TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that he will work with the Legislature to fight for Florida families to ensure health care works for patients and not for hospitals’ bottom lines. Last year, Governor Scott championed and signed House Bill 1175 and House Bill 221 to increase transparency for Florida hospitals and patients to fight against hospital price gouging.
Governor Scott said, “This session, I want to fight to make the healthcare system fair for families and ensure health care works for patients and not for hospitals’ bottom lines. I will champion legislation that will repeal the outdated certificate of need program, repeal the cap on trauma centers and ensure transparent and upfront pricing for patients.
“I’ve traveled across our state and spoken with Floridians who have been charged unconscionable prices for procedures. The way patients are charged for services at the hospital should mirror a free market system. We must ensure that prices and quality outcomes are aligned so Floridians receive the best care possible when they visit a health care facility. We will also continue to make sure hospitals provide patients with anticipated costs prior to receiving services.
“I look forward to working with our sponsors Senator Bradley and Representative Alex Miller who have committed to fighting to repeal outdated certificate of need regulations. We will continue to work with the Legislature on these important measures to help bring greater access, quality, transparency and fairness to patients.”
Governor Scott will fight for legislation that will do the following:
- Repeal the outdated certificate of need program – Governor Scott wants to eliminate barriers for new health care facilities in order to increase competition and eliminate government restrictions on the availability of health care services. This will enable nursing homes, hospice services and hospitals to add needed beds without having to request a review. This will also allow Florida hospitals, nursing homes and hospice services to add facilities for those who are in most need, without making them wait due to red tape regulations. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, by 2010 there were 14 different states that had no existing certificate of need programs, including California, Texas and Pennsylvania.
- Repeal the cap on trauma centers – Governor Scott wants to repeal the statewide cap of 44 trauma centers in order to create a free market approach to allow future growth of trauma centers in Florida. This will ensure accessibility to high quality care for severely injured patients throughout Florida. It will also allow verification of trauma centers to be completed by a national accrediting organization to ensure Florida’s trauma centers are evaluated by a trusted national standard. Capping trauma centers, which is currently done in Florida, adds barriers for Floridians that are in need of immediate care due to severe injury.
- Ensure transparent and upfront pricing for patients – Governor Scott will continue to keep fighting for patients and protect families against surprise medical costs by requiring hospitals, insurers and practitioners to provide patients with anticipated costs prior to receiving services.