nursing homes

South Florida is home to some of the grayest counties in the country, and as more seniors face critical decisions about where and how they live, questions about what programs seniors can take advantage and the kind of care available in Southwest Florida are common.

Nursing Home Exemption Sought In Medicare Managed Care

Feb 14, 2017
Nurse escorts elderly man using walker
Wikimedia Commons

With the nursing-home industry lobbying for changes, a Senate Republican has proposed exempting some nursing-home residents from the statewide Medicaid managed-care system.

AHCA, Nursing Homes Disagree On Managed Care Change

Jan 11, 2017

A top official at the Agency for Health Care Administration on Tuesday objected to a nursing-home industry proposal to exclude some seniors from the state's Medicaid managed-care program.

When Looking For A Nursing Home, Your Hospital May Offer Little Help

Dec 20, 2016
Robert Durell for KHN

At age 88, Elizabeth Fee looked pregnant, her belly swollen after days of intestinal ailments and nausea. A nurse heard a scream from Fee’s room in a nursing home, and found her retching “like a faucet” before she passed out.

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The U.S. Department of Justice has settled a lawsuit with the nation’s largest private nursing home company.

Florida Justices Reject Arbitration In Nursing Home Case

Sep 23, 2016
mnfoundations / Flickr

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a lawsuit about injuries suffered by a nursing-home resident should not be sent to arbitration.

State Wins Lawsuit In Placement Of Kids In Nursing Homes

Sep 22, 2016
Evan Granowitz / Flickr

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a case filed by the U.S. Department of Justice that alleged Florida had improperly placed children with disabilities in nursing homes.

Judge Sides With AHCA On Alachua County Nursing Home

Sep 19, 2016
p1 lawyer / Flickr

An administrative law judge Friday upheld a decision by the state Agency for Health Care Administration to approve a new 103-bed nursing home in Alachua County, rejecting a challenge from a competing nursing home firm.

Rising Obesity Puts Strain On Nursing Homes

Dec 15, 2015
Elder hands clasped
Flickr Creative Commons

At 72, her gray hair closely shorn, her days occupied by sewing and television, Wanda Chism seems every bit a typical nursing home patient — but for her size.

Flickr Creative Commons

A shortage of nursing home space across Florida will be helped by the addition of almost 1,000 more new beds.

Nurse escorts elderly man using walker
Wikimedia Commons

 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.

Stethoscope and gavel against a white backdrop.
Wikimedia Commons

  A hospital and nursing home in Hollywood may be on the auction block soon as its owner and former CEO is in federal prison for Medicare fraud, the South Florida Business Journal reports. 

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While more than a dozen nursing homes in Florida have stopped prescribing antipsychotic medications to dementia patients, and the percentage of nursing home residents in Florida being prescribed the risky, mood altering drugs has fallen to 21.2 percent, doctors at nursing homes in Volusia and Flagler counties continue to prescribe the drugs at high rates, an investigation by the Daytona Beach News-Journal reveals. 


U.S. House of Representatives

A budding bipartisan deal to shelter physicians from Medicare cuts, championed by the House's two top leaders, is drawing powerful allies including the American Medical Association and a rainbow of conservative and liberal groups.

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  More than two dozen nursing home companies are suing the state for being passed up on building new homes in Florida. It could take the rest of the year to sort out winners and losers.

The court process could take six to nine months to play out, which would delay when patients could access the new beds. Check here for a list of the companies suing and the initial documents.

Megan Milanese / Health News Florida

The Agency for Health Care Administration on Friday announced it will let 22 new nursing homes open across the state, and will allow another 11 existing facilities to expand.

The highly competitive bid process ends Florida’s 14-year ban on new construction.

Orlando Senior Health Network, owner of Orlando Lutheran Towers, was one of the winners. CEO Alicia Labrecque said the companies will be able to build space for 2,600 nursing home beds.

Abe Aboraya / Health News Florida

Nursing home beds have been in short supply in Florida for more than a decade.

But the Agency for Health Care Administration on Friday will authorize its top picks to add another 3,100 spots across the state.

