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News & Press: Legislative News

'CON' health care proposals continue rolling in

Wednesday, March 13, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: DCMS
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The News Service of Florida
By NSF Staff


While House Speaker Jose Oliva seeks to eliminate “certificate of need” regulations in the health-care system, Florida hospitals continue to submit CON applications to the state. The Agency for Health Care Administration received eight applications for new hospitals and services this month.

Three competing companies have submitted applications to open rehabilitation hospitals in Hillsborough County. Applications have been submitted by Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Hillsborough County, which wants to establish a 50-bed comprehensive medical rehabilitation hospital; Florida Health Science Center, which wants to open a 59-bed comprehensive medical rehabilitation hospital; and Galencare, which wants to open a 30-bed comprehensive medical rehabilitation unit at Brandon Regional Hospital.

Meanwhile, North Florida Regional Medical Center has submitted two CON applications for services in Alachua County, one to open an 80-bed adult psychiatric hospital and another for a 30-bed comprehensive medical rehabilitation hospital. Also, HCA Health Services of Florida has submitted a CON application for a 30-bed comprehensive medical rehabilitation unit in Hernando County; Sacred Heart Health System has submitted a CON application for a 10-bed level II neonatal intensive care unit at the Hospital on the Emerald Coast in Walton County; and Miami Beach HealthCare Group has submitted a CON application for a comprehensive medical rehabilitation unit of up to 30 beds at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center in Miami-Dade County.

The CON regulatory process has long been controversial and helps determine whether hospitals and other facilities can be built and whether certain services can be offered.

Oliva and other House leaders argue that eliminating the process would lead to a more free-market approach to health care.

The House Health & Human Services Committee is scheduled Thursday to take up a bill (HB 21) that would eliminate the CON program.