Florida generator rule for LTC stands, appeals court says

Share this content:

An appeals court sided with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Thursday, upholding his emergency requirements for long-term care facilities to install generators despite providers saying the rule isn't justified.

In a 2-1 ruling, the 1st District Court of Appeals rejected claims that the emergency rule, issued following the deaths of residents at a Hollywood, FL, nursing home after Hurricane Irma, was not legally justified.

The state's LeadingAge affiliate has pushed back against the rule, filing a separate legal challenge arguing that the mandate would “create an emergency rather than solve one.”

Thursday's ruling did not address the mandate's validity, just state health officials' “determinations as to immediate danger, necessity and procedural fairness,” the News Service of Florida reported.

Nearly 150 nursing homes and assisted living providers have sought exemptions from the mandate so far. Emergency requirements typically cannot stay in effect for more than 90 days, or be renewed. In a statement Scott said his office is working to make the emergency rule permanent.

“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,” Scott said.