Orlando Sentinel by Scott Maxwell
September 22, 2017
Right now, Gov. Rick Scott and other Florida politicians demand answers about what went wrong in a recent deadly incident at a South Florida nursing home … which is kind of ironic, since the state has routinely prevented Floridians from getting answers about problems at other nursing homes and assisted-living facilities throughout the state.
How? By censoring and redacting key details from reports that describe troubling incidents.
The Sentinel first reported this disturbing trend in March. (“Nursing home inspection reports leave gaps.”)
State health officials were blacking out info that any family member would want to know if they had a loved one staying in the facility.
Reports about how a resident ended up dead, for instance, would say only that someone called to report “a body floating in the XXXX” when they called “on XXXX at 3:14 p.m.”
So you know somebody drowned, but not where … or even on what day.
How XXXXing comforting.
Scott’s Agency on Health Care Administration couldn’t even muster up decent excuses, saying that maybe (they didn’t seem sure) their automated redacting program was accidentally censoring too much information.
As I wrote at the time, if it was really just a mistake …
“… it’s odd that the agency has not yet found the desire or summoned the competency to fix it.
After all, imagine how any of these bureaucrats would react to being told: Sorry, the only thing we can tell you about your father’s bed sores is that it was caused by problems in the XXXX sometime around XXXX.”
And the Miami Herald reported today that there were similar redactions in reports at the same Hollywood home where 10 people died.
UPDATE: An hour after this piece was posted, the spokeswoman for the Agency for Health Care Administration wrote to say that the agency decided to stop using the automated- redaction program for nursing homes.
I asked when that change took effect.
The answer: Today. [READ MORE]