by Scott Cooper
Twice in the last five years, Florida hired to review region disaster Planning a hospital run by the owner of the Hollywood nursing home in which many elderly patients died after Hurricane Irma cut electricity to air-conditioning.
Those contracts were awarded by the Florida Department of Health for Hurricane and other disaster preparedness planning to South Miami’s Larkin Community Hospital in 2014 and 2012. The contract cost for both was approximately $79,000.
Larkin is 100 percent owned by its chairman and president, Dr. Jack Michel is also listed at Hollywood Hills as the 100 percent owner of the Rehabilitation Center.
“The purpose of the contract is to support hospital(s) in preparation
In 2014, the country also tasked Larkin with, among other things, Developing “the ability to provide adequate medical evaluation and care during incidents that exceed the limits of their normal medical infrastructure.” Also, to “ensure the capacity of the health care system to survive a hazard impact and maintain or rapidly recover operations that were compromised.”
While the contracts are between Larkin, Health and the state Department spokeswoman Mara Gambineri said her agency “had no part in choosing” Larkin and acted only as a conduit to pass through federal grant dollars.
Dr. Michel’s Larkin hospital was required to submit reports, Improvement assessments and run preparedness training and exercises. The contractual services Larkin actually performed are not clear from the documents, but the Health Department paid Larkin less than half of the contract amount or $31,235.
Larkin hospital said Dr. Michel was out of the office and unavailable on Friday. A request for comment was directed to Larkin spokeswoman Kristina Gaddy, who hung up after saying, “I’m sorry I can not help you.”
Death toll now at 14
Appear not to have been applied at Dr. Michel’s Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, 1200 North 35th Ave., Hollywood. AHCA closed the down nursing home after national publicity about the deaths of eight older residents who succumbed amid sweltering heat. The death toll has grown to 14.
Dr. Jack Michel
AHCA emergency suspension order Of failing to maintain safe conditions, to evacuate once conditions were no longer safe rather than contacting 911 during the medical emergency. AHCA also said the Rehabilitation Center doctored the dead residents’ records “under dubious conditions.”
“Emergency planning and preparedness Can’t prevent the gross Negligence or criminal negligence of a licensed healthcare provider,” says the emergency suspension order.
Hollywood police and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are conducting a criminal investigation.
Larkin SW 62nd Ave. is a 147-bed, For-profit hospital with a special designation as 2012 as a “statutory teaching hospital.”
Here’s what Larkin said in a Feb. 1, 2016 about its holdings Press release announcing its purchase of Palm Springs General:
“This is the latest in a long string of acquisitions from the South Miami-based, physician-owned hospital, whose holdings now include the 147 bed teaching hospital in South Miami, a 50 bed inpatient behavioral health hospital and 152-bed skilled nursing facility in Hollywood, a 180-bed assisted living facility in South West Miami, 2 home health agencies in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and 5 imaging centers throughout Miami-Dade County.
Represents a significant step in our transformation into an integrated delivery system with the addition of inpatient/outpatient capacity in North Miami-Dade County.”
The 152-bed skilled nursing facility is the now-shuttered Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.