This isn’t the redaction reaction we were hoping for
The Miami Herald’s recent admonishment of the Agency for Health Care Administration’s policy to remove and redact nursing home and assisted living inspections from FloridaHealthFinder.gov seems to have stirred a reaction from agency leaders, just not the one we were hoping for.
So what was AHCA’s reaction to the blistering report?
Did AHCA restore the inspections to their previous state? Did AHCA apologize to Florida’s families for limiting access to critical inspection information for the past several months? Did AHCA refund taxpayers the $22,000 squandered on this shrouding project?
Nope. Nope. And double-nope with an eye-rolling, sarcastic “are you kidding me”?!?
What AHCA did do was bask in the delight of its award-winning FloridaHealthFinder website that used to provide “easy access to health care information.” Yes, you read that correctly, AHCA was recognized as—get this—a “national leader in transparency” for designing such an “excellent tool for consumers.”
But the Herald’s reporting showed that the trophy AHCA so gleefully touted was awarded prior to the Agency’s implementation of its software algorithm that cloaks inspection reports. In other words, AHCA received the award for posting nursing home inspections in totality to FloridaHealthFinder—not for bleach-bitting them from the public’s view.
And if that’s the case, then AHCA should pack-up and mail their beloved trophy back to the awarding organization, the Center for Digital Government. It would only be fair—fair to Florida and fair to others competing for the award.
But since we all know that AHCA will never cough up the award on their own, we decided to offer some help.
That’s why Families for Better Care sent the letter below to the Center for Digital Government asking for the rescinding of the 2016 acknowledgment. We’re hoping that the “public embarrassment of AHCA losing this prestigious award would be the needed shock to awaken the Agency’s organizational conscience to how bad this redaction policy is for consumers.”
As we expressed to the Center for Digital Government, and as we have said publicly time and again, the singular response Families for Better Care is seeking from AHCA is the complete restoration of the nursing home and assisted living inspections as previously published to FloridaHealthFinder for years without concern.
And if the Agency did that, just that, we would happily drop our expectation of a public apology to residents and their families for this policy misstep. Now, as for the $22,000 expended, we’ll leave that to Florida’s legislature to sort out.
At the time of this writing, the Center for Digital Government has yet to respond to our correspondence and AHCA continues to scrub nursing home inspections from FloridaHealthFinder.