FWB nursing home targeted by state

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A nursing home and rehab center has been dinged by the state for not submitting a plan to install generators on time. But the nursing home’s executive director says the plan was submitted one day after the deadline.

staff and wire reports

FORT WALTON BEACH — A Fort Walton Beach nursing home is being targeted by the state for not following new rules put in place after more than a dozen residents died in a South Florida nursing home.

Westwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is among 23 nursing homes across the state that have not responded to requirements of an emergency rule stemming from the September deaths of Broward County nursing home residents left without air conditioning after Hurricane Irma.

Westwood Executive Director Jeff Duncan said he had trouble submitting paperwork by the Oct. 31 deadline, but that he had everything sent in by Nov. 1. He hasn’t received any notices to say the center was not in compliance, he said.

“I’m doing everything I’ve been told to do,” he said Wednesday.

By Oct. 31, all nursing homes were required to submit a detailed plan to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) or apply for a waiver. These facilities will be subjected to a fine of $1,000 per day or license revocation starting Nov. 15 if they fail to come into compliance by the deadline.

After Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration pushed through emergency rules that require both nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators capable of providing backup power for four days.

The rules have been legally challenged by industry groups. But the AHCA has said nursing homes must still comply with them or seek a variance. The nursing homes have until mid-November to get their generators.

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