Naples Daily News – The Florida Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a bill that would allow teams of experts to review deaths of the elderly when abuse or neglect is suspected, and to propose policy changes to prevent future deaths.
Senate Bill 452 passed with no debate. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, did not receive any serious pushback in any of its previous committee stops this legislative session.
The elder death review teams “will be looking for any gaps in services or deficiencies that they want the Legislature and the governor to know about,” Gibson said while introducing the proposal on the Senate floor.
A companion bill in the House sponsored by Rep. Barbara Watson, D-Miami Gardens, passed its first committee hearing last month, but has since stalled. The session is scheduled to end next week.
Elder advocates say establishing elder death review teams in Florida could help cut down on the number of cases of nursing home neglect and mistreatment like those identified in a recent USA TODAY NETWORK – FLORIDA investigation.
As part of its investigation, the network reviewed 54 nursing home deaths in which state inspectors cited neglect and mistreatment as factors from 2013 through 2017.
The investigation found Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration rarely took action and often didn’t investigate the deaths at all.
The network’s nursing homes series also showed that AHCA rarely takes serious action against poor-performing nursing homes, and it has allowed dozens of Florida nursing homes to limp along for years providing substandard care and abusing, neglecting and even killing patients with little consequence.
Gibson’s bill would allow, but not mandate, the creation of elder death review teams in each of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits.
The teams would review cases in their judicial circuit where abuse or neglect has been found to be related to, or the cause of, an elderly person’s death
From Ken Ditkowsky; an Illinois lawyer suspended for 4 years for speaking out against the neglect and abuse of the elderly:
Let’s see some application – about a year ago 12 seniors died because a nursing home operator (associated with the Larkin hospital) refused to move then literally across the street to a fully functioning hospital.
I will be impressed if I see the people actually engaged in the management of the facility in the “dock” indicted and standing trial for the murder of these elderly people.
I also will be impressed if I see a investigation into the Helen Stone guardianship! I however will not hold my breath – I know that even though Dr. Sugar has educated all who wish to be educated (and some who did not) as to how the guardianship for profit functions I do not see the ACLU, AARP, etc looking into the overt and growing criminal activities that have grown to one of the most profitable enterprises in South Florida. Hope springs eternal.
Please do not get me wrong – I am very very grateful that the US Attorney’s office prosecuted Philip Esformes and the “fix” was not in! I’m grateful for the surge in enforcement in the law as well; however, I am still not happy as:
1) my vote is diluted as we all know that come election day, every resident (some who recently died) will vote for the candidate who the nursing home operator chooses. This renders my vote a waste of time!
2) the 700% fraud surcharge is still with us, and the deficit grows daily. Our protests threaten to expand the surcharge with more good sounding but inherently poorly administered programs.
3) corruption in the Courts (the place where the guardians for profit are appointed and protected) continues unabated. Supervision of the criminal conspiracy is protected – According to Mr. Jerome Larkin (in the Denison, Ditkowsky and Amu disciplinary proceeding) – exposing judicial corruption is akin to “yelling fire in a crowded theater!” Until the enablers are facing jail time – corruption will be the name of the game in Florida, Illinois, California, New York etc.
The bottom line is: DEMOCRACY IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT!
Indeed, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of us all the time –