Sep 18, 2017
Eight people died at a Hollywood, Florida nursing home or shortly after arriving at hospitals after losing air conditioning during hurricane Irma. These deaths were unnecessary and preventable.
This is especially true since the facility is located across the street from a medical complex that includes the Memorial Regional Hospital – where the patients were finally taken after the scope of the problem became evident.
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is a private, for profit, corporate ownership nursing home. It was acquired by Hollywood Property Investments in 2015. The facility has been rated below average on inspections, staffing and quality care according to a federal scorecard. In other words, like many nursing homes, it is essentially a warehouse for elderly and frail people.
Long before Irma came along, the facility had been cited for failing to maintain the emergency generator. After multiple inspections showed there was a problem, in the end, nothing was done to fix it. How many other nursing homes have similar deficiencies?
The state’s Agency for Health Care Administration said conditions at the facility present a threat to the safety of residents and it suspended the nursing home indefinitely from taking patients paid for by Florida Medicaid. It’s true, the nursing home is clearly a threat. But it is also true that this threat existed long before Irma came to town. Inspectors were aware of deficient generators, insufficient staffing, poor quality of care. Why didn’t the state shut them down earlier? What were they waiting for – people to die? The nursing home and the state of Florida are responsible for these horrible deaths.