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DSCC Statement on Scott’s Nursing Home Scandal

In response to news reports that nursing home administrators called Governor Scott’s cell phone three times asking for immediate assistance in the hours before the tragic deaths of eight senior citizens — and their calls for help went unanswered — and additional reporting detailing how Governor Scott has weakened nursing home regulations and oversight, today Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Spokesman David Bergstein released the following statement:

“The revelations about Governor Scott’s failure to respond to the urgent requests from the nursing home — as well as his long record of weakening oversight of this industry — are deeply disturbing. The reports raise a multitude of questions and concerns about Scott’s response to this tragic event and his overall record, and both of these areas deserve careful scrutiny in the weeks ahead.”

CBS Miami: Nursing Home Execs Called Gov. Rick Scott’s Cell Asking For Help Getting Power Back.
By Jim Defede
September 15, 2017

Key points:

  • “In the week leading up to Irma, Gov. Scott held a series of conference calls with emergency managers as well as hospital and nursing home officials. During those conference calls he gave out a cell phone number and said if any of the healthcare centers experienced trouble they should call him at that number and he would work to resolve their problem.”
  • “In the 36 hours prior to the first patient dying at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, nursing home executives called Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s cell phone asking for help getting their power back on after Hurricane Irma, CBS4 News has learned. Eight people would eventually die from the facility that lost air conditioning during the storm.”
  • “Repeated phone calls to FPL brought more promises that went unmet from the utility to come out and repair the power line, according to nursing home officials. Growing concerned, Anderson placed two more calls to what she believed was the Governor’s cell phone – one call at 9:59 a.m. and another at 12:41 p.m.

Bay News 9: South Florida deaths propel calls for revision of state nursing home regulations.|
Troy Kinsey
September 14, 2017

Key Points:

  • “The Scott administration contends that, because AHCA wasn’t informed, there was nothing the agency could have done to intervene. The day before the deaths, however, the governor told reporters at the State Emergency Operations Center that officials were in close contact with each of Florida’s assisted living facilities.”
  • “‘State lawmakers on Thursday called for a criminal investigation, accompanied by a reversal of years of industry deregulation under Gov. Rick Scott and the legislature’s Republican leaders.”
  • “Some pointed to Scott’s 2011 ouster of Long-term Care Ombudsman Brian Lee – an official widely viewed as having been tough on the industry while standing up for the interests of patients – as the start of a relatively hands-off era of treatment of nursing homes by the Scott administration.”

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