Florida legislature moving forward with irresponsible bills to slash nursing care in nursing homes


Nicole Pasia


AARP Florida today released the following statement regarding House Bill 1239 (Rep. Melo/R-Naples) and Senate Bill 804 (Sen. Albritton/R-Bartow), which propose a 20% cut to daily nursing care for each nursing home resident.

AARP Florida Associate State Director Zayne Smith said, “It’s disappointing to see these irresponsible bills continue to move through the legislative process because we know what it means for Floridians and their loved ones living in nursing homes: more people will suffer from poor care.

“There’s already a care crisis inside Florida’s nursing homes – nearly 40% of the state’s nursing homes are on AHCA’s watch list. Nursing home staff are facing pandemic fatigue, high resident caseloads, understaffing, physically and emotionally demanding work, higher rates of work-injury (often without paid leave), limited training, low wages and unaffordable health insurance.

Let’s be clear: these bills don’t fix any of that. This legislation only ensures that current nursing staff will have to do more with less help. Nursing homes won’t magically have fewer patients to care for, they will have fewer trained staff to care for them. It’s unconscionable that the Florida legislature would even consider reducing care for our most vulnerable residents. Floridians deserve better.”

Background on HB 1239 & SB 804:

  • The legislation reduces the time that certified nursing assistants (CNAs) will spend with each resident from 2.5 hours/day to 2 hours/day (a 20% cut to nursing care). In practice, this means already burned-out CNA staff will have to do more with less help.
  • The legislation allows nonmedical staff, including activities coordinators, to help frail and elderly residents get to the bathroom, help them bathe and perform other critical tasks that would normally be carried out by trained nursing staff.
  • Additionally, the Senate version of the legislation weakens the moratorium on admissions to nursing homes, meaning that nursing homes will be able to continue admitting residents even if they don’t have the staff to properly care for them.

Floridians can call the AARP Advocacy Hotline to be connected to their legislators and ask them not to cut NURSING CARE in nursing homes. Vote ‘NO’ on HB 1239/SB 804.

  • Call Your State Representative: 844-489-1331
  • Call Your State Senator: 844-489-1328

This press release was provided by AARP Florida.