Florida governor orders removal of nursing home from Medicaid after 8 died


Dr. Randy Katz, medical director of the emergency department at Memorial Regional Hospital, said the hospital began receiving patients early on Wednesday. And he ordered an investigation into what he called an "unfathomable" situation.

The facility has had a spotty inspection record, earning a "below average" grade Medicare's nursing home rating system.

"It's much bigger than one person", he added, "and until we get to the bottom of what happened here, based on what's available to us, that this is about money and neglect".

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said three were found dead at the Hollywood Hills nursing home.

"It's a sad state of affairs", the police chief said.

Asked what she'd like to say to the facility's owner, Craig said, "We coming for you".

One would think that the terrible photo of nursing-home residents in Houston, left to languish in waist-high water after Hurricane Harvey, would have made every facility in Florida cringe - and come up with a Plan A, B and C as Irma approached.

A Miami law firm filed an emergency complaint Friday morning asking a judge for an order to protect evidence in the case of a senior citizen who died in her nursing home after air conditioning was knocked out for several days by Hurricane Irma.

Including the nursing home deaths, at least 25 people in Florida have died under Irma-related circumstances, and six more in SC and Georgia, many of them well after the storm passed. A Tampa man died after the chain saw he was using to remove trees recoiled and cut his carotid artery. By the afternoon, five more had died.

He said most of the patients admitted to the hospital have been treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues.

As of Tuesday evening, 114 of Florida's nursing homes were relying on generators for power. "Plus the fact that there were hospitals near the nursing home and no one contacted them when their generators went out", said senior Thaddeus Honora.

Detectives are looking into whether the nursing home broke any laws. Workers at the facility got more portable air conditioners from a nearby hospital, the facility's timeline says.

Florida officials have made restoring electricity to the millions who have lost power a priority and tens of thousands of utility company workers, many from out of state, are engaged in the huge effort.

The nursing home has had a list of safety violations and citations, including two for not following generator regulations in 2014 and 2016.

As of Tuesday, the number of people without electricity in the steamy late-summer heat had dropped to 6.8 million - about a third of Florida's population. Utility officials warned it could take a week or more for all areas to be back up and running. The number of people in shelters fell to under 13,000. "We cared for them like family". "And we're not leaving".

They agree, all who provide safety for nursing home residents need to review plans and procedures - and make sure they are prepared for whatever might go wrong.

In the battered Florida Keys, meanwhile, county officials pushed back against a preliminary estimate from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that 25 percent of all homes in the Keys were destroyed and almost all the rest were heavily damaged.

The Florida Keys were particularly hard hit, with federal officials saying that 25 percent of homes were destroyed and 65 percent suffered major damage when Irma barreled ashore on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour (215 km per hour). But the extent of the damage has been an unanswered question for days because some places have been unreachable.

U.S. President Donald Trump paid a visit on Thursday to Gulf Coast Florida communities recovering from the hurricane, praising first-responders for their role in limiting the toll taken on human lives. They were giving them juices and water, everything.

Flora Mitchell arrived at the home trying to learn the fate of her 58-year-old sister, a stroke patient.

At no time did the facility report that conditions had become unsafe or that the health and safety of their patients was at risk.