New warning icons mark Florida nursing homes with abuse, neglect, exploitation citations

There's now a new way for you to find out if a nursing home has a troubled past.

Action News Jax Courtney Cole shows you the new symbol to look for, and which local nursing home has ended up on the radar.

Putting your loved one into a nursing home can be a difficult decision.

Finding the right facility can be even more of a challenge.

Now the federal government is trying to give you more information to make that decision, with its new "warning icons."

Click here and you'll find information on 697 nursing homes throughout the state of Florida.

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Those tagged by the state for abuse, neglect or exploitation will now have a bright, red circle with a hand inside—next to their name.

"I think it would be a good system for putting family members into assisted living care, especially if you're out of the state or unable to go to the facility itself," said Ashley Lacey.

The warning marker will be up for about a year after the violation is noted.

Twenty-five Florida nursing homes have this warning marker.

One of them is the St. Augustine Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Cole went to the center and was told the facility was given the warning mark because of a deadly fight between two patients, earlier this year.

It's a story Action News Jax  covered when it happened.

When Cole asked what's changed since then, the spokesperson for St. Augustine Health and Rehabilitation Center sent this statement:

"The professionally trained staff of caregivers at St. Augustine Health and Rehabilitation Center stand by the care we provide our residents.

The alleged incident that lead to this icon did not involve staff and the resident is no longer in the building.

The facility has been cleared of the deficiencies that caused the appearance of the icon.

While we always strive to improve each day, the recent measure taken by CMS is punitive in nature as opposed to truly incentivize facilities and rewarding positive outcomes.

We encourage anyone who has a loved one needing skilled nursing care to visit our home and see first-hand the care and environment we strive to deliver.

Personal experiences and direct conversations with current residents, staff and care-givers provide a far superior measure as to a facility's ability to meet a potential resident's needs than a government rating system based largely on subjective survey findings."

Nursing homes that received the red warning icon last week received their violation between Oct. 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2019.

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