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Hearing Set In Trauma Dispute

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

An administrative law judge is scheduled to start hearing arguments April 18 in challenges by Broward County and two major hospital systems to a proposed Florida Department of Health rule for the state's trauma system.

Administrative Law Judge Darren Schwartz on Friday issued an order setting a hearing date in the consolidated challenges filed by Broward County, UF Health Jacksonville and the Public Health Trust of Miami-Dade County, which operates the Jackson Health System.

The challenges contend that the Department of Health overstepped its legal authority when it proposed a new rule that would determine how many trauma centers are allowed in 19 different areas of the state. Issues related to trauma-center locations have been highly controversial in recent years in the hospital industry.

In challenging the proposed rule, Broward and the Public Health Trust of Miami-Dade object to a possible reduction in the number of allowed trauma centers in their regions; UF Health Jacksonville objects to a potential increase in the number of trauma centers allowed in its five-county area.