House committee files bill to keep currently operating trauma centers open

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The ongoing legal battles over trauma centers across the state have now made it to the Florida Legislature.

On Tuesday, a House subcommittee hears up a bill ensuring the continued operation of the contested HCA-operated trauma centers in Manatee, Marion and Pasco Counties.

The News Service of Florida reports the Health Innovation Subcommittee filed the bill allowing trauma centers to remain open if they meet certain criteria, such as continuous operation for a 12-month period and the submission of an application for an inspection by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.

The clear intent of the bill is to allow currently operating trauma centers to remain open.

Trauma centers at Blake Medical Center in Manatee County, Ocala Regional Medical Center in Marion County and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Pasco County have been the subject of pending lawsuits, which threaten their continued operation, according to the News Service.

Hospitals with long-standing trauma centers in Tampa Bay, Jacksonville and Gainesville are challenging the approval of new facilities by the Department of Health, claiming that the rules used were invalid.

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.