After Hurricane Irma, several residents of a Florida nursing home died after the home lost power and was unable to provide air conditioning. In one day, eight residents succumbed to heat-related causes. Now, the death toll sits at 14 as more patients have succumbed to complications following their ordeal. Florida Governor Rick Scott issued emergency rules that required nursing homes to have generators installed that were able to power air conditioning units for at least 96 hours following losing power and that nursing homes be kept at 80 degrees or below. The News-Press reports that some Florida nursing homes are not in compliance with the new rules.
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration says that 18 facilities have ignored the new requirements on planning for prolonged power outages. That number is down from the initial 21 that had previously been reported.
Although nursing homes are challenging the rule through legal venues, they had until October 31st to submit plans for bringing their facilities into compliance. Regulators have started to threaten to fine $1,000 per day to any home that is not in compliance by November 15th.
LeadingAge Florida, a group who represents nursing homes, is among those industry groups who are challenging the new rules in court. They claim that the November deadline to implement the new rules was unrealistic. A Florida judge agreed, but the state maintains the deadline to submit plans is still in place.
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