Nursing Homes Make CON Exemption Top Priority

Feb 20, 2017

Already facing a workforce shortage, the Florida Health Care Association is urging lawmakers not to take the brakes off of nursing home expansion. Jim Ash has more.

FHCA say Florida's 71,000 elderly and disabled nursing home residents would suffer if lawmakers get rid of a "Certificate of Need," program governing the industry.

FHCA warns the quality of care for 71 thousand elderly and disabled Floridians will suffer if free-market advocates get rid of the nursing home “Certificate of Need” program.

FHCA lobbyist Bob Asztalos says removing the program would spur a building boom that would lower occupancy rates and only worsen a workforce shortage. He insists the state’s needs are being met.

“The CON process has been working. There’s 30 new nursing homes coming on line, 4,000 beds are being built, in areas that there’s a real need.”

Governor Rick Scott, a former health care executive, and conservative Republicans, say competition would lower costs and spur innovation.  But Azstalos says there is no free market in an industry where the state sets staffing levels and determines reimbursement rates.