Assisted living facilities, nursing homes concerned about tight generator deadline

Governor giving 60 days to install
Posted at 7:11 PM, Sep 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-21 19:11:09-04

"Yes, I think it's a great idea but the whole thing has to slow down,” said Doug Coffey.

The Governor's deadline is tight — 60 days for assisted living facilities and nursing homes to install generators to power air conditioning in case of a power outage.

"It's not realistic. We're dealing with people that, residents that pay $11 hundred on Medicaid,” said Coffey.

Coffey owned and operated small assisted living facilities in Pinellas and Pasco counties for 20 years. He's concerned small ALFs, facilities with 17 beds and under, can't shoulder the immense cost.

"The small facilities and where are those seniors going to go?" Coffey asked.

It's the reason the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration will hold an emergency summit tomorrow in Tallahassee.

Gail Matillo will be there.

"We're worried that the 60 days won't be enough to complete the planning, purchasing, and installation processes that goes along with installing generators in these communities,” she said.

Her group called Florida Argentum has been bombarded with frantic calls and emails from the nearly 400 senior living communities it represents.

Some who aren't clear if they can afford hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs.

"Fuel storage is a big issue for us especially in the small communities. Storing a lot of fuel all year long. Fuel goes bad. You have to treat it. You know there has to be some sort of maintenance program in place for that,” Matillo told us via Skype.

Many contractors and engineers are already busy across Florida after Hurricane Irma.

Another reason, Coffey says it makes sense for the governor to loosen the deadline.

"It has to be stopped on the 60 days. We need to step back, think it over and I'm not saying it because I'm on this side or that side. I'm saying it because we gotta do it right,” said Coffey.