Sunday, July 22, 2018
Politics

State shuts down Hollywood nursing home where 9 died in scorching heat

HOLLYWOOD — 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.

Hurricane Irma knocked out power to the facility's central air-conditioning on Sept 10. Three days later, police and fire rescue evacuated the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, located next door to Memorial Regional Hospital, after they got received several distress calls about the patients. All told, nine people from the nursing home died.

AHCA outlined how tthe nursing home administrators added several late entries to patients' medical records.

"This includes a facility nurse recording a patient's temperature at 101.6 degrees, but the patient was actually no longer at the facility, and had a recorded temperature 108.3 by the hospital. In a second, and very egregious case, a late entry was added that stated the patient was resting in bed with respirations even and unlabored, however, this resident had already died before this entry was made," said AHCA in a statement.

PREVIOUS: Another Hollywood nursing home resident dies. It's the 9th in post-Irma tragedy

The agency said that several residents suffered respiratory or cardiac distress, and at least eight of those patients ultimately died as a result of not receiving the proper medical attention, the agency noted.

Prior to Wednesday's move, AHCA had already ordered a moratorium on new patients and suspended its participation in Medicaid and Medicare, the financial lifeblood of most long-term care facilities.

"The more we learn about this facility's reckless behavior, the more concerning it becomes that the Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center made the decision not to immediately call 911 or evacuate to one of the state's largest hospitals located across the street – which never lost power," said Florida Gov. Rick Scott in a statement Wednesday. "We will not stop demanding answers to these questions on behalf of every family who lost a loved one."

The nursing home filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the state, appealing its suspension from Medicaid and requesting an injunction.

Calling the home "devastated by the lives lost," the Rehabilitation Center asked a judge in Tallahassee to prevent health regulators from halting new admissions, and a suspension of the rehab center's reimbursement under Medicare and Medicaid, federal insurance programs for elderly and poor people.

Dawn Schonwetter stops to look at a memorial of flowers and messages left on the sidewalk of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Nine residents of the nursing home died in the wake of Irma, including one who was added to the death toll on Tuesday.

Comments
Trump’s Putin fallout: Inside the White House’s tumultuous stretch of walk backs

Trump’s Putin fallout: Inside the White House’s tumultuous stretch of walk backs

WASHINGTON - Executive time began early on Thursday, just after sunrise.Feeling exasperated and feisty as he awoke in the White House residence, President Donald Trump firedoff his grievances on Twitter about how the media had been covering his Helsi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa Bay and Florida businesses expect tariffs to drive prices up

Tampa Bay and Florida businesses expect tariffs to drive prices up

TAMPA — Tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and other countries are beginning to push up prices and depress demand in spots around the Tampa Bay area and Florida, business executives say."We’ve definitely seen that the tariffs have increased ...
Published: 07/20/18
March column: Is Congressional District 16 more flippable? What about District 15?

March column: Is Congressional District 16 more flippable? What about District 15?

In the wake of good fundraising news for Democrat David Shapiro, who is running against Rep. Vern Buchanan in Congressional District 16, political analysts are upping their odds of Shapiro’s winning. But what about Congressional District 15, where Re...
Published: 07/20/18
Trump says he’d have no problem beating former VP Biden in 2020

Trump says he’d have no problem beating former VP Biden in 2020

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast Thursday that running against Joe Biden in 2020 would be "a dream," claiming that Barack Obama "took him out of the garbage heap" to make him his running mate in 2008.Trump was asked ...
Published: 07/19/18
At St. Pete rally, protesters call Trump’s remarks on Russia ‘treason’

At St. Pete rally, protesters call Trump’s remarks on Russia ‘treason’

ST. PETERSBURG — Linda and Jack Miller braved the humidity at Demens Landing on Wednesday night for a simple reason: "Treason," said Linda Miller, 66. The St. Petersburg couple joined more than 100 protesters toting signs, pins and megaphones...
Published: 07/18/18
Updated: 07/19/18
Meet the man who might have brought on the age of ‘downloadable guns’

Meet the man who might have brought on the age of ‘downloadable guns’

During the summer of 2012, Cody Wilson hung around J&J, a car-repair shop run by two "goofy" guys in their late 20s. The Austin warehouse was crowded with engine blocks, car parts and Pelican boxes that never seemed to have been opened, but the 24-ye...
Published: 07/18/18
‘She was like a novelty’: How alleged Russian agent Maria Butina gained access to elite conservative circles

‘She was like a novelty’: How alleged Russian agent Maria Butina gained access to elite conservative circles

WASHINGTON - For nearly five years, the young Russian political-science student was an unusual fixture at the most important events of the U.S. conservative movement.Maria Butina, who was indicted this week on charges of being a covert Russian agent,...
Published: 07/18/18
PolitiFact: Fact-checking the Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin summit

PolitiFact: Fact-checking the Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin summit

President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin made inaccurate statements to the media following their one-on-one talks in Helsinki about election meddling, global terrorism and nuclear nonproliferation.Here’s a rundown of our fact-checks.Trump:...
Published: 07/17/18
Obama gives Trump sharp rebuke in Mandela address on values

Obama gives Trump sharp rebuke in Mandela address on values

JOHANNESBURG — Former U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday took aim at "strongman politics" in his highest-profile speech since leaving office, urging people around the world to respect human rights and other values now under threat in an imp...
Published: 07/17/18
Romano: Excuse me Gov. Scott, but you’re a hypocrite

Romano: Excuse me Gov. Scott, but you’re a hypocrite

Hypocrisy, thy name is Rick Scott.And, yes, I owe Shakespeare an apology.But I think Florida’s governor owes all of us an apology.This isn’t about one man’s opinion, and it isn’t about philosophical differences. This is about a politician who is publ...
Published: 07/17/18