Hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, clinics, assisted living facilities and other health care facilities and organizations are primarily regulated in Florida by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). This government agency is headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida with district offices throughout the State.
AHCA Investigation of Complaints
Generally speaking when a complaint is made against a facility or licensed organization AHCA investigators receive the complaint and conduct interviews with the complainant and relevant witnesses. Oftentimes, a subpoena for records is issued by the AHCA investigator or at his/her request for various medical and non-medical records.
Depending upon the type and nature of the violation the party being investigated may or may not be given notice that they are the subject of an investigation. In instances where the subject of an investigation has been notified of the investigation, it is wise to seek advice from an experienced health care attorney to learn your legal rights.
Responding to Administrative Complaints
If the investigation results in a conclusion by AHCA staff that a violation has occurred the facility’s license can be suspended by the issuance of an Emergency Suspension Order (ESO), however, in most cases, an Administrative Complaint is filed and served on the respondent. It is very important to seek advice from a qualified and experienced health care attorney if you have been served with an Administrative Complaint. An Administrative Complaint must be responded to within a certain time frame or valuable rights may be forfeited.