The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is a regulatory agency in Florida which was created under the Health Care Reform Acts of 1992. The purpose of the Health Reform Acts of 1992 was to ensure efficient quality and affordable health care services were available to all Floridians by the end of 1994. Florida, in the 1980’s, had a very large population of uninsured residents and a large population of senior citizen, practically all of whom are insured by Medicare; and its Medicare expenditures per eligible beneficiary were the highest in the nation (Florida Agency For Health Care Administration).
The AHCA was statutorily created by Chapter 20.42 of the Florida Statutes and is the main health policy and planning unit for the entire state. The head of the department is the Secretary of Health Care Administration, who is appointed by the Governor and subject to confirmation by the Senate. The secretary reports directly to the Governor (Florida Agency For Health Care Administration).
The Legislative Affairs Office is the AHCA’s resource for legislative collaboration and provides information to legislators and the public about health care legislation. It helps in the drafting of new legislation, synchronizing briefings, providing assistance to legislators and promoting the AHCA’s agenda during the legislative process.
The agency’s primary responsibility is to be the chief health policy and planning entity for the state. The department is responsible for health facility licensure, inspection, and regulatory enforcement; investigation of consumer complaints related to health care facilities and managed care plans; the implementation of the certificate of need program; the operation of the Florida Center for Health Information and Policy Analysis; the administration of the Medicaid program; the administration of the contracts with the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation; the certification of health maintenance organizations and prepaid health clinics; and any other duties prescribed by statute or agreement.
AHCA has a number of governing responsibilities, among these being the licensure of health care facilities including abortion clinics, nursing homes and clinical laboratories. In recent years, many of the facilities licensed by AHCA have come under increased supervisory control of federal law as it relates to Medicaid and Medicare. With the frequent changes to many of these coinciding legal environments, it is challenging for AHCA to maintain rules consistent with the current law. Some of this difficulty has been linked to pointless rulemaking mandates, chiefly relating to statutes that provide sufficient specifics to implement without resorting to rulemaking (Florida Agency For Health Care Administration).
Rulemaking is required by the APA whenever an agency has direct authority to make rules, and must resort to rulemaking in order to implement, interpret or prescribe law, policy or requirements including mandatory forms. Florida’s bill PCB...