Nursing homes across Florida have seen a dramatic increase in violations, ranging from inadequate staffing levels to reports of abuse and neglect. Recent inspections have revealed several critical violations at two Tampa Bay-based nursing homes. These issues severely affect residents and nursing homes, including Medicare/Medicaid funding loss. Elder care advocates, nursing home industry leaders, and long-term care researchers have offered theories for the increase, prompting warnings for those considering nursing home placement to do their due diligence when researching facilities.
Why do we see an increase?
Over the past four years, the increase in severe violations in Florida nursing homes is unclear. However, elder care advocates, nursing home industry leaders, and long-term care researchers have offered theories. These include changes to inspections of nursing homes that began in 2016, staff shortages, and recent legislation that critics claim has weakened nursing home care standards. Additionally, 55 violations last year involved limited staffing or insufficient training, highlighting what appears to be a workforce crisis.
Over the last decade, Florida nursing homes have seen an increase in serious violations, averaging 81 per year since 2019. This surge is attributed to changes in inspection regulations from the federal government that rolled out over three years and allowed for multiple citations for a single case of substandard care. In addition, a workforce crisis has led to limited staffing and insufficient staff training, exemplified by an incident at Excel Care Center in Tampa last February.
What happened at the Excel Care Center
The story of one resident at Excel Care Center in Tampa highlights this crisis – he had called to say he believed he was having a stroke. Still, without enough staff members present to take action, his friend had to contact the facility and scream for help before anyone responded. Eventually, he and the nursing home called 911, and he was hospitalized with a heart attack and respiratory failure. Low staffing levels have been an issue for Florida nursing homes since pre-Covid times, and studies show that quality of care is linked to the number of highly trained staff in a facility.
Take a stand against nursing home abuse and join us in protecting the rights and well-being of our elderly loved ones. If you suspect any form of mistreatment or neglect in nursing homes, it’s crucial to act swiftly. We at Beltz & Beltz understand the importance of addressing these issues and are here to help. Visit our Nursing Home Abuse page to learn more about nursing home abuse and its consequences. Together, we can make a difference. For a free consultation, reach out to us by tapping here. Let’s fight for justice and ensure the safety of our most vulnerable community members.