TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) - The Florida Health Care Association on Monday discussed the nursing-home group's priorities for the 2018 legislative session, covering issues such as generator requirements and increased Medicaid funding.
Following September’s Hurricane Irma, and several deaths at a Broward County nursing home, the long-term care facilities have come under scrutiny about how they handle emergency situations.
The state and industry groups have been going back and forth in court over proposed state rules that would require nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to have generators and fuel supplies to keep buildings cool during power outages.
Florida Health Care Association chief lobbyist Bob Asztalos (Uh- stall – iss) says the cost to retrofit all nursing homes will vary significantly from location to location, depending on the size and age of a building. He says some additional state funding will likely be needed to meet the generator requirement.
“Our hope is that we can work, the governor and us together, and get to a place on the rule and resolve this through the rulemaking process," said Asztalos. "If not, we will work with Democrats, Republicans, the House and Senate to try to get legislation.”
During the 2018 legislative session which begins Tuesday, the Florida Health Care Association will also be asking lawmakers for more money to care for Medicaid-funded residents and protection of the Certificate of Need process which limits the overall number of nursing homes in Florida.