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State Regulators Back New Nursing Homes

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The ban on adding new nursing-home beds is being lifted thanks to backing of state regulators. On Monday they approved the proposal for 2,600 beds in 25 counties.

The approvals, through what is known as the "certificate of need" process, came after lawmakers last year approved a measure to lift the moratorium.

Lawmakers began the moratorium in 2001, at least in part, to help lead to more care being provided in communities instead of in nursing homes.

"This expansion of Florida's long-term care infrastructure will not only provide more access to care, but will also bolster Florida's economy for the next few years,'' Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Liz Dudek said in a prepared statement. "In addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be spent on construction projects, these beds will result in hundreds of new jobs for administrative staff and caregivers."

New nursing homes are expected to be scattered across the state, though Central Florida appears likely to see some of the most construction. For example, Polk County would get two new nursing homes totaling 240 beds, Lake County would get two new nursing homes totaling 180 beds, Orange County would get a nursing home with 180 beds, Brevard County would get a nursing home with 131 beds and Osceola County would get a nursing home with 120 beds, according to a listing from the agency.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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