In the wake of hurricane Irma, one Florida nursing home saw several deaths when their power went out and the air conditioning failed. The deaths were attributed to the heat and the failure of the air conditioners. Governor Rick Scott implemented emergency protocols that now require nursing homes in Florida have a backup generator capable of powering an air conditioner and keeping temperatures below 80 degrees. CBS Local Miami reports on how some nursing homes are pushing back and seeking exceptions to the new rule.
Industry attorneys are currently waging a legal battle over the requirement, but in the meantime, providers are worried that they will not meet the November 15 compliance date. They are asking for variances on the rule.
Thirty-three facilities filed for variances to the rule last week according to a review of state documents.
Kristen Knapp, a spokesperson for the Florida Healthcare Association says this is only the beginning.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have objected to Governor Rick Scott’s emergency rules, stating that he gave them only 60 days to comply. Agencies are instructed to grant variances and waivers to rules that cause substantial hardship.
The November 15 deadline is approaching and facilities that are not in compliance are facing strict penalties, including possible license revocation, so they are seeking out variances. Facilities are working to comply, but installing generators is a complicated, issue-ridden process.
Among those who are challenging the emergency rules are industry groups LeadingAge Florida, the Florida Assisted Living Association, and Florida Argentum. All have filed legal challenges which question the validity of the rule.
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