TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Toby Edelman, a renowned nursing home expert who serves as a Senior Policy Attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy in Washington D.C., strongly criticized Florida’s proposed nursing home “deal”, saying it “would seriously harm residents.”
In a statement to Senator John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) and Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Shalimar), Edelman wrote that the legislation allows “lawsuits to be filed only against the licensee, management or consulting company, managing employees, and direct caregivers.”
She believes that this bill—brokered by the nursing home industry and a small section of the trial bar—removes liability from the “critical decision makers” while shifting blame to those who have the least amount of say-so.
“It would essentially immunize all others from accountability,” she said. “[Except] direct caregivers who have the least responsibility for financial resources and policy decisions that are made that directly affect quality of care and quality of life for residents.”
Edelman also criticized “vague” definitions regarding the release of residents’ records.
The confusing terminology “flies in the face of federal requirements,” she said. “It could allow facilities to refuse to disclose embarrassing records...such as clinical records or incident reports...that could conclusively demonstrate liability.”
She closed by saying how detrimental the bill would be if passed.
“This bill would harm nursing facility residents and should not be enacted,” she stressed.
Families for Better Care, Inc. is a citizen advocacy organization dedicated to quality resident care in nursing homes and other long-term care settings. Executive Director Brian Lee served as Florida’s State Long-Term Care Ombudsman for most of the past decade.