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Nursing Home Deaths

Residents and staff of long-term care facilities account for at least 40% of U.S. deaths from the coronavirus. In reaction, nursing homes have banned family visitors, scrambled for scarce personal safety equipment, and attracted scrutiny from state and federal lawmakers.

What's received less attention is that many nursing homes have remained virtually COVID-19-free. If researchers could figure out what made the difference, that could help protect nursing home residents now and in the future.

But so far, their studies have drawn wildly different conclusions.

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Lawyers representing the families of people who died of COVID-19 have put nursing homes on notice that they plan to sue.

In Florida, more than 600 residents in nursing homes have died from COVID-19. Over the past few months, the state has put rules in place to protect the vulnerable residents. Some of those changes include restricting visitors, requiring staff to be screened, and wearing masks. Now, Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to open these facilities back up to visitors.

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Florida is reporting that more than 650 patients have died from the coronavirus at the state's nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

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Nursing home patients account for more than a third of Florida’s COVID-19 deaths and the greater Tampa Bay region has some of the state’s highest death tolls.

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Three people who were evacuated from a nursing home in Seminole have died from COVID-19, according to the medical examiner's office in Pinellas County. The patients, an 84-year-old woman, 74-year-old man and 66-year-old man were among dozens of people who were evacuated after the virus spread through the nursing home.

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Nearly 100 nursing homes and assisted living facilities were evacuated along Florida's East Coast ahead of Hurricane Dorian.

Health Facilities Evacuated As Dorian Looms

Sep 2, 2019
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills where 12 people died after a power failure following Hurricane Irma in 2017.
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Florida officials said Monday that 72 nursing homes and assisted living facilities and seven hospitals on the state’s East Coast had been evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Dorian.

Three people turned themselves in to police Monday to face criminal charges in connection with the deaths of a dozen patients at a South Florida rehabilitation facility days after Hurricane Irma in 2017.

A fourth person was arrested by authorities in Miami-Dade County.

Those charged all worked at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills when the storm knocked out a transformer that supplied power to the facility's air conditioning system.

Moving forward with an administrative law judge’s recommendation, the state Agency for Health Care Administration has issued a final order to revoke the license of a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Nursing Home Where 12 Died After Hurricane Irma Loses Its License

Jan 8, 2019

Moving forward with an administrative law judge’s recommendation, the state Agency for Health Care Administration has issued a final order to revoke the license of a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma in 2017.

The agency issued the 17-page order on Friday, Jan. 4  against The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. Gov. Rick Scott’s administration in 2017 moved to revoke the license, but the nursing home challenged the decision in the state Division of Administrative Hearings.

Offering extensive details of what she described as a “catastrophe,” an administrative law judge has backed a state decision to revoke the license of a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma.

Court Backs Moves To Shutter Nursing Home After Deaths

Jun 21, 2018

A state appeals court Wednesday upheld moves by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to shut down a Broward County nursing home that drew nationwide attention last year after the deaths of residents following Hurricane Irma.

Judge Again Backs Nursing Home In Records Fight

Jun 13, 2018

For the second time, a Tallahassee judge has sided with an embattled nursing home in a public-records dispute with the Florida Department of Health, saying the agency did not comply with his order to turn over death certificates from across the state.

Nursing Home Records Dispute Ratchets Up

May 16, 2018

In the latest twist in months of legal battling after Hurricane Irma, an embattled Broward County nursing home has accused the Florida Department of Health of not properly complying with a judge’s order to turn over public records.

Nursing Home Generator Battles End After Changes

Jan 24, 2018

Four months of legal wrangling over requirements that nursing homes and assisted-living facilities install backup generators and have 96 hours of fuel on site came to an end Tuesday.

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission convenes every twenty years to review proposals to the state constitution. A proposed bill of rights for nursing home residents has proven contentious. 

Generator Issues Continue To Confront State, Industry

Jan 9, 2018

Requiring nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to install generators after the deaths of residents at a Broward County nursing home continues to be an outstanding issue as lawmakers head into the 2018 legislative session.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham has paid Republican Gov. Rick Scott's office $1,200 for public records related to 14 nursing home patient deaths after Hurricane Irma.

New Generators Headed To Veterans' Nursing Homes

Dec 20, 2017

The Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs is buying new generators for three of its long-term care facilities after legislative leaders approved $3 million for the purchase.

Tax Exemption Proposed For Nursing Home Generators

Nov 28, 2017

A House Republican has filed a bill seeking to offer a sales-tax exemption for generators that would provide emergency electricity to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

12 Of 14 Nursing Home Deaths After Irma Ruled Homicides

Nov 27, 2017

Authorities say the deaths of 12 of the 14 Florida nursing home patients who died after Hurricane Irma have been ruled homicides.

The Sun Sentinel reports that autopsy results from the Broward County medical examiner's office were released Wednesday.

No arrests have been made. Police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman says the investigation will continue and part of that will be determining who should be charged.

State Pitches Revamped Nursing Home Requirements

Nov 16, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott's administration is proposing a new, permanent pair of emergency power rules for nursing homes and assisted living facilities that differ from controversial emergency rules unveiled in September, but long-term care providers still have concerns.

State regulators say 21 nursing homes are not following new rules put in place after residents died in a South Florida nursing home.

Uncertainty Surrounds Generator Rules Amid Appeal

Oct 31, 2017

Long-term care providers are receiving conflicting messages about whether they have to comply with a Tuesday deadline in a state attempt to require emergency generators, but an administrative law judge says he doesn't have the power to help clear up questions.

$5 Million A Year Proposed For Health Care Generators

Oct 26, 2017

A House Democrat on Wednesday proposed offering $5 million a year in matching grants to help health-care facilities add backup power systems.

More Variances Sought On Nursing Home Generators

Oct 17, 2017

At least 21 more long-term care providers have filed requests for variances with the state Agency for Health Care Administration as they seek additional time to comply with Gov Rick Scott's mandate that they add generators that can power air-conditioning systems.

New research from the University of South Florida suggests evacuating nursing home patients before a storm increases the chance of both hospitalization and death.

A Republican state senator — and funeral director — is suggesting that a South Florida nursing home may not be to blame for 14 deaths that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Gov. Rick Scott directed agencies Tuesday to begin the process of approving permanent rules that would require nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to add generators that can power air-conditioning systems.

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