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Nursing Home Challenge Deadline Today

Older hand holding another hand

Monday is the deadline for companies to appeal decisions on who can build Florida's first new nursing homes in 14 years.

When Florida approved the building of 2,600 new nursing home beds last month, it denied one application for each it approved.

Today is the final day to appeal those decisions before a judge.

Florida approved 900 nursing homes beds less than what the state needed. That difference could be the basis for legal challenges doling out which companies are allowed to build Florida’s first new nursing home beds since 2001.

The competition to build was tough, and nursing home advocate Brian Lee said the nursing homes approved are two and a half times more expensive than the national average.

“Buildings can look really nice, but it’s all about the quality of care and the staff they hire,” Lee said. “Because look, if they build a $200,000-plus per bed nursing home and yet they fail to hire enough staff to care for the residents, what’s the point?”

An Orlando nursing home was the largest approved, while a Miami nursing home was the most expensive.

Legal challenges could delay when new nursing homes are ready for patients, expected in 2017.

-- Reporter Abe Aboraya is part of WMFE in Orlando. Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.