Appeals Court Upholds Florida Emergency Generator Rule

"The ruling from the First District Court of Appeal today reaffirms our position that the top priority of nursing homes and assisted living facilities should be protecting the lives of their patients," Gov. Rick Scott said in an Oct. 19 statement.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott applauded an Oct. 19 ruling by Florida's First District Court of Appeal that denied a challenge to the governor's emergency generator rule that requires every nursing home and assisted living facility in the state to have a working generator and 96 hours of fuel to keep their patients safe during a disaster.

"The ruling from the First District Court of Appeal today reaffirms our position that the top priority of nursing homes and assisted living facilities should be protecting the lives of their patients," Scott said in a statement. "Currently, AHCA [the state Agency for Health Care Administration] is working to make this important emergency rule permanent through a public rule making process and we will work with the Legislature to further protect patients. I've also called on the Constitution Revision Commission to look at measures to protect vulnerable individuals. I look forward to AHCA continuing to aggressively enforce these rules as we explore every possible way to protect Floridians."

The rule was issued after nine patients died at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, Fla., during and after Hurricane Irma -- deaths attributed to a power failure at the facility.

"Let's remember that the tragedy at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is under criminal investigation by local law enforcement and FDLE. AHCA and DCF are also conducting investigations. We must learn why this facility chose not to evacuate their patients to safety or call 911," Scott said. He said associations representing nursing homes and assisted living facilities filed appeals claiming there is no "immediate danger" or emergency justifying the emergency generator rule.

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