Rick Scott Received Calls from Hollywood Hills Nursing Home Before 8 Residents Died of Heatstroke

Rick Scott Deleted Hollywood Hills Rehab Messages

The Governor of Florida’s office has confirmed reports that the owners of Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills nursing home called Rick Scott’s personal cell phone pleading for help before the 8 resident deaths in the Hollywood Hills nursing home. The nursing home owners now claim that Governor Scott ignored their desperate pleas for help to turn on the facility air conditioning system.

What Happened to Cause 8 Residents Deaths?

8 vulnerable residents at the Hollywood Hills Rehab Center died of nursing home heatstroke after Hurricane Irma knocked out power for the facility and the air conditioning went out. With no back up power source running the a/c, the nursing home became stifling hot in the South Florida heat and humidity. On admission to the hospital, some residents body temperatures were 106 degrees.

The Department of Health in Florida said:

“It is 100 percent the responsibility of health care professionals to preserve life by acting in the best interest of the health and well-being of their patients. Let’s be clear — this facility is located across the street from one of Florida’s largest hospitals, which never lost power and had fully operating facilities. The tragic and senseless loss at Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center is the subject of a criminal homicide investigation by law enforcement.”

Why Do Nursing Home Owners Have Rick Scott’s Personal Cell Phone?

There is no doubt that nursing home owners are to blame for these 8 wrongful deaths. However, the question needs to be asked, why do nursing home owners have Rick Scott’s personal cell phone? Also, why did Governor Scott ignore these nursing home owners pleas to avoid the tragedy?

Immediately after the deaths became public, Governor Scott said in a statement that he was “heartbroken” to learn of the deaths and planned to “aggressively demand answers.” He failed to reveal that the owners repeatedly called his personal cell phone trying to avoid the crisis. Now the nursing home owners are claiming Governor Scott ignored their distress calls.

Background of Governor Rick Scott:
A Career in Profiting Off of Taxpayer Medicare Dollars through Questionable Billing Practices

The Republican Governor of Florida has served in his capacity since 2011. Prior to this, he founded Columbia Hospital Corporation, which later merged with HCA, forming the largest for-profit healthcare company in US history. He resigned from Columbia/HCA in 1997 due to allegations that the company defrauded Medicare and Medicaid for billions of dollars. After he resigned, Columbia/HCA ultimately admitted to 14 fraud-related felonies and settled with the US government for $600 million+. At the time, this was the largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history.

Background of Nursing Home Owners of Rehab Center at Hollywood Hills:
A Career in Profiting Off of Taxpayer Medicare Dollars through Questionable Billing Practices

Larkin Healthcare, the owner of Hollywood Hills nursing home, also has a checkered past. Dr. Michel settled a massive fraud case in 2006 where it was alleged that Larkin Community Hospital committed Medicare fraud. Additionally, former business partner Philip Esformes is alleged to have perpetrated the largest Medicare fraud of all time.

The Takeaway

It is not surprising that Governor Scott would give his personal cell phone number to these individuals, due to their similar professional past. What is shocking is the lack of response from the State of Florida authorities to this unfolding tragedy. We need better laws to protect our senior citizens who cannot advocate for themselves in long term care facilities.

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