Florida suspends license of nursing home over Irma deaths

Patients are evacuated from The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills after a loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017 in Hollywood, Fla. Several patients at the sweltering nursing home died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath, authorities said Wednesday. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) – 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.

Eight patients died Sept. 13, three days after Irma hit South Florida and knocked out a transformer that powered the home’s air conditioner. A ninth died Tuesday.

Home officials say they used coolers, fans, ice and other means to cool the patients.

Home attorney Gary Matzner did not immediately to an email seeking comment on the suspension.

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