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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) — The U.S. Senate Finance Committee announced Wednesday that it is launching an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 14 patients at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

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It comes just weeks after Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), a senior member of the Finance Committee, urged committee leaders to undertake a “thorough investigation” into the state’s certification of the facility.

“Because the certification for a skilled nursing facility is subject to CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) approval, and the Senate Committee on Finance has jurisdiction over the Medicare and Medicaid programs, I urge the Committee to use its authority to conduct a complete investigation into the State of Florida’s certification of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills to determine what led to the deaths of 12 seniors there in the wake of Hurricane Irma,” Nelson wrote to Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) in September.

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Hatch and Wyden serve as the panel’s Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively. The panel oversees both the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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“As part of our oversight responsibilities, we want to ensure the safety of residents and patients in nursing homes and other similar facilities during natural and man-made disasters,” the Senators wrote to Florida’s Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, Justin Senior.

In 2016, CMS finalized new national emergency preparedness requirements for Medicare and Medicaid-participating providers and suppliers, making long-term care facilities develop emergency preparedness plans to ensure that staff’s and residents’ basic needs are met in the case of disaster.

It also required the facilities to have plans in place for alternate sources of power to maintain temperatures during these emergencies, should the electric go out.

According to federal regulations, the state must certify a nursing home’s compliance with all federal rules and regulations, including the new rules put in place last year.

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“Despite receiving state certification, the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills did not have an alternate source of energy powering its air conditioning unit and, as a result, was unable to maintain temperatures after the facility lost power in the wake of Hurricane Irma, which led to the deaths of 14 seniors who were at that facility during the storm,” said Sen. Nelson’s office in a statement to the media.