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FHCA Thanks Senators for CON Vote Helping Elders

February 17, 2016
Contact: Kristen Knapp, APR

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) today thanked members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services for listening to the concerns of Florida’s long term care community and leaving intact the effective Certificate of Need (CON) process for nursing centers.

FHCA thanked bill sponsor Senator Don Gaetz and the subcommittee members for working to ensure a vibrant nursing center sector so that access to care is available in areas of Florida where it is most needed to assist the state’s frailest elders. The subcommittee’s vote defeating SB 1144 today retains an effective two-year old CON process for nursing centers.

“The Certificate of Need process adopted for nursing centers two years ago ensures thoughtful, managed growth where there is a demonstrated need for more nursing beds,” said Emmett Reed, FHCA executive director. “The existing process is working to provide stability in the marketplace and well-considered location of nursing beds where they are most needed. That’s the smart way to care for Florida’s elders.”

The 2014 Legislature unanimously reformed the nursing center CON process, and the beneficial revisions have helped ensure that more nursing centers are built in rural and underserved areas. Since the changes were enacted, Florida’s aging baby boomers now have access to 30 new nursing centers and more than 4,500 new beds – located where they are needed through a careful, deliberate review process

“On behalf of Florida’s long term care profession, we want to thank Senator Gaetz, Chairman Rene Garcia and all the members of the subcommittee for taking the time to meet with our members, hear their concerns, and carefully consider what is best for our state’s seniors,” Reed added.

Florida’s nursing centers care for almost 71,000 frail elders and individuals with disabilities, with more than 60 percent relying on Medicaid to cover their long term health care needs. 

The 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 the Florida Health Care Association, visit http://www.fhca.org.

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