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Bills Focused on Quality Improvements for Florida’s Long Term Care Residents Advance

Florida Health Care Association applauds committee and bill sponsors for their support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 4, 2014                                                            
CONTACT: Kristen Knapp, APR                                                                     
(850) 701-3530 or kknapp@fhca.org

Tallahassee, Fla. - Florida Health Care Association (FHCA), the state’s first and largest advocacy organization for long term care providers and the residents under their care, applauded the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee for advancing legislation focused on quality of care improvements for residents in Florida’s assisted living facilities. House Bill 573 by Rep. Larry Ahern provides for important reforms to Florida’s assisted living facility sector and gives families a helpful decision-making tool for selecting an ALF.

“Pines of Sarasota is one of many facilities in our state that is setting the bar high when it comes to delivering quality care, improving customer satisfaction and strengthening our workforce through enhanced training,” said Rosemary Carbonelli, administrator of the Pines of Sarasota ALF, in testimony before the committee about the need for passing ALF reforms this session. “As a provider committed to ensuring the best care for my residents, it’s important this legislation passes this year. Our state’s seniors deserve to be cared for an environment that is safe and respects their ability to age with dignity.” Pines of Sarasota is a 72-bed assisted living facility and a member of FHCA.

“We’re grateful to Rep. Larry Ahern for his strong leadership in developing a bill that promotes ALF accountability without imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens, while at the same time preserves resident quality care and a level of independence these individuals expect from their ALF home,” said FHCA Executive Director Emmett Reed, applauding the bill sponsor and the committee for advancing this important legislation.  

The committee also passed HB 91 by Rep. Ken Roberson, which streamlines the Florida Long Term Care Ombudsman program.

“Florida’s ombudsman volunteers play an important role in resident quality of life,” Reed said. “FHCA appreciates Rep. Roberson for introducing this good bill. A focused approach for Florida’s Long Term Care Ombudsman program that fosters open lines of communication between volunteers and long term care providers is in the best interest of residents, whose highest quality of care is always our first priority.”

Celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2014, Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) is a federation which serves nearly 1,000 members and represents over 500 long term care facilities that provide skilled nursing, post-acute and sub-acute care, short-term rehab, assisted living and other services to the frail elderly and individuals with disabilities in Florida. The mission of FHCA is to advance the quality of services, image, professional development and financial stability of its members. As Florida's first and largest advocacy organization for long term care providers and the elderly they serve, the Association has worked diligently since 1954 to assist its members with continuously improving quality of care and quality of life for the state’s growing elder care population. For more information about Florida Health Care Association, visit http://www.fhca.org.  

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