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Debate Lingers Over Trauma Centers, Fees

HCA Healthcare’s argument that their trauma centers save the lives of more Floridians is based on internal research that’s yet to be released to the public, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

In a review of state hospital records, the Times found that about the same number of people died in Florida trauma centers before and after HCA’s trauma center expansion. And experts say a decline in deaths from traumatic injury likely started as far back as 2006, before HCA opened any trauma centers, reported the Times, which published an investigation last month criticizing HCA and other trauma centers for charging “fees” that cost patients tens of thousands of dollars.

The Tampa Bay Times also conducted a survey of lawmakers last week asking them if they would support three measures experts say address the large fees charged to trauma patients. According to the Times, almost a quarter of the Legislature responded that they would support each measure. 

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.