KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Florida Closes Nursing Home Tied To 9 Patient Deaths, Issues Rebuke For False Patient Records

Staff at the home entered normal vital signs into the medical records of several residents after they had already been evacuated, Florida officials said.

The Associated Press: Florida Suspends License Of Nursing Home Over Irma Deaths
Florida officials have suspended the license of a nursing home that had nine patients die after Hurricane Irma knocked out its air conditioning. The Agency for Health Care Administration said Wednesday that it suspended the license of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. The agency previously banned the facility from admitting new patients and from receiving Medicaid. The home filed a lawsuit trying to block those orders. (9/20)

Miami Herald: Irma Aftermath: Nursing Home Where 9 Died Shut Down By State
The Hollywood Hills nursing home that became a sweltering deathtrap for nine seniors after Hurricane Irma was shut down Wednesday. ... A statement released by the Agency for Health Care Administration said the center’s license was suspended, and unveiled new details about the nursing home, which has a history of poor inspections by state regulators. (Madan, 9/20)

The New York Times: Florida Nursing Home Listed Dead Resident As ‘Resting In Bed,’ State Says
A state agency has found that the Florida nursing home where eight residents died after it lost air-conditioning following Hurricane Irma “presents a danger to every person on its premises” and must close after staff at the facility failed to call 911 for its overheated patients, even as their temperatures began spiking as high as 109.9 degrees Fahrenheit. The agency also rebuked the nursing home for entering normal vital signs, or mildly elevated temperatures, into the medical records of several residents after they had already been evacuated or, in one case, had already died. Those entries, it said, were made “under dubious circumstances.” (Yee and Fink, 9/20)

The Wall Street Journal: Florida Suspends License Of Nursing Home Tied To Eight Deaths
The latest order comes a day after the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills filed a lawsuit against the state to block two previous orders, both of which effectively shut down the home, claiming the orders weren’t justified. Under direction from Gov. Rick Scott, the state has taken several steps to stop operations at the Hollywood, Fla., facility following the deaths last week. The nursing home’s residents “did not receive timely medical care because the trained medical professionals at the facility overwhelmingly delayed calling 911,” Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration said, citing initial findings from an ongoing investigation. (Evans and Kamp, 9/20)

And in a look at other medical services affected by natural disasters —

Stat: Mobile Dialysis Could Save Lives In A Disaster. But Is There A Cost To Safety?
The calls started coming in the days after Hurricane Sandy. Flooded dialysis centers had shuttered across New York and New Jersey. Some patients and practitioners didn’t know where to turn. So they dialed Anita Chambers. “It was difficult to hear stories of patients being driven four to eight hours to find a center that could take them,” Chambers, said recalling the 2012 superstorm. “There were centers open that had all the patients in the day — seeing these patients in the middle of the night.” (Blau, 9/21)

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