In response to the death of eight nursing home residents after a power failure in Hollywood, Florida during Hurricane Irma, Florida regulators recently issued emergency rules requiring the state’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have and maintain backup generators and alternate fuel for power emergencies. However, due to the current high demand for generators in Florida and other barriers to compliance, many nursing homes and assisted living facilities are finding it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to comply with the state’s emergency power plan rule by the November 15, 2017 deadline.

Issued by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) on September 18, 2017, the emergency power plan rule provides that nursing homes and assisted living facilities be equipped with sufficient generator and alternate fuel capacity to ensure that ambient temperatures are maintained at or below 80 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of 96 hours in the event of an electric power loss.

The emergency power plan rule further requires that nursing homes and assisted living centers in Florida submit an emergency power plan for their facilities to the AHCA or DOEA by October 31, 2017, and be prepared to implement that plan by November 15, 2017. Facilities that fail to comply with the emergency power plan rule may be subject to fines or sanctions of up to $1000.00 per day and revocation of their license to operate in the state of Florida.

The AHCA and DOEA recently issued a supplement to the state’s emergency power plan rule that provides criteria and information for nursing homes and assisted living facilities seeking an emergency variance from the rule’s full implementation deadline. If your nursing home or assisted living facility currently cannot comply with the emergency power plan rule, or will unable to comply for reasons outside of its control by the November 15, 2017 deadline, we can help prepare and submit an emergency petition for variance from the rule.

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