A local nursing home and several assisted living facilities have failed to respond to Gov. Rick Scott’s emergency ruling that nursing homes must provide procedures in the event of an extended power outage, according to state officials. The directive came after 13 residents died when Hurricane Irma cut the power to a Hollywood Hills nursing home.
Braden River Rehabilitation Center and 22 other nursing homes across the state are listed as not having submitted detailed plans to the Agency for Health Care Administration by the Oct. 31 deadline.
The nursing home, located at 2010 Manatee Ave. E., has 208 licensed beds, with nine private rooms, 59 two-bed rooms, 23 three-bed rooms and three four-bed rooms, according to AHCA.
When seeking comment Wednesday, the Bradenton Herald was directed to a number for the facility’s corporate office, which was said to be coordinating the plans. A call to Seminole County-based Southern Healthcare Management, which has managed the property since 2013, was not immediately returned.
Rudy’s Agape House II, 2104 55th Ave. W. — whose owner was involved in a state settlement after residents were kicked out and was the subject of a Bradenton Herald investigation — is one of 18 local assisted living facilities also called out by the Department of Elder Affairs, which found that 1,186 assisted living facilities statewide had missed the deadline.
“It is of the utmost importance that the nursing homes who have not responded do so immediately,” AHCA Secretary Justin Senior said in a written statement. “These rules were implemented with the safety of patients and residents in nursing homes in mind.”
According to a press release from AHCA, facilities will face fines of up to $1,000 a day or could even lose their licenses beginning Nov. 15.
The ruling requires nursing homes to have enough generators that will be able to keep temperatures at 80 degrees or less for 96 hours if power is lost.
Serenity Gardens of Bradenton has had its plan approved, said administrator Roberta Jackson, but it wasn’t an easy feat.
“I had to rush and jump through hoops,” she said.
Due to the time constraint, she wasn’t able to take out a loan for the $79,000 generator they purchased for the 16-bed facility. Jackson said it’s the same type that can power a fire department.
Although her facility won’t be faced with fines, she said her residents “weren’t in jeopardy.”
“Yes, it’s a good idea but the time limit and the constraint is not fair, I don’t think, for the owners and operators of the smaller facilities,” she said.
Scott’s directive for nursing homes to update their generator systems by mid-November was initially upheld by a review from the First District Court of Appeal, but Administrative Judge Gar W. Chisenhall ruled on Oct. 27 found there wasn’t enough proof that similar situations to Hollywood Hills were occurring elsewhere.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
Local facilities without plans
Nursing home: Braden River Rehabilitation Center
Assisted living facilities: Bradenton Oaks Courtyard, Bradenton Palms, Inn at Freedom Village, Lombardo Home I & II, Manatee Assisted Living Facility, National Church Residences of Bradenton, Paradise Rest, Reba’s House, Residence at Bay Vue, Rudy’s Agape House II, Select Group Homes Inc., Sunny Bower, Twin Angels Assisted Living Facility I & II, Westminster Towers & Shores of Bradenton, The Windsor and Woodlands Village.
Sources: Department of Elder Affairs, Agency for Health Care Administration