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Senate Health Panel Nixes Hospital Licensure Exemption Plan
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel

A Florida Senate health panel has killed a bill granting a new exemption to state hospital licensure rules.

Republican Senator Don Gaetz’s bill granted new facilities that promise to perform more charity care an exemption. Gaetz says he knew the bill would fail, but warns his opponents the battle may not be over yet.

“Providers who have a state granted franchise, a government protected market are reluctant to give up that monopoly. The question is, is that a business model that will survive this year or the year after?” He said.

The House and Governor Rick Scott want a full repeal of the rules, and a bill to do that is pending. The House has made a full repeal of certificate of need part of its plan to increase access to healthcare. Both of Florida’s major hospital association’s opposed Gaetz’s bill, citing concerns new facilities would cherry-pick patients. Hospitals and hospice organizations also oppose the House's plan.

The federal government repealed its certificate of need mandate in 1987, but the majority of states still have rules in place.

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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.