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Bayfront Health Challenges State Over Northside Trauma Center Proposal

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
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The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Bayfront Health is fighting the state over another hospital's request to open a second trauma center in St. Petersburg.  

Bayfront says the request by Northside Hospital will have a devastating effect on its own trauma center.

Bayfront Health requested a hearing to decide whether the state is allowed to consider Northside's application. The hospital filed a letter of request to open the trauma center in September and later filed an application, according to the state’s Department of Health.

Bayfront says Northside has failed to show a need for another trauma center in the Tampa Bay area.

That is required under a state law, which caps the number of trauma centers in Florida. Lawmakers are considering removing that cap this year.  

The Tampa Bay area has three Level 2 trauma centers at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson. Tampa General Hospital has the region’s only Level 1 trauma center.  

Trauma centers are classified by levels based on the services they provide. For example Level 1 trauma centers must have a trauma surgeon in the hospital at all times. Surgeons at Level 2 trauma centers can be on-call.

Bayfront's petition says another trauma center would result in a duplication of services, which would impact quality of care and revenue at the hospital.

The petition says the state could rule on Northside's request after April 30.

Bayfront is part of Community Health Systems, based in Tennessee. Northside is run by HCA, also based in Tennessee. 

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.