With the House ready to move quickly on the issue, a Senate Republican on Wednesday filed a proposal to repeal the long-controversial “certificate of need” regulatory process for hospitals.
Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed the measure (SB 1492) as lawmakers prepare to start the 2018 session next Tuesday. Brandes' bill is identical to a House version (HB 27), filed by Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, that is ready to go to the full House for a vote.
Under certificate-of-need laws, hospitals are required to get approval from the state Agency for Health Care Administration before they can build facilities or add new services. House Republican leaders and Gov. Rick Scott have long wanted to repeal the regulations but have been stymied in the Senate.
The Brandes and Fitzenhagen bills would only address hospitals, keeping in place the certificate-of-need process for nursing homes and hospice facilities.