BJ 12-12

Licensed Bed Capacity for Nursing Homes

WHEREAS,   pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., a state of emergency was declared through Proclamation No. 92 BJ 2012;
WHEREAS,   Tropical Storm Isaac is currently located in the Gulf of Mexico, moving northwestward;
WHEREAS,   the National Weather Service forecasts Tropical Storm Isaac to strengthen into a hurricane within the next 24 hours and has issued a hurricane warning for southeastern Louisiana;
WHEREAS,   this storm poses a threat to citizens and communities across the Gulf Coast and creates conditions which place lives and property in the state in jeopardy;
WHEREAS,   the State of Louisiana desires to promote and protect the health, safety, and well- being of all Louisiana residents, and specifically those residents in nursing facilities;
WHEREAS,   R.S. 40:2116(D)(2) prohibits the Department of Health and Hospitals from approving additional beds in nursing facilities;
WHEREAS,   the State of Louisiana desires that residents in nursing facilities be able to temporarily evacuate to safe sheltering locations during an emergency; and
WHEREAS,   the State of Louisiana, recognizing the potential significance of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac, desires to minimize the impact of the Tropical Storm/Hurricane on the residents of nursing facilities;
WHEREAS,   R.S. 29:724 authorizes the Governor during a declared state of emergency to suspend the provisions of any State regulatory statute prescribing procedures for conducting State business, or the orders, rules or regulations of any State agency, if strict compliance with the provision of any State statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency;
NOW THEREFORE, I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1:  The Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals may, at his discretion, establish such protocols, policies, and procedures as to allow a licensed nursing facility which accepts or receives evacuated residents to temporarily exceed its licensed bed capacity in the event of a declared emergency.
SECTION 2:  The Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals may establish such protocols, policies, and procedures without strict compliance with the requirements and provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.
SECTION 3:  This Order is effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until amended, modified, terminated or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 27th day of August, 2012.

Bobby Jindal

Tom Schedler
Secretary of State