Florida Democratic Party




ICYMI: Elder Care Watchdog Toothless Under Rick Scott

From Johanna Cervone, Florida Democratic Party spokesperson: "The office of Elder Care Ombudsman is meant to be a fierce watchdog for the seniors in our state who are the most vulnerable. Our seniors deserve dignity, respect, and a true advocate for their interests in Tallahassee. Instead, Rick Scott passed over qualified candidates with significant watchdog experience for political allies who would cozy up to industry lobbyists. Floridians are tired of Rick Scott consistently putting the special interests before the people of our state. The governor has a long record of appointing unqualified candidates to critical state agencies, and Floridians are paying for it."
Sun Sentinel:  Elder care watchdog referring fewer complaints for investigation
By Dan Sweeney
October 8, 2016
Key points: 
  • "A state office charged with inspecting and investigating complaints against nursing homes has become less of a watchdog under Gov. Rick Scott."
  • "Once well regarded as a patient advocate, the office of Elder Care Ombudsman has referred an average of 3 percent of complaints to investigative agencies annually since Scott came into office in 2011, a Sun Sentinel records review shows. Under the previous administrations, between 6 percent and 10 percent of complaints were referred each year going back to 2001."
  • "The quality of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities has come to the forefront after 12 residents at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died when Hurricane Irma knocked out the air conditioning. No complaints to the ombudsman’s office about nursing homes in Broward County have been referred for investigation in the past two years."
  • "But Brian Lee, who was ombudsman from 2003 to 2011 under governors Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist and is now executive director of an elder advocacy organization, doubts that the drop in complaints is due to an overall improvement in the nursing home industry."
Read the full article  here.
See also:  CBS Miami:  Nursing Home Execs Called Gov. Rick Scott’s Cell Asking For Help Getting Power Back,  Miami Herald:  Nursing homes used to Florida regulators’ soft touch scramble to meet a hard deadline,  Bay News 9:  South Florida deaths propel calls for revision of state nursing home regulations.