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AHCA Change of Ownership CHOW

AHCA Change of Ownership CHOW

AHCA Change of Ownership CHOW occurs when 51 percent or more of the ownership shares, membership, or controlling interest of a licensee is in any manner transferred or otherwise assigned. If the Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) changes and not the ownership percentage(s) is this also qualifies as an AHCA Change of Ownership CHOW.

Health care facilities in Florida are licensed by the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA).  However, these initial licenses are non-transferable.  Facilities licensed by the AHCA may not be sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred, voluntarily or involuntarily, without first undergoing a change of ownership approval by the AHCA.

Note that a mere change in a management company or board of directors is not a change of ownership. To understand the above, the term “controlling interest,” must be understood.  Under the statute, the applicant or licensee holds a controlling interest.  A person or entity that serves as an officer is on the board of directors of or has a 5-percent or greater ownership interest in the applicant or licensee also qualifies.  Finally, a person or entity that serves as an officer is on the board of directors of or has a 5-percent or greater ownership interest in the management company or other entity, related or unrelated, with which the applicant or licensee contracts to manage the provider holds a controlling interest.  The term, however, does not include a voluntary board member.

Whether you are buying or selling a health care facility in Florida it is important to understand that there’s more involved than simply signing a buy/sell agreement. The State of Florida has specific requirements for AHCA Change of Ownership applications for health care facilities. How you approach these requirements can have a big impact on opening your doors.

In Florida, health care providers and their investors must use caution when preparing an application for initial licensure, renewal, or change of ownership with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).  In preparing an application for submission to AHCA the focus must be on:

  1. Who can be an owner or have a controlling interest in the health care entity?
  2. Are there any background problems with the principal investors or participants?
  3. What information must be disclosed on the application; and
  4. What steps must be taken to assure that a well-prepared Proof of Financial

Getting Licensed as New Health Care Facility

Getting a license from Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) in most cases requires detailed financial information and criminal background checks for employees, managers, officers of a corporation, and owners, including potential owners whether you reside in-state or not.

Criminal Background Checks. If a potential owner or administrator has a criminal background, they should seek counsel to help apply for and obtain an exemption from disqualification. The AHCA’s Background Screening Unit processes background screening results for health care providers in Florida currently licensed by AHCA. Processing includes deciding on eligibility and evaluating applications for exemption. Learn more about criminal background checks and crimes that can bar you from getting a license.

Proof of Financial Ability. For certain licensees, AHCA requires what is known as AHCA Proof of Financial Ability to Operate Form 3100-0009 documentation, including spreadsheets and financial statements, to prove the buyer has the financial ability to operate the facility or clinic.

Planning to use a CPA or accountant? You should hire one familiar with the AHCA requirements.

Do not rely on AHCA employees. The common problem that buyers and sellers have is relying on AHCA employees for advice on license applications. This often results in misinformation and guidance and denied applications.

Change of Ownership Licensing Experts

Our firm has extensive experience with the licensing process and AHCA Change of Ownership CHOW.

We offer the ability to file an appeal or challenge to any effort by AHCA to deny a license to an applicant, something that sets us apart from health care consultants.

Dealing with AHCA takes expertise. We know the law, how to get the license, and how to appeal mistakes by AHCA – and AHCA knows that! By working with lawyers and CPAs the AHCA recognizes as experienced with the change of ownership license process for facilities in Florida to submit organized and often footnoted or annotated documentation, clients have an upper hand in providing the details AHCA demands for licensing. Our Miami Accounting Firm helps provide the skilled personnel to put your application on the right track.

How do I report an AHCA Change of Ownership CHOW?

Answer: When a change of ownership of a licensed home medical equipment provider takes place, an application for change of ownership must be submitted.  Section 408.803(5), Florida Statutes, states, “‘Change of ownership’ means:

(a) An event in which the licensee sells or otherwise transfers its ownership to a different individual or entity as evidenced by a change in federal employer identification number or taxpayer-identification number; or

(b) An event in which 51 percent or more of the ownership, shares, membership, or controlling interest of a licensee is in any manner transferred or otherwise assigned.  This paragraph does not apply to a licensee that is publicly traded on a recognized stock exchange.

A change solely in the management company or board of directors is not a change of ownership.”

The license does not transfer to the new owner; the new owner must apply for a license.  To apply, download, and complete the required forms listed under “Licensure Application and Related Forms” on the Agency’s Health Quality Assurance Licensure Forms website.  A change of ownership application is due at least 60 days before the effective date of the change of ownership per sections 400.806(2), Florida Statutes and 59A-25.005(3), Florida Administrative Code, in order to avoid a late fine.  It is unlawful to own, operate or maintain a home medical equipment business without a current valid license.

This paragraph does not apply to a licensee that is publicly traded on an organized stock exchange.

A change solely in the Management Company or Board of Directors is not a change of ownership.

How do I file for a change of ownership?

The applicant must submit an AHCA Change of Ownership CHOW application at least 60 days before the proposed effective date of change of ownership.  Include the following with the application:

  • A copy of the signed and dated asset purchase agreement indicating that a change of ownership is pending.
  • A copy of the company organizational papers or partnership agreement for the buyer.
  • A copy of the signed closing document (bill of sale) showing the date of the transfer of ownership is also required. The closing document is not required initially when you submit the application, since you must apply for a change of ownership before the sale is completed.  The closing document is submitted after the date of the transfer of ownership.

Please note: The seller’s (transferors) registration must be active on the date the Agency issues the license to the buyer. The seller’s registration cannot be expired, denied, or revoked.

AHCA Change of Ownership CHOW

CHOW occurs when 51 percent or more of the ownership shares, membership, or controlling interest of a licensee is in any manner transferred or otherwise assigned.
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