rules, as well as Medicare Conditions of Participation, if the agency will provide those services.

The position of Administrator certainly requires business acumen and general organizational skills, as well as significant skill and experience with the provision of health care.

Stay tuned for Part 2 on our series on Personnel Requirements of a Florida Home Health Agency where we will review the requirements for the Director of Nursing (DON).

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