Nursing home bills would boost role of advocate for residents
At least a dozen bills to regulate nursing homes are under consideration in the Florida Legislature after 14 people died at a Hollywood, Florida, nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma.
The latest are identical bills filed Tuesday by state Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, and state Sen. Gary Farmer, DFort Lauderdale, that give new teeth to Florida’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, which records show has regularly turned up fewer complaints each year under Gov. Rick Scott.
Many of the bills, including those of Edwards and Farmer, require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators capable of powering air conditioning in the event of a power loss.
Under Tuesday’s bills, the Ombudsman program, which is supposed to look out for residents in Florida’s 683 nursing homes and thousands of assisted living facilities, would be allowed to conduct undercover operations inside nursing homes, posing as patients or employees, to look for abuse and neglect.
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