Nursing Homes Wary Of Meeting Generator, AC Deadlines
New requirements that all nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a generator capable of running the air conditioning for four days may put some homes out of business.
The emergency rule in Florida comes after 10 people died in a Hollywood Hills nursing home after the power went out.
Alicia Labrecque, the CEO of Orlando Senior Health Network, said a generator big enough to run her facility can cost upwards of $250,000.
“The cost is definitely a concern, also just the logistics of it: the zoning, permitting, where are you gonna store the fuel,” Labrecque said.
But could it put a smaller facility out of business?
“Absolutely,” Labrecque said. “I think the costs and fuel requirements may not be feasible for some.”
Representatives from the nursing home industry are in Tallahassee Friday for a summit on emergency preparedness. Many in the industry don’t think it’s possible to meet a November 15 deadline to install generators that can run air conditioning.
Rick Scott responded to the deaths with an emergency rule: All nursing homes, assisted living facilities have a generator with enough fuel to run air conditioning for four days.
While many in the industry say the rules are long needed, the logistics of meeting the deadlines are tough.
“I know this is off the cuff and maybe I shouldn’t say this, but I can regret it later,” said Mike Acree with Ring Power Corporation. “If we end up rushing this process, what we’re gonna end up is with used equipment that is not a complete, fluid assembly.”
The Agency for Health Care Administration this week said they won’t allow extensions if facilities can’t comply, and unlike some federal rules, a backup plan of evacuation if AC fails is not good enough.
WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by Florida Hospital.