Florida lawmakers last week urged the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration to make laws in short order that would help the state in enforcing the closures of unlicensed assisted living facilities.
The nature of the request was firm and urgent, according to a local report on the Florida Senate hearing.
“Tell them to hustle,” Sen. Alan Hayes (R), who serves as vice-chariman of the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee reportedly said.
The request for more stringent policy comes in response to complaints throughout the state over the failure of assisted living communities to meet standards for health care, background checks, safety and cleanliness, according to the report. A September Miami Herald article finding 62 unlicensed ALFs was also cited before the Senate committee.
Legislation to address the claims was passed last year but died in the house. Sen. Eleanor Sobel is spearheading the new effort toward passing legislation swiftly.
“There’s a message that needs to come out of Florida,” Sobel said. “We’re going to protect our seniors…It’s these unlicensed ones that give the good ones bad reputations. And it hurts our image in terms of being a place baby boomers are coming to, and we have to fix this problem.”
Sobel said she would soon be announcing a house sponsor for the bill.
The panel Tuesday unanimously passed the measure, which would include increased fines, staffing requirement and a study of assisted living facilities in the state.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker