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FL To Add 500 New Nursing Home Beds

Nurse escorts elderly man using walker
Wikimedia Commons
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

 Nearly thirty companies will be competing to build new nursing homes in Florida. And with 1,700 applications for only about 500 new beds, competition will be fierce.

Florida just ended a 15-year moratorium on new nursing home construction.

Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Elizabeth Dudek said this could be the last big round of new nursing homes because of a cap.

“We’ll still have some need, unless we do some unusual circumstances, still be some small amount of need if we were to give out the full 493 this batch,” Dudek said. “But we’re coming really close.”

A nursing home lobbying group says Florida will need 20,000 new nursing home beds in the next 20 years because of the aging baby boomer population. Dudek, though, said that number may be high.

“We do have a lot of people who will be able to live in the community much longer than they did historically,” Dudek said. “So the 20,000 might be a high number.”

The state could also approve new heart and liver transplant programs in the Tampa area, and a new kidney and heart transplant program in South Florida.

WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.