Florida Considering the Establishment of Nursing Home Death Review Teams

Review teams that would investigate deaths related to nursing home abuse many be coming to each of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits.

A bill proposed by Democratic Senator Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville in the Florida Legislature is making headway and has seen little opposition so far (Senate Bill 452). The bill would mandate the creation of these teams with the purpose of providing clarity within the specific cases being investigated and hopefully prevent future incidents.

Nursing home abuse cases here in Miami and across Florida are more prevalent than most people would believe. And some cases do unfortunately result in the death of a nursing home resident.

According to an April 1, 2019 article in FloridaToday.com, these nursing home ‘death review teams’ would “review cases in their judicial circuit where abuse or neglect has been found to be related to or the cause of an elderly person’s death.”

Per the article, the bill would limit these reviews to just closed cases and also deaths where abuse or neglect has been verified by a Florida state attorney.

The bill was proposed in part due to an investigation by the USA TODAY NETWORK. During that investigation, the paper “reviewed 54 nursing home deaths where state inspectors cited neglect and mistreatment as factors from 2013 through 2017. They found Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration rarely took action and often didn’t investigate the deaths at all.

The network’s nursing homes series also showed that AHCA rarely takes serious action against poor-performing nursing homes, and it has allowed dozens of Florida nursing homes to limp along for years providing substandard care, and abusing, neglecting and even killing patients with little consequence.”

Those were serious accusations, serious enough that Sen. Gibson took action. According to the bill, “the goal of the elder death review teams would be to identify problems or gaps in service, to recommend solutions, and to author annual summaries of their findings.”

Surprisingly, death review teams only exist in 13 states currently (according to the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention in Washington, D.C.).

Could the state of Florida be the 14th?

Speak to a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

To speak with an attorney about concerns you may have regarding improper care, neglect or abuse please contact our law firm today. Call us at 305-670-0101, fill out the form on the right hand side of this page or complete the form on our Contact Us page.


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