The end of this 14-year moratorium can’t come soon enough for Lillian Lara of Orlando.

Her 87-year-old father fell in December and, after a hospital stay, he’s had a bed in the short-term rehabilitation section of The Commons at Orlando Lutheran Towers.

Nursing Homes Graded On Tougher Scale

Feb 16, 2015

Starting immediately, the federal government is making it harder for nursing homes to get top grades on a public report card, in part by increasing scrutiny of their use of anti-psychotic drugs and raising the bar on an array of quality measures.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants money to start planning to build the state's eighth and ninth nursing homes for veterans.

Scott will announce Monday that he is asking for $7.4 million from state legislators. Scott wants the money to help build a recently-approved home in St. Lucie County as well as two additional homes.

Groundbreaking on the nursing home in St. Lucie County is scheduled to begin later this year. No sites have been chosen for the next two.

Florida's Supreme Court is criticizing insurance agents and others trying to help families of nursing home residents apply for Medicaid assistance, the News Service of Florida reports. A Florida Bar committee asked the court to rule on what it calls an unlicensed practice of law, while critics say the Bar is too broadly defining the role of Medicaid planners, the News Service reports.

Elder hands clasped
Flickr Creative Commons

A Jacksonville group home operator was arrested and charged with false imprisonment and negligence of disabled adults when deplorable conditions at his facility were discovered, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Dudek: Nursing Home Push May Spur Suits

Nov 20, 2014
Agency for Health Care Administration

There’s a shortage of nursing home beds in Florida, and companies are flooding the state with applications to build. With hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, courts may have to sort out the winners and losers.

It’s been 13 years since the Florida Legislature put a hold on building new nursing home beds because of rising costs in the state budget.

That moratorium expired this year, and 163 companies are competing to build more 3,100 new nursing home beds in Florida.

St. Lucie County will be the site for a new nursing home for military veterans, the News Service of Florida reports. Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet also indicated that they may be considering another new nursing home next year because of high occupancy rates at existing facilities. The new facility will be the seventh veterans’ nursing home in the state and will serve 11 counties on the east coast, the News Service reports.

More than 40 percent of Florida’s nursing homes have been cited for problems related to medication errors in the past three years, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Daytona Beach Police are accusing a nursing home of slowing an investigation into claims that a 75-year-old resident suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease was sexually assaulted, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

The 2014 Florida Legislature passed a number of bills relating to health care, most of them modest in scope. 

But at least one that passed will probably save lives: the Child Welfare Act, which in part responds to the deaths of 477 children who were supposed to be under the protection of the Department of Children and Families.

The DCF overhaul had already begun before the session, but was intensified after the Miami Herald published the series Innocents Lost.

Litigants filing a case against a nursing home would be limited in whom they can name as defendants under a bill that passed the House.

Parties that are not involved in the direct decision-making for the operation of a facility named in a legal action could not be named as defendants under Senate Bill 670.

The bill passed the House with a 109-7 vote Wednesday. Supporters say the bill is aimed at Tampa lawyer James Wilkes, who has built a successful business suing nursing homes.

5 Reasons to Defeat Nursing Home Bill

Mar 27, 2014

The historic “compromise deal” between the nursing home industry and the trial bar now in Florida's Legislature may soon become Florida’s most epic fail for elderly nursing home residents.  Here are five facts about the “sweetheart deal” that’s designed to rob residents of their rights:

Fact #1—Culpable decision makers would be immunized from accountability in cases of resident abuse and neglect

A Tampa-based trial lawyer who has won millions in damages by suing nursing homes, penetrating the corporate veil to go after investors, vendors and contractors, may see his strategy blocked by a bill in the Florida Legislature. As the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau reports, Jim Wilkes says he “follows the assets” as he seeks large punitive damages from nursing homes that abuse or neglect patients.

The Senate Health Policy Committee voted 8-1 to approve a bill that would protect nursing home investors from lawsuits if their facilities are accused of abuse and neglect, the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau reports.

The bill would limit liability to the nursing home’s owner and staff, leaving investors off the hook if the facility is sued.  Plaintiff's attorneys would, in return, get easier access to medical records.