House bill allows additional care at surgical centers

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Drawing criticism from the hospital industry, the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee passed a bill on Monday that would allow ambulatory surgical centers to provide longer patient care.

HB 7111, filed by Rep. Greg Steube and passed in a 7-5 vote permits patients to stay in short-term facilities for up to 24 hours.

Current law requires discharging the patients on the same working day and does not allow overnight stays.

If passed, he bill opens the door for the creation of “recovery care centers,” a place where patients could go for up to 72 hours for rehabilitation and other care.

“It is about the patient and providing the best health care for that patient,” Steube aid prior to the vote. Opponents say the bill could result in patients shifting away from hospitals, including patients with insurance.

“This is not the time to start creating new entities to take patients out of hospitals,” said Florida Hospital Association general counsel Bill Bell.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.