After nearly 14 years, the state has lifted the ban on construction of new nursing homes.
The Agency for Health Care Administration approved the construction of 22 new facilities and expansion of 11 existing ones, totaling more than 2,600 beds and $400 million in construction in 25 counties.
More than 540 of those beds are in Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, a total of four nursing homes and three expansions.
Industry advocates say that the new batch of nursing homes helps address the growing elderly population and upgrades the facilities to accommodate the needs of baby boomers.
"The denied applicants will say that in comparison with others they were the best. The approved applicant will be very aligned with AHCA and say that AHCA made the right decision," said Sonya Penley, a health-care attorney at the Tallahassee office of the Greenberg Traurig law firm.