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Update On Hollywood Hills – Death of 11 Residents
The Center For Medicare Services - Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has suspended the license of Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation due to the deaths of multiple residents which occurred following hurricane Irma. The current count is 11 possible related deaths.
Evidence from the receiving facilities, the 911 calls, and other information has given the State and Federal Inspectors sufficient evidence to completely suspend their license. Just prior to the suspension the facility was prohibited from taking any new patients and was banned from MediCaid funding.
Memorial Regional Hospital was the primary facility the residents went to, which is located just across the street from Hollywood Hills. Staff at Memorial Regional said some of the residents' body temperatures were as high as 107, 108, 109 degrees Fahrenheit.
The families of the residents want answers and many lawsuits have been filed. The leading question is why didn't they move the residents across the street to Memorial Regional Hospital, who had never lost power and had the room to take their residents in?
The top two potential answers are:
- Because they didn't want to lose the money
- Because they thought it was better for the residents to shelter in place
Who is Responsible for the Deaths of the 8 Residents of Hollywood Hills???
By Diane Morrow, LNHA
The Nursing Home?
The Power Company?
The State of Florida?
The City of Hollywood Florida?
THE NURSING HOME? Most news reporters clearly blame the facility. They say once it got too hot for the residents (like over 84 degrees), the facility should have asked for assistance and transferred the residents out.
What is the required temperature for a nursing home? The law that the Center for MediCare/MediCaid Services (CMS) enforces states:
- §483.73 (b) (1) (ii) Alternate sources of energy to maintain -
Temperatures to protect resident health and safety and for the safe and sanitary storage of provisions;
- §483.15(h) (6) Comfortable and safe temperature levels. Facilities initially certified after October 1, 1990 must maintain a temperature range of 71 - 81Â° F.
In Florida the State law states:
MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR NURSING HOMES Florida
- (f) Comfortable and safe temperature levels;
The 2007 Florida CMS Inspection Checklist only asks:
- Does the facility have power? If not, do the residents have a source of light (e.g., lamps on a generator or handheld flashlights)?
One could arguably state that 84 degrees is still a safe temperature level, whereas, I think most people would agree over 90 degrees is too hot for residents with frail health.
One thing to consider is that the Nursing Home Administrator (NHA) and Director of Nursing (DON) most likely delayed transferring everyone out due to being concerned with transfer trauma and finding an appropriate place for everyone.
Usually, it is better for the residents to shelter in place unless unsafe to do so. Transferring a person that is dependent on others for care is far more challenging that transferring someone that doesnâ??t have any health issues. Each resident has a person-centered plan of care which must be satisfied and therefore the receiving facility must be able to meet the residentâ??s needs. If the resident gets confused or their behavior drastically changes due to moving them, then extra help will be needed so that must be considered and factored in.
From my own personal experience of transferring people out at various types of nursing homes and community care homes I assure you there are always residents that are very difficult to place. Plus, I have seen a few cases where transfer trauma was a primary contributor to the residentâ??s death.
THE POWER COMPANY? The power company said they were coming to restore the power and the facility called them multiple times when they didnâ??t show up. They finally showed up the next day around the time the residents were dying from heat exhaustion. Was the power company at fault for not making their appointment and not the nursing home a higher priority?
Referral Agencies – The Paying Truth
By Diane Morrow, LNHA
Referral agencies have been around a long time. Unfortunately there are referral agencies that take advantage of providers and sometimes the consumers (persons to be placed) for the love of money.
So what is the low down on referral agencies? There are basically two main types of referral agencies. The for-profit type usually deals with private pay elderly care placements, and the other type is usually ran by a non-profit or state agency and deals with consumers on government funds.
The problems associated with the For-Profit agencies can include but are not limited to:
Doubling the Fees
- Not Knowing Enough About The Consumer’s Health Condition to help find proper placement.
- Not Knowing Enough About The Care Facility they are sending the consumer to; the referral agency could easily send someone to a care facility that provides sub-standard care.
- Referring Only To The Care Facilities That Pay Large Referral Fees; and referring to the care facilities that pay them the fastest. Often times the fee is the first month’s rent or a large portion thereof which is around $1500 to $5000.
- Once a referral is made and the resident is placed, checking up on the resident to see if they are happy and if not they quickly assist them into moving to another facility, so they can earn another referral fee. Read More
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