HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – The Agency for Health Care Administration has put The Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills out of business.
AHCA investigators discovered enough evidence to suspend their ability to operate a nursing home, and prohibit the facility from admitting any patients.
The findings show residents of the facility did not receive timely medical care because the trained medical professionals delayed calling 911.
Several residents suffered respiratory or cardiac distress, and at least eight of those patients ultimately died as a result of not receiving the medical attention.
In some cases, patients ended up at the hospital with body temperatures of 109.9, 108.5, 108.3 and 107.
Investigators also found facility made many late entries into patients’ medical records, claiming safe temperatures for patients while those same patients were across the street dying in the emergency room with temperatures of over 108 degrees. In one case, a patient had already been pronounced dead.
“No amount of emergency preparedness could have prevented the gross medical and criminal recklessness that occurred at this facility,” AHCA Secretary Justin Senior said.
The Hollywood Police Department and FDLE are conducting a criminal investigation.
A ninth death is now part of a criminal investigation, after a 93-year-old man died Tuesday.
However, the Medical Examiner told The Sun Sentinel it was not conclusive that heat exposure was the cause of death.
Lawsuits are mounting against the facility operators and so is the anger felt by families who say this was a preventable tragedy. They’re calling for change in the industry.