Oct 2018

Hurricane Michael Puts Spotlight on Florida Long-Term Care Facilities

The Tampa Bay Times reports that more than half of the 412 assisted-living facilities and nursing homes in the region the hurricane is expected to hit soon have yet to implement their emergency power plans, after receiving extensions from the state to comply.
It was just last year that a dozen residents of a south Florida facility died from the heat following another hurricane.  Those deaths led to significant state regulations demanding facilities have sufficient generators to power air conditioning and for other needs.

But the Times reports that those generator rules have not been fully implemented by many facilities across the state, particularly hundreds in the region where Michael’s impact is likely to be felt hardest.

A review of data maintained by the Agency for Health Care Administration shows that, in 33 counties encompassing the western half of the state south to Hernando County and east to Putnam County, more than half of the 412 assisted-living facilities and nursing homes have yet to implement their emergency power plans. Nearly all of those facilities have been granted extensions, many through the end of the year, citing regulatory delays and equipment and contractor shortages.

This is just the sort of issue the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule was designed to address, but now we hear the Trump Administration is pushing CMS to ease off on many of those rules.  Let’s sincerely hope there are no fatalities in Florida this week that could have been avoided if the facilities had followed the laws.

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