Nursing homes and assisted living facilities received a lot of attention after Hurricane Irma hit.
Twelve people died inside a nursing home outside Miami. They were subjected to temperatures of 91 degrees inside the facility, which is much more than the federally regulated limit of 81 degrees.
The facility delayed calling the 911 emergency hot line. It didn’t evacuate the people who were living there, despite being in the proximity of hospital with functioning air condition less than a block away.
To prevent this from happening again, the state now requires nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have backup generators, along with 72 hours worth of fuel supply.
The Agency for Health Care Administration is supposed to make sure facilities are up to code. All facilities were supposed to have generators and be up to the new rules by this past June, or they had to get an extension.
So where do facilities in Charlotte, Lee, and Collier County stand?
In Charlotte County, only three of the 10 nursing homes have complied with the new laws. Five out of 18 assisted living facilities are in compliance. Twelve requested an extension, leaving one that doesn’t have either.
The other seven have, however, requested an extension, meaning they have until January 2019 to meet the requirements.
Just because these facilities apply for extensions, doesn’t mean they don’t have to have a plan in place.
There should be a backup generator for nursing homes and living facilities on site during power outages. There should be a way to obtain fuel in an emergency. A plan should be in place to move patients to areas nearby that can provide cooling, such as the hospital across the street with functioning air conditioning that may have prevented the 12 senior citizen deaths. There should be clear procedures to evacuate, if needed.
Facilities that didn’t submit an extension by June 1 are paying a fine of $1,000 a day or risk losing licensing.
In Lee County, five out of 19 nursing homes are in compliance, leaving 14 with an extension request. Only 12 out of 62 assisted living facilities are up to code. 44 have requested an extension. One was denied an extension and six failed to submit for one.
In Collier County, only two out of 12 nursing homes implemented the new guidelines, and 10 out of 30 assisted living facilities are in compliance.
The two nursing homes and one assisted living facility in Hendry County all requested an extension. And for Monroe County, there are no nursing homes. Of the three assisted living facilities, 2 are in compliance, one requested an extension.
Right now, more than half aren’t meeting requirements.
The Agency for Health Care Administration has its own method of complying numbers. From our understanding, if a facility has requested an extension it’s “in compliance”.
Click here for a link to all the numbers
AHCA came up with.