Bay area nursing homes, assisted living facilities not meeting Florida’s generator deadline

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – Governor Rick Scott sprang into action after 14 patients died at a sweltering South Florida nursing home that lost air conditioning in the muggy days after Irma.

Immediately, the governor ordered all assisted-living facilities and nursing homes to get a generator and fuel, giving the facilities several weeks to get up to speed.

“You should expect every nursing home in this state to make sure they have backup generators and the fuel to take care of all their patients in times of emergency,” Gov. Scott said Thursday.

But despite the governor’s orders, 18 nursing homes statewide, including four in Manatee and Pinellas Counties, and more than 250 assisted living facilities in the Bay Area haven’t given the state a proper emergency power plan, 8 On Your Side has learned.

As of Thursday night, many of them were taken off the non-compliant list, the state said.

“I don’t think the time frame is fair.  The idea is good.  It can’t be done that quickly,” said Bruce Bonsel, administrator of St. Mark Village in Palm Harbor.

St. Mark Village lost power for several days after Irma, and later made a list of nursing homes and adult living facilities that aren’t complying with emergency rules, but Bonsel blames this on an error.

“Unfortunately, an email error put us on the bad list,” he said.

Leading Age Florida came down hard on the state, claiming the lists of non-compliant facilities are riddled with errors and some places have plans in place in case of emergency.

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