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Miami grand jury blasts state officials for failing ALF residents

A Miami-Dade grand jury blasted the state for allowing troubled assisted living facilities to stay open instead of reaching into its arsenal to crack down on the worst abusers, including imposing steeper fines, shutting down troubled homes and weeding out rogue operators.

The report, released Thursday, put the blame squarely on the Agency for Health Care Administration for permitting dangerous homes to keep their doors open and not “doing a more effective job of enforcement.”

“Revoke the licenses. Impose the fines. Hit the offenders where it hurts most, in their pockets,” said the 33-page report, the result of a two-month investigation by the grand jury prompted by a Miami Herald series, Neglected to Death, published in May.

Citing an “explosion” in growth of ALFs in the past five years, jurors said the state needs to assume a greater role in protecting thousands of frail residents in the years to come, and encouraged AHCA to be more proactive in saving lives and tapping the resources of other state agencies.