On Wednesday, April 6, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed forty-two bills into law, including a heavily debated measure that will change the staffing standards in Florida nursing homes. Source.
Nursing home lobbyists supported and fought for the new measure, which partially involves certified nursing assistants, who provide much of the hands-on care in nursing homes. The new bill reduces the minimum number of hours each resident must receive from a certified nursing assistant each day from 2.5 hours down to 2 hours. The old law also required that certified nursing assistants and licensed nurses provide a weekly average of 3.6 hours of direct care to each resident daily. While the new bill keeps the 3.6-hour average, it allows for some of this time to be spent with other types of workers, such as physical therapists and occupational therapists.
When discussing the bill, representatives of AARP spokesperson Jamie Mongiovi stated that the bill “reduces the time that (certified nursing assistants) spend with nursing home residents by twenty percent, and [the AARP is] absolutely opposed to a cut in nursing home care.”
Supporters of this bill claim that these changes provide more flexibility to nursing homes and help address staffing shortages. AARP and other senior organizations opposed the bill, as it puts our most vulnerable population at risk. However, money from the lobbyists won out over the concern for protecting our seniors.
This new bill has the potential to put seniors at risk while in a living situation where they are depending on someone else to care for them. If your loved one is suffering in a nursing home, contact the personal injury attorneys at Beltz & Beltz. Our team of attorneys has many years of experience representing the victims of nursing home abuse and will fight to get justice for your loved ones.
In addition to the new nursing home changes, Governor DeSantis also signed the following into effect:
- Senate Bill 1950 will help set the stage for the Agency for Health Care Administration to award billions of dollars in Medicaid managed-care contracts
- Senate Bill 312 will expand the authority of physicians to prescribe controlled substances through telemedicine
- House Bill 921 will place a $3,000 limit on contributions from out-of-state donors to political committees trying to collect enough petition signatures to move forward with ballot initiatives