The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that Florida has over 685 nursing facilities, with over 83,500 beds and 73,000 residents. Florida’s nursing facility occupancy rate is approximately 88 percent.
There are federal and state regulations to ensure that nursing homes provide an adequate standard of care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) handles federal regulations through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) regulates Florida nursing homes. Under Florida law, facilities are required to have Florida licenses to operate. The standard license states that the facility will provide supervision of normal daily activities either directly or indirectly, including dispensing medications along with related services. Facilities may add any of three other licenses to the standard license. These are ECC, LNS, and LMH.
- ECC licenses provide for limited nursing services, help with daily hygiene needs, dietary needs, and presides over those residents with memory issues, in addition to other provisions.
- LNS provides the same services as that under a standard license, along with providing licensed nurses.
- LMH is a license for assisted living facilities that provide care for residents who need mental health support.
Florida’s licenses are issued by the AHCA annually. AHCA also performs regular inspections to be sure facilities are abiding by both federal and state standards. Surveyors from AHCA visit nursing homes and investigate violation complaints.
Inspections typically occur at least once a year and are unannounced. Should nursing homes have prior complaints against them, they may be inspected more frequently. If a nursing home violates state or federal standards, an inspector would include the violations and failures in an inspection report called a Statement of Deficiency. The report is sent to the violating nursing home that is required to submit a Plan of Correction.
Should some deficiencies violate federal standards, they are documented along with a rating that represents the severity and scope of the violation. The level of risk the violation poses to residents determines the severity ranking.
“Nursing homes must comply with both the federal and state standards. If they do not, residents and their families need to know the steps to take to protect themselves and have the situation corrected," said Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Complaints can be filed with the AHCA and are important to the system as they alert AHCA that a nursing home is not providing proper care that may cause serious injury or even death to a resident. Complaints can be filed via email, phone, fax, or through the Unlicensed Health Care Facility Complaint Form found on the AHCA’s website.
"We protect the rights of nursing home abuse and negligence victims. Should you or a loved one be injured because of nursing home negligence, after seeking medical attention, please contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. Fort Myers nursing home abuse attorneys are available to assist you 24/7. Following is what one of our clients had to say about working with our legal team on her personal injury case:
I have no words that can explain how wonderful of an experience I had with Spivey Law!! It was such a stressful time for me and I was lost. This group asked me to trust them "which I have a hard time trusting anybody" but they literally were beside me every step of the way. I felt protected like family. Delma M.
There are no costs or attorney fees until we make a monetary recovery for you,” said Attorney Spivey.
Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.