MIAMI, Fla. (AP) - The number of deaths at a nursing home in Florida in connection with Hurricane Irma has risen to eight.
The office of the Broward Medical Examiner and Trauma Services issued a news release Wednesday afternoon with the names of the victims. The deceased were residents at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills and range in age from 71 to 99.
Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said the nursing home had lost power after Hurricane Irma roared through the state. The 152-bed facility provides short-term rehabilitative services and long-term care, according to its website
Crews evacuated approximately 115 patients from the center and were in the process of evacuating another 18 patients from a nearby behavioral facility.
The manager of the nursing home has a history of health-care fraud accusations, according to federal court records.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami filed civil charges in 2004 against Dr. Jack Michel and Larkin Health Systems, among others.
In 1997, before Michel owned Larkin, federal prosecutors say he was part of a kickback scheme that involved paying doctors for referrals and admission to Larkin Community Hospital. Prosecutors say that after he bought the hospital in 1998, Michel and others fraudulently increased the number of patients at the facility, along with their Medicare and Medicaid revenues, by bringing in patients from nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
The case was settled in 2006 for $15.4 million.