Appeals Court Upholds Emergency Generator Rule
TAMPA, Fla. – On Thursday, Governor Rick Scott made the following statement regarding a ruling in the Agency for Health Care Administration’s favor from the First District Court of Appeal. The Court denied a major challenge to the Governor’s emergency generator rule that requires every nursing home and assisted living facility in Florida to have a working generator and 96 hours of fuel to keep their patients safe during a disaster. This life-saving emergency action was taken by Governor Scott immediately following the tragedy at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.
Governor Scott said, “The ruling from the First District Court of Appeal today reaffirms our position that the top priority of nursing homes and assisted living facilities should be protecting the lives of their patients. Currently, AHCA is working to make this important emergency rule permanent through a public rule making process and we will work with the Legislature to further protect patients. I’ve also called on the Constitution Revision Commission to look at measures to protect vulnerable individuals. I look forward to AHCA continuing to aggressively enforce these rules as we explore every possible way to protect Floridians.
“Let’s remember that the tragedy at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is under criminal investigation by local law enforcement and FDLE. AHCA and DCF are also conducting investigations. We must learn why this facility chose not to evacuate their patients to safety or call 911.”
Associations representing nursing homes and ALFs filed appeals claiming that there was no “immediate danger” or emergency justifying the Governor’s emergency generator rule. Those arguments were rejected today by the First DCA.