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Bills: Trauma Centers, Med Tourism

Lawmakers are evaluating bills that could keep disputed trauma centers open and could help make Florida a medical tourism hotspot, the Ledgerof Lakeland and Orlando Business Journal report.

The Health Innovation Subcommittee on Tuesday will consider a plan (PCB HIS 14-01) that saves trauma centers that have been open at least a year and have applied for a site visit from the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, reports the Ledger. While the does not name specific centers, those in Manatee, Pasco and Marion Counties are expected to be directly affected, the Ledger reports.

Meanwhile, two other bills (SB 1150, HB 1223) target medical tourism, by promoting health care business growth and marketing to travelers seeking medical treatment in the state, the Journal reports.

According to a MedCity News report, medical tourism is a $40 billion global industry, with more than 800,000 patients traveling to the United States for treatment in 2012. The bill would help Central Florida diversify its visitor-based economy and highlight its expanding medical research business, according to the Journal

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.