The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills

A new Florida rule requiring generators at all nursing homes and assisted- living facilities passed last legislative session after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to much of Florida for an extended period. In Hollywood, Florida 14 people in a rehabilitation center died, and 12 were ruled homicide. A swift push to pass legislation requiring generatros followed, and was signed by Governor Rick Scott in late March. 

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A state appeals court has stepped in and at least temporarily halted the release of thousands of death records to an embattled Broward County nursing home.

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After being ordered to quickly turn over copies of thousands of death certificates from across the state, the Florida Department of Health has gone to an appeals court in a months-long records battle with a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma.

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A state appeals court Wednesday upheld moves by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to shut down a Broward County nursing home that drew nationwide attention last year after the deaths of residents following Hurricane Irma.

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For the second time, a Tallahassee judge has sided with an embattled nursing home in a public-records dispute with the Florida Department of Health, saying the agency did not comply with his order to turn over death certificates from across the state.

In the days after Hurricane Irma swept through South Florida last September, knocking out power across the region, 14 patients at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died from sweltering conditions. Twelve of those deaths were ruled homicides by the state. 

On Thursday morning, one day before the official start of a new hurricane season, South Florida seniors spoke to local emergency management officials and lawmakers about how to better prepare.

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Lawyers for an embattled Broward County nursing home failed to show up Monday for a hearing they requested in a public-records legal tangle with the Florida Department of Health.

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In the latest twist in months of legal battling after Hurricane Irma, an embattled Broward County nursing home has accused the Florida Department of Health of not properly complying with a judge’s order to turn over public records.

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Florida health officials will not allow new patients to be admitted to an assisted living facility associated with a nursing home where a dozen residents died after the facility lost power in a hurricane.

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Ruling against the Florida Department of Health, a circuit judge Friday said an embattled Broward County nursing home is entitled to receive copies of death certificates for people who died across the state around the time of Hurricane Irma.

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More than six months after residents of a Broward County nursing home died following Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed two bills that nail down requirements for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to have backup generators and fuel supplies.

The bills (HB 7099 and SB 7028), passed this month by the Legislature, ratified rules issued by the Scott administration. The ratified rules replaced emergency rules issued in September following the deaths of residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

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The Florida Department of Health this week asked a circuit judge to dismiss a public-records lawsuit filed by a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma.

Lawmakers Sign Off On Nursing Home Generators

Mar 6, 2018

Nursing homes will be required to have generators and 72-hour fuel supplies onsite by July 1, under a rule issued by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration and approved Monday by the Legislature.

The state’s lawsuit against the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills continues with more hearings this week inside  a Broward County courtroom in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

The Rehab Center is fighting Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to keep its license and reopen after 12 people died in sweaty and stifling hot conditions three days after Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida. 

Broward Nursing Home Files Public Records Case

Feb 6, 2018
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A Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma has filed a public-records lawsuit alleging that the Florida Department of Health improperly refused to provide copies of death certificates from across the state.

New Generator Rule Issued For Nursing Homes

Jan 11, 2018
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Facing mounting legal challenges, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration on Wednesday issued a new proposed rule on emergency power requirements for nursing homes.

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham has paid Republican Gov. Rick Scott's office $1,200 for public records related to 14 nursing home patient deaths after Hurricane Irma.

12 Of 14 Nursing Home Deaths After Irma Ruled Homicides

Nov 24, 2017
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Authorities say the deaths of 12 of the 14 Florida nursing home patients who died after Hurricane Irma have been ruled homicides.

The Sun Sentinel reports that autopsy results from the Broward County medical examiner's office were released Wednesday.

No arrests have been made. Police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman says the investigation will continue and part of that will be determining who should be charged.

Nursing Home Asks Congress Not To 'Rush To Judgment'

Nov 21, 2017
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Contending that media reports have been inaccurate and sensationalized, attorneys for The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills nursing home asked that a congressional committee avoid any “rush to judgment or invitation to usurp the judicial branch” about findings of guilt, innocence, liability or wrongdoing.

AHCA Seeks To Block Deposition In Nursing Home Case

Nov 19, 2017
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The state Agency for Health Care Administration asked a judge Friday to shield a high-ranking agency official from being deposed in a legal battle about revoking the license of a Broward County nursing home.

Broward Nursing Home License Case Slated For January

Oct 31, 2017
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An administrative law judge will hold a multi-day hearing in January about a state move to revoke the license of a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma.

Broward Nursing Home Lawsuit Shelved

Oct 29, 2017
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A circuit judge this week agreed to put on hold a lawsuit about the continued operation of a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma.

U.S. Senate Panel Probes Nursing Home Deaths

Oct 19, 2017
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The U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday sent letters to Florida and federal health officials requesting information about the deaths of 14 residents of a Broward County nursing home after Hurricane Irma and steps the state has taken to protect seniors.

This story has been updated.

Two state lawmakers visited the Jackson Plaza Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Miami Monday to lead a roundtable discussion about nursing homes needs in times of crisis. 

 

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At first there was no hint of distress in the 911 calls, no sense of a crisis unfolding. But newly released emergency calls from a sweltering Broward County nursing home that lost its air conditioning to Hurricane Irma showed staffers becoming increasingly agitated by a disaster that would eventually claim 14 elderly lives.

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Federal health officials are dropping a Broward County nursing home from the Medicare program after 14 patients died after the facility lost air conditioning during Hurricane Irma.

Lawmaker Questions Cause Of Nursing Home Deaths

Oct 12, 2017
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A Republican state senator — and funeral director — is suggesting that a South Florida nursing home may not be to blame for 14 deaths that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

A Florida lawmaker is calling on the state to overhaul regulations for nursing homes. The push comes after 14 patients died from overheating due to a power outage at an assisted living facility.

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Two women who lived at a Florida nursing home that lost air conditioning during Hurricane Irma have died, bringing to 14 the number of fatalities linked to the home.

Cecilia Franco, 90, and Francesca Andrade, 95, died from ailments suffered when the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills lost power Sept. 10 during the hurricane's passage, Hollywood police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman told The Associated Press on Monday.

Bill Seeks Priority For Nursing Home Power Restoration

Oct 8, 2017

A House Republican on Friday proposed a measure that seeks to ensure power restoration for nursing homes and hospitals is a priority after hurricanes and other emergencies.

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