March 11, 2013
In an effort to better manage the carelessness of staff members in Florida nursing homes and to prevent nursing home abuse and neglect the Senate Health Committee Policy passed a new law this week, bill SB646.
The new law mandates that the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHA) must inspect every nursing home in the state of Florida, give each facility a rating for consumers to view, and immediately revoke or deny licensing for nursing homes in which staff members have purposely physically or mentally harmed residents.
In addition, the new law will require that repeated nursing home violations be charged an increased fee amount. Furthermore, any nursing home caught violating state laws will be inspected more often than the nursing homes without violations.
The new law came about after an influx of similar bills was introduced into the House. For example, Senate Representative Mike Fasano proposed a bill that would revoke the licensing of any facility that is responsible for a resident’s death. Rep. Ken Roberson proposed that the Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman and the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Advisory Council be reorganized. Rep. Eddy Gonzalez proposed a bill to suspend the licenses of facilities that are found to be repeat violators of state laws.
Although the new bill imposes heavy fees on those responsible for abuse and neglect, victims will still have the legal right to retain a Florida nursing home abuse attorney and file for personal damages as well.