Must all ALF and Nursing Homes Install Generators?

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, eight people died due to sweltering temperatures at the Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center in Broward County. As a result, Gov. Rick Scott issued an emergency order requiring long term care centers, such as assisted living facilities and nursing homes, to install generators that will provide a minimum of four days’ worth of power to operate and maintain comfortable temperatures (cited at 80 degrees or below) within 60 days.

The emergency order is effective as of September 16, 2017, and long-term care facilities have only 45 days to submit a plan to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and Fire Marshalls must inspect the generator within 15 days of installation.

The emergency order also requires local emergency management agencies to approve or deny emergency management plans already submitted to them from assisted living facilities (ALFs) and nursing homes.

Penalties for failure to comply with Gov. Scott’s emergency order are deemed a Class II violation and can result in fines of $1,000 per day and penalties that include the revocation of the facility’s license to operate in the State of Florida, per Florida Statutes, Sec. 429.19.

In Florida, there are about 700 nursing homes with about 84,000 beds (this does not include ALFs). Most Florida nursing home residents are admitted with more than one condition, in fact, many with three or more debilitating conditions. As Floridians live longer and longer, and more people resolve to retire in Florida, assisted living facilities and nursing homes will become more prevalent and necessary. The demand for skilled nursing facilities will only continue to grow.  

My only criticism of Governor Scott’s Emergency Order is really more of a critique on our Florida legislature: why did it take so long to implement this practical life-saving law years ago (perhaps after Hurricane Irene, Sandy, or Matthew)? Our senior population are among the most vulnerable and they need protecting.

What to do if you have concern about your loved one’s ALF or Nursing Home?

Call the Agency for Health Care Administration’s Consumer Complaint Hotline at: 888.419.3456.

 

Elder Law Attorney Resources

http://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/AHCA916.pdf

http://www.floridadisaster.org/info/

 

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