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Orlando nursing home the largest approved in Florida

Florida approved the construction of more than 2,600 new nursing home beds today.

It comes on the heels of tougher rankings for nursing homes nationwide.

The state named who gets to build 22 new nursing homes. Another 11 nursing homes were allowed to expand.

It marks the end of a 14-year ban on new construction. The Orlando Senior Health Network was one of the companies approved to build 2,600 beds.

“Right now in our nursing home we’re completely full and turning people away,” said CEO Alicia Labrecque. “So it will help us tremendously to be able to take more residents in, especially the longterm care residents.”

LP Orlando’s proposal to build a 180-bed nursing home in Orlando was the largest project to win approval, while Florida Medical System’s $30 million nursing home in Miami was the most expensive in the state. Check here to see all the projects approved today.

The news comes on the same day the federal government released tougher standards for grading nursing homes. Nationwide, a USA Today analysis found that 61 percent of nursing homes got lower quality of care scores when the new ranking system kicked in.

“There were just far too many nursing homes that were showing good scores, good measures based on self-reported data,” said Brian Lee, founder of Families for Better Care, a nursing home watchdog group. “And it just overblew the nursing home quality.”

Florida approved a total of $430 million in new nursing home construction. Florida still needs 500 more beds, according to state figures, and experts predict Florida will 15,000 more beds in the next 15 years.

Check here for a broader story about the nursing home shortage in Florida. See below for a map of where the possible new nursing homes may go.

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