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Proposal Would Revamp Trauma Center Law

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

A House Republican wants to revamp a law that helps determine where trauma centers can open, including eliminating a cap of 44 trauma centers statewide.

Rep. Jay Trumbull, R-Panama City, filed the bill Wednesday for the annual legislative session that starts next week. It comes after years of legal battles among hospitals and the Florida Department of Health about whether trauma centers should be allowed to open.

Under current law, the state is divided into 19 regions, with at least one trauma center allowed in each region and a statewide cap of 44. Trumbull's bill (HB 1165) would keep the 19 regions but eliminate the statewide cap and use a population-based formula to set minimum numbers of trauma centers.

For example, it would determine a need for at least two trauma centers in any region with a population greater than 1.25 million. Similarly, in any region with a population greater than 2.5 million, it would determine a need for a minimum of four trauma centers.