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Florida nursing homes primed for growth

March 17, 2015
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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April will be the next opportunity for Florida nursing homes to submit certificate of need applications to the state, which in February approved such applications for more than 2,600 nursing home beds in 25 counties, ending a 2001–2014 moratorium that had been created by the Florida legislature.

The February approvals include beds in planned facilities as well as existing ones and also include hospice programs. Construction will total $400 million, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“This expansion of Florida’s long-term care infrastructure will not only provide more access to care but will also bolster Florida’s economy for the next few years,” Elizabeth Dudek, secretary of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, said in a statement Feb. 23. “In addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be spent on construction projects, these beds will result in hundreds of new jobs for administrative staff and caregivers.”

The state’s lawmakers imposed the moratorium in 2001 due to Florida’s increasing Medicaid spending and to encourage the growth of community-based long-term care communities, according to the Sentinel, which also reports concerns of advocates that regulatory bodies will be taxed by the new growth. Once a total of 3,750 beds have been approved, the Agency for Health Care Administration will have to wait until after June 30, 2017, to issue additional certificates of need.