Governor: 18 nursing homes face hefty fines, license revocation for not responding to emergency rule

3 facilities located in Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Following the deaths of 14 people, who were residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, Governor Rick Scott ordered all nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators in place by Nov. 15.

That deadline is fast approaching. 

According to a news release from the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), “Secretary Justin Senior announced that 18 nursing homes have not responded to requirements in Emergency Rule 59AER17-1. By October 31, all nursing homes were required to submit a detailed plan to AHCA or apply for a waiver. These facilities will be subjected to the fine of $1,000 per day or license revocation starting November 15 if they fail to come into compliance by the deadline.”

Three of the 18 facilities on the are in Pinellas County. They are St. Mark Village, Jacaranda Manor, and Masonic Home Of Florida.  

On Sept. 13 ABC Action News was at a facility run by St. Mark Village as county crews and workers scrambled to keep residents cool.  

The average temperature inside Highland Lakes Assisted Living facility was between 77 and 79-degrees.

Scott's emergency rules would require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators in place by Nov.15 and enough fuel to power the facilities for 96 hours. The rules also would require the facilities to submit emergency management plans.

Scott said he does not want there to ever be a repeat of what happened to the 14 residents in the Hollywood, Fl facility.  According to the AHCA investigation’s initial findings:
 
Residents of the facility did not receive timely medical care because the trained medical professionals at the facility overwhelmingly delayed calling 911.

Also, these patients were not timely evacuated to the air-conditioned hospital located across the street.

These patients ended up at the hospital with body temperatures of, for example, 109.9-degrees Fahrenheit, 108.5-degrees Fahrenheit, 108.3-degrees Fahrenheit, and 107-degrees Fahrenheit - far too late to be saved.

The facility also made many late entries into patients’ medical records. The “late entries” were recorded hours after a nurse visited the patients, and therefore, portray an inaccurate depiction of the situation at the facility.

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