Keeping health facility construction projects in Florida on their timeline hinge on securing AHCA approval, period.
If you’ve undertaken a medical facility build in South Florida, you know first-hand how challenging securing the appropriate approvals and permits can be. In short, it’s time-consuming and tedious, and for many, AHCA may seem more like a four-letter word than a positive step in ensuring the safety and security of a health site. But it doesn’t have to be.
What is AHCA compliance?
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is the regulatory body responsible for ensuring that Florida’s health facilities meet licensure and regulatory standards. The guidelines set forth in the standards dictate the required measures necessary to begin – and then proceed – with construction. Without securing the appropriate AHCA approvals prior to and during construction, a medical facility may be rendered unusable.
How to ensure timely AHCA approval?
Like all things in construction, adequate planning paired with thoughtful and strategic execution are the keys to completing a project on time and on budget. With the added complexities of health facility builds, your entire team must be even more diligent and committed to the process.
Here are three tips for ensuring timely AHCA approval for your next health facility build:
- Insist on Pre-construction: Pre-construction is imperative if you want to set your project up for success. When undertaking medical facility projects, it’s not just a “nice to have,” it’s a “need to have.” Your timeline will be heavily contingent upon scheduling inspections and making sure deliverables stay on track. To secure AHCA approval, you’ll likely need to schedule two on-site inspections – once at 80 percent completion and again for a final site inspection (as a sidenote: there are some types of medical facility renovations that require more than two AHCA inspections while others require just one. Make sure to ask your GC what your project will require). These can be notoriously difficult to get scheduled. Know this up front, and build it into your plan.
- Prepare for potential hiccups: Pre-construction is also useful in uncovering any potential roadblocks you may encounter throughout your building process. Take the time during the planning phase to anticipate any possible hiccups with your plan and be prepared to come up with solutions to keep the project moving forward. This is where a general contractor with AHCA experience is essential.
- Clearly communicate from start to finish: While there are several specific steps to take in order to secure AHCA approval, perhaps one of the most undervalued aspects of the process is ensuring that you have complete trust in your construction team and have established solid lines of communication. Without trust and open, transparent communication, your project will very likely fail.
At Seacoast Construction, we’ve successfully completed three AHCA-approved medical facility build-outs. While, yes, they can be challenging, we’ve found it is still very possible to deliver on-time, on-budget and usable facilities even when navigating AHCA compliance. Let us help you get started with your next project today. Call us at 786-433-8740 to schedule a consultation.
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