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Marco Rubio, Gus Bilirakis are Concerned About Safety Concerns at Bayonet Point Hospital

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., wrote a letter to a hospital CEO wanting to know about safety concerns.

“In the past year, there have been repeated, alarming accusations of unsanitary and unsafe practices at HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital in Hudson, Florida. Hospital staff allege the hospital is a ‘dangerous place to practice,’ and photos of the facilities show ‘leaks from the ceiling, cockroaches in operating rooms, oxygen equipment bound by scotch tape, and sinks filled with blood,’” Rubio’s office noted.

Rubio and Bilirakis wrote a letter to the hospital’s CEO, Dr. Regina Temple, demanding answers.

The letter is below.

Dear Dr. Temple:

We write in response to troubling allegations of unsanitary and unsafe practices at HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital. As Members of the Florida Congressional delegation, our constituents’ well-being is of utmost importance to us. Accordingly, we want to be assured that measures are being taken to address these concerns.

In a report released by NBC on February 15, 2023, four doctors employed at your hospital expressed that hospital administrators knew that staff saw the hospital as an “unsafe environment to perform surgery” and a “dangerous place to practice.” Though the administrator promised to address these issues, more than a year later, staff claims they have not seen any significant changes. Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) had also previously identified multiple deficiencies in patient safety practices at the facility over this time period. In fact, as recently as February 20, 2023, AHCA conducted another onsite complaint investigation due to ongoing reports of poor quality of care and concerns regarding the physical environment of HCA’s facilities. In its overall star rating systems for hospital quality, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) designated Bayonet Point as one star out of five. Notably, your staff expressed that the quality of care at HCA has declined and a number of sentinel events have occurred since 2021, which is when the hospital began cutting staff and hiring contract workers. While Bayonet Point recently celebrated its investment in 102 new beds, photos of existing facilities show leaks from the ceiling, cockroaches in operating rooms, oxygen equipment bound by scotch tape, and backed up sinks filled with blood.

As a hospital dedicated to “providing high-quality care to [your] community”, these claims from your staff who practice and engage with patients every day are alarming. As such, please respond to the following:

1. How does HCA currently ensure health and safety standards are met for patients and staff?

2. What aspects of the hospital’s operations are prioritized when budgeting for a fiscal year? How much of your hospital’s budget is devoted to patient safety?

3. What is the hospital’s current process for addressing concerns from staff? What is the average time that it takes for concerns to be addressed?

4. What is being done to address the allegations of poor working conditions mentioned in the NBC report from February 15?

5. What corrective actions have been taken to address AHCA’s previously identified deficiencies with patient safety?

6. How does HCA ensure that all personnel, including those who are hired by contractors, are meeting the hospital’s health and safety standards?

7. How does HCA ensure that an appropriate provide to patient ratio is maintained?

8. What actions do you plan to take to increase the CMS Overall Star Ratings score of one-star?

As a leading healthcare provider in the community and a recipient of American taxpayer dollars, it is critical that HCA Florida Bayonet Point prioritizes the health and safety of their patients and staff and is transparent about these standards with the public. Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your prompt response.


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