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FL Bill Aims to Deregulate Hospital Construction

Monday, June 3, 2019

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A bill making its way through Florida would deregulate the construction process for new hospitals, effectively putting such projects on a fast track.

House Bill 21 would end the state’s Certificate of Need review of general hospitals as well as end the oversight of “tertiary hospital services,” which includes structures such as neonatal intensive care units.

What’s Going On?

According to the News-Press, Florida’s 50-year-old CON law requires health care providers to get state approval to build or expand certain types of facilities.

mgahura / Getty Images

A bill making its way through Florida would deregulate the construction process for new hospitals, effectively putting such projects on a fast track.

The House voted 81-34 to pass the bill after the Senate passed in a 23-17 vote.

The CON regulations have reportedly been a hot topic in Florida for years. The regulation requires hospitals to receive a certificate of need from the state Agency for Health Care Administration before they can build new facilities or provide tertiary services.

The CON program is not completely repealed, however, as the bill maintains the requirement for nursing homes, hospices and intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled.

The CON process, which can get lengthy in its reviews, was designed to control the growth of healthcare facilities, mainly to ensure equal access to services.

Advocates for the measure say it will create a “free market” environment and drive prices down. Opponents argue that without the review process, hospitals could move forward without requirements such as inclusion of an emergency room, Medicaid acceptance and provisions for uninsured patients.

If Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the bill, it would take effect July 1.

   

Tagged categories: Good Technical Practice; Government; Health Care/Hospitals; Laws and litigation; NA; North America; Regulations

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