nursing homes

Judge Rejects Gov. Scott's Emergency Generator Rules

Oct 27, 2017
MGN Online

Governor Scott is expected to appeal a Friday decision by an administrative judge, who tossed out emergency rules issued by Scott’s administration. The rules required nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators and enough power to cool buildings for 96 hours.

Ulrich Joho via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/30963112@N02/4084144518/

A Florida lawmaker is calling on the state to overhaul regulations for nursing homes. The push comes after 14 patients died from overheating due to a power outage at an assisted living facility.

Florida Channel

Governor Rick Scott does not appear to be backing down from his emergency rule, requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have a generator within the next two months.

MGN Online

On the heels of nine nursing home deaths due to Hurricane Irma, Florida’s U.S. Senators have filed a bipartisan bill to create a national panel that looks into ways to help seniors during a disaster.

Washington Times

Calling the Hurricane Irma-related deaths of eight people in South Florida a preventable tragedy, a Plantation Democrat wants to force nursing homes to have a five-day emergency power supply. 

Nick Evans / WFSU News

Senate Democrats are huddling to discuss proposed changes to nursing home funding.  Nick Evans reports the chamber’s spending plan alters the way Medicaid dollars flow to facilities.

WUSF News

Nursing homes are gearing up to fight a plan that could result in what they say are widely varied Medicaid reimbursement rates. Its part of a legislative push for efficiency, but the move is worrying providers in the $4.8 billion program.

A panel appointed by Governor Rick Scott is sifting through a pile of applicants hoping to receive the state’s nursing home Gold Seal Award.

MGN Online

Governor Rick Scott signed more than 90 bills into law Friday. It includes a bill banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors as well as a controversial abortion bill.

Among the bills Scott approved is a measure seeking to change the 2016 Legislative Session’s start date from March to January. Originally, the bill would have affected all even-numbered year Sessions, but Rep. Jeanette Nuñez (R-Miami) says it later got watered down.

A years-long effort to revamp the rules for nursing home lawsuits is now before the Governor to sign, veto or let become law without his signature.  The proposal marks a compromise among varying groups that don’t normally agree on litigation issues.

A years-long effort to revamp the rules for nursing home lawsuits could get a green light this year. Organizations that have historically opposed nursing home tort reform are signaling they won’t oppose the proposals and supporters say they’re confident this is the year for change.

Susan Sermoneta

A bill that passed its first Senate hearing today aims to limit which parties can be brought to court in nursing home disputes.  Nursing home residents would only able to file initial complaints against the nursing home itself, the subcontractors they employ, and direct caregivers.  Under the bill, introduced by State Senator John Thrasher (R-St.Augustine), passive investors are less likely to face litigation, and Thrasher says this will encourage investment.

The U.S. Justice Department is suing the state of Florida over hundreds of medically fragile children living in nursing homes. In the suit filed on Monday, the feds are calling for Florida to make sweeping changes to how it cares for the children, and to treat them at home whenever possible.

Low-income seniors living in and around Orlando will be the first entrants into the state’s Medicaid managed care program.

The state will begin an outreach program in the next few months to get eligible seniors enrolled. It’s the latest move in the state’s effort to save money by effectively privatizing the Medicaid program.

A measure allowing certain hospitals and nursing homes to bypass state rules to fill what they’re saying is an immediate need passed the Florida House Tuesday. But, as some say the bill is giving special treatment to financial backers of the Republican-led Florida Legislature.

Republican Representative Marlene O’Toole’s bill does two things.

“Expedited process for skilled nursing facilities and Ten beds for the Miami Children’s hospital,” said O'Toole.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

A bill that would allow certain Florida nursing homes to bypass state rules to create new nursing home beds has cleared another committee. But, the Republican backed proposal that could create a special exception for one retirement community in particular is raising concerns among other Republicans and nursing home stakeholders.

Since 2002, nursing home providers must go through what’s called a Certificate of Need, or a CON review process before establishing a new nursing home or adding nursing home beds.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

The state of Florida is saying it’s made changes that show its commitment to better healthcare for medically fragile children. On Thursday, it announced a new nursing care program and touted other improvements. But lawyers for families of several disabled children say the changes don’t go far enough.

Medically fragile children depend on equipment like ventilators and feeding tubes to survive. More than 3,000 live in Florida, and they often require round-the-clock nursing care.

Nine nursing homes in Florida have cleared the first phase to receive what is called the state’s “Gold Seal” designation.  The Governor’s Panel on Excellence in Long-Term Care reviewed applications for several state nursing homes that want to be recognized as a top nursing home. Part of the panel’s criteria is looking at a nursing home facility’s record in caring for its residents.

The U.S. Department of Justice is requesting to meet with Florida healthcare officials within two weeks to resolve issues with how the state treats children with severe disabilities. It’s threatening a lawsuit if the state doesn’t cooperate.

The request for a meeting comes after a federal investigation into six Florida nursing homes found that many of the 220 disabled children who live in them were being unnecessarily "warehoused" away from the rest of society.

Pamela DeCambra

The federal justice department claims Florida policies have led to disabled children being unnecessarily housed in nursing homes, away from their families. It’s the same claim brought in two ongoing  suits against the state, but Florida health care regulators maintain they’re not violating federal law.

Pamela DeCambra lives in Tallahassee and works for the state of Florida. She says, her 15-year-old daughter, Maria, was 2 when a neurologist diagnosed her with severe cerebral palsy.

In response to a law suit threatened by the U.S. Department of Justice, Florida health care regulators say the state is doing nothing illegal by allowing more than 220 children to live in nursing homes. The regulators at the state's Agency for Health Care Administration maintain that Florida complies with federal law, even though they’re only just beginning their own investigation.  

About 250 children who require around-the-clock medical care are being kept illegally and unnecessarily in Florida nursing homes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The federal government’s accusations mirror what’s been alleged in ongoing lawsuits filed on behalf of the children’s families.

Reports of abuse and neglect in some of the state’s Assisted Living Facilities has turned what was once a relatively non-controversial nursing home regulation clean-up bill, into something more.  A similar measure cleared the House last year on a unanimous vote.  But Lynn Hatter reports some lawmakers may be changing their position.