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House-Backed Ambulatory, Recovery Care Center Bill Gets Powerful Senate Sponsor

A revamped health care agenda is starting to take shape ahead of next year’s lawmaking session. Last regular session The Florida House and Senate clashed over whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate lost its Medicaid Expansion plan and the House’s alternative proposals failed. Now a House-backed measure has gotten a Senate sponsor in Niceville Republican, Don Gaetz. The measure would allow longer stays at out-patient clinics and create recovery care centers, with a goal of cutting hospital costs. Republican Rep. Jason Brodeur recently endorsed them before the Governor’s hospital funding commission, saying ambulatory care centers can do many of the same surgeries for less.

“The average charge for a colonoscopy by site was $4,800 at a hospital based facility and $2,000 at an ambulatory surgical center," Brodeur told the commission during a presentation last month.

 Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers is carrying the bill in the House. Hospitals opposed the measure earlier this year in favor of Medicaid Expansion.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas. She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.