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Ninth resident of Florida nursing home dies after Irma

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A ninth resident has died as a result of injuries suffered in the Hollywood, Florida, nursing home that lost its air conditioning for days after Hurricane Irma ripped through the state. The 93-year-old man was evacuated last week with the other residents of Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills after authorities discovered three patients had died in the facility, where temperatures had risen to dangerous levels. By that afternoon, five more patients had died and dozens more were treated for dehydration, breathing difficulties and other heat-related symptoms. The dead ranged in age from 71 to 99, and all appeared to have ... Read More

NTSB Reports on Deadly Tesla ‘Autopilot’ Crash

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A semi-autonomous Tesla Model S that crashed in Florida last year, killing its driver, had “operational limits” that played a major role in the accident, federal investigators said. The main shortcomings of Tesla’s semi-autonomous technology involved the vehicle’s inability to monitor and ensure driver attention, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found. Joshua Brown, 40, of Canton, Ohio, died when his semi-autonomous Tesla car failed to apply its brakes as a tractor-trailer turned left in front of it. The May 7 crash occurred on a divided highway in Williston, Florida. Mr. Brown’s death was the first death to occur in a self-driving ... Read More

Florida nursing home in hurricane death scandal also tied to Medicare fraud

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The closer investigators look into the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, where eight residents died after a power outage in the wake of Hurricane Irma knocked out the air conditioning, the dirtier things look. Court records show that the nursing home was part of the biggest Medicare fraud case ever filed against individuals in U.S. history. The Hollywood, Florida nursing home is affiliated with Larkin Community Hospital, both of which are owned by Dr. Jack Michel. Larkin and Michel, along with Michael’s former business associate Philip Esformes, were named in a 2004 civil case, which was also filed in Miami. Michel, Esformes ... Read More

Florida nursing homes now required to have working generators

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Eight deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills where Hurricane Irma caused a days long power outage that caused residents to suffer heat-related injuries has prompted Florida Gov. Rick Scott to require all long-term care facilities to have generators capable of maintaining comfortable temperatures for at least 96 hours. Under the new rule, all of the state’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities have 60 days to obtain “ample resources” to “sustain operations and maintain comfortable temperatures” for a minimum of four days in the event of a power failure, the governor said in a statement. The “ample resources” refer ... Read More

Multistate Campylobacter Outbreak Linked To Petland Puppies

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Federal and state health officials are investigating an outbreak of human Campylobacter infection linked to puppies sold at or through Petland, a pet store chain with retail locations in several states. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Petland Campylobacter outbreak has infected 39 people in seven states: Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Those are only confirmed infections, and as outbreaks of pet-to-person illnesses go, many cases almost certainly go unreported. Of the confirmed infections, a dozen are employees of Petland stores in four states and 27 either purchased a puppy at ... Read More

Florida nursing home resident files negligence lawsuit

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A 94-year-old woman who lived at the Hollywood, Florida nursing home where eight residents died after Hurricane Irma knocked out the air conditioning, is suing the rehabilitation center over claims that the facility was negligent and showed reckless indifference toward the vulnerable patients who lived there. The lawsuit was filed by the legal guardian of Rosa Cabrera against Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. Cabrera is a double amputee who relies on round-the-clock skilled care. When the facility’s electrical system went out, shutting down the air conditioning, management did not protect residents despite being located just across the street from a ... Read More

Florida nursing home barred from accepting patients

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The Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA), under the direction of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, placed an emergency moratorium on Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, the nursing home where eight patients died after Hurricane Irma knocked out the power. All residents who were at the facility were subsequently evacuated to a nearby hospital. The moratorium immediately prevents the nursing home from admitting any other patients until the order is lifted. The order “is necessary to protect the lives and the safety of frail elders,” ACHA’s press release stated. “Gov. Scott made it clear today he is demanding answers … and ... Read More

OriGen recalls defective catheters

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OriGen Biomedical is recalling two lots of its VV28F Reinforced Dual Lumen ECMO Catheters because the clear extension tube may separate from the hub that it is inserted in, which could cause damage or impairment to the patient if there is not immediate intervention. To date, one adverse event related to these recalled products has been reported. The VV28F Reinforced Dual Lumen ECMO Catheters that fall under the recall include lot number N18487, with the manufacture date of Aug. 14, 2014, and the expiration date of Aug. 30, 2018; and the not number 18487-1, with the manufacture date of April ... Read More

Whistleblowers Help Expose $58 Million Drug Rehab Scam

Whistleblowers were instrumental in the arrest of a former owner of a South Florida rehabilitation center for drug addicts and an accomplice whose fraudulent conduct cost several insurance companies a combined $58.2 million. According to Addiction Professional, Eric Snyder, a former recovering addict who started Real Life Recovery treatment centers in Delray Beach and a sober home called Halfway There, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Mr. Snyder’s accomplice, Christopher Fuller, was also arrested on similar charges. Mr. Fuller, who had a history of 19 arrests before meeting Mr. Snyder, would go to AA meetings ... Read More

Nursing home deaths in Irma aftermath reveal ‘sad state of affairs’

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Emergency workers in Florida were urged to check on vulnerable individuals living in nursing homes after eight people died in a sweltering hot facility that lot its air conditioning during Hurricane Irma. The deaths sent a chill across the state, where about 4 million elderly and disabled citizens are living in nursing homes– individuals who are vulnerable to circumstances like power outages that are still affecting millions in the state. Questions still remain about the nine deaths were reported at Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, a facility located just steps from a hospital. The home reported losing power on Tuesday ... Read More