Grand Jury Says ALF Reform is Overdue
The most recent installment of the Miami Herald’s investigation “Neglected to Death” shows that a recent Miami Dade grand jury has demanded tough reforms on Assisted Living Facility (ALF) regulation in Florida. The grand jury’s report laid the bulk of the blame on Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) for failing in their role as the state’s primary enforcer of ALF regulations. ALFs that have been found guilty of the most egregious neglect and abuse have been allowed by AHCA to remain open, at the expense of our state’s most vulnerable citizens. In fact, the Herald investigation found that the past five years have seen more reports to state ombudsmen of ALF abuse and neglect than there were in the thirty years before that. However, AHCA failed to do an investigation of the majority of those cases, and meted out discipline on almost none of the violators. The Herald’s ongoing investigation sparked the recent grand jury, as well as a Senate investigation and a governor’s task force devoted to ALF reform. We applaud the Herald for their fine investigative reporting, and hope these reform efforts succeed in making the sorely needed changes to our ALF regulatory system.You can help ensure that the overdue reform of our ALF system occurs by writing or calling your representatives in Florida’s Senate and Congress to let them know your future votes will depend on the protections extended to the neediest and most vulnerable citizens of our state.