HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) — Despite Albertina Vega dying in the Hollywood Hills nursing home responsible for her care, the facility helped drive a final nail in her coffin by billing her after the fact on what would have been her 100th birthday, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
The 99-year-old was one of 14 patients who succumbed to the sweltering conditions inside a nursing home left without power and air conditioning following the destruction of Hurricane Irma.
A relative of Vega said she became aware of the retroactive billing charge of $958 when she tried closing Vega’s bank account. An automatic payment was sent to the Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center, which even resulted in an overdraft fee.
A complaint was filed with the bank manager and Vega’s family are seeking assistance for the failed oversight of billing a deceased woman for her care — and after the facility was shut down.
It’s unknown if Vega’s case is an isolated one or if any of the other 13 deceased patients had been billed after their death. Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, which regulates nursing homes, declined to comment.
Vega’s family was unable to reach the nursing home facility for help.
Albertina Vega was one of eight patients who died September 13th. In the days following, six others would pass away from similar heat-related conditions.
A criminal investigation is underway. On Wednesday, Sen. Bill Nelson announced that the U.S. Senate Finance Committee launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths.