When it comes to highly specialized hospital programs, practice makes perfect.
The intricate ballet of say operating on an infant’s heart means hospitals with such programs need the patient pool limited so they can be proficient. As a result, few have such a program.
This is why when competitors say they want to establish a specialized unit they must obtain a certificate of need. It may sound bureaucratic but the certificate of need tests whether a community actually needs a hospital to expand.
Gov. Rick Scott and some legislators once again want to blow up the law that would make it necessary for hospitals to prove there is a need in the community for a service or another hospital. The result could be a free-for-all in a hospital competition that is already cut-throat in Florida.
The News Service of Florida reports that lining up with the governor are House leaders, Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island. They filed a proposal last week that would eliminate the state’s “certificate of need” regulatory process.
The News Service story reported that the certificate of need process determines whether hospitals, nursing homes and hospice facilities are built.
But SB 676 also says that the regulation the restriction be removed for hospitals looking to improve or expand a public facility.
Under the process, the state Agency for Health Administration reviews projects and determining whether they should be allowed to move forward.
Scott and House Republican leaders have failed to get this measure passed the Senate previously.
“By eliminating the state’s restrictive CON process we’ll increase competition and drive down the cost of health care for Floridians,” Bradley said in a prepared statement.
“For years, this cumbersome process has been used to block the expansion of facilities and restrict competition. So, in addition to driving costs, we should also see a significant economic impact in terms of the creation of new jobs by removing this barrier.”