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Florida Brain-Injury Center Gets Surprise Inspection

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Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Investigators from three state agencies conducted a surprise inspection today of the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation, a brain-injury treatment center where some patients were allegedly abused or neglected.

Florida state officials didn’t say what they found at the 196-bed institute, a closely held company known as FINR. The center is one of the largest in the country and draws patients from across the U.S.

“We are all concerned about the care, safety and well-being of the residents of the Florida Institute of Neurological Rehabilitation,” said Liz Dudek, secretary of the state Agency for Health Care Administration, which licenses the center.

In addition to that agency, investigators from the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Health participated in the inspection of the FINR campus in Wauchula, Florida, about 50 miles from Tampa.

The agencies said in a news release that they will review the information gathered and determine the most appropriate plan of response depending on the findings.

“FINR welcomes any inspection and visit from state regulators, as they always have, and are confident they will find that the safety and welfare of FINR patients is their top priority,” said Wayne J. Miller, an attorney for the company.

Bloomberg reported this week that Florida regulators ended inquiries into the death of a patient at FINR and cases of alleged abuse over doubts about their agencies’ legal authority.

“Today shows inter-agency collaboration in action as we work together to protect patients and promote safe environments,” said John Armstrong, surgeon general of the Department of Health.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: David Armstrong in Boston at darmstrong16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gary Putka at gputka@bloomberg.net

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