February 11, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – Associated Industries of Florida’s Florida Hospital Council (FHC) today advocated the continued need for the state’s Certificate of Need (CON) requirements for hospitals. Governor Crist is expected to propose deregulating the CON process this year.
“Eliminating CON would encourage the building of potentially unnecessary hospitals which only offer limited services,” said Barney Bishop, president and CEO of AIF. “These additional hospitals would only lead to high costs and will have a negative financial and staffing impact on existing healthcare facilities that have a history of serving local community needs.”
Governor Crist is asking the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to draft a bill that would eliminate the CON process. CON was established in 1973 to prevent the unnecessary duplication of health care services and facilities by requiring providers to obtain state approval prior to incurring significant capital expenditures or initiating new services.
“Healthcare is an issue that consistently polls as a top concern among Floridians who are seeking high quality and affordable medical care,” said Bob Broadway, FHC chairman. “We should not create a system where unnecessary and duplicative services are offered within the same community. This scenario would strain the ability of our state’s current hospitals that are committed to serving Florida’s medically needy patients and other local residents.”
The Florida Hospital Council points to key issues for consideration:
“With the growing number of uninsured persons in Florida, providing affordable and quality healthcare becomes even more challenging. In addition, the state faces a shortage of doctors and nurses, said Bryan Anderson, FHC member. “Opening the doors to new and unneeded hospitals will greatly exacerbate these serious healthcare problems.”
Florida Hospital Council members say the state’s certificate of need process has been in place since 1973 and its working well. Existing hospitals are able to provide growing communities adequate access to affordable and effective healthcare by adding beds and new or expanded medical services.