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Florida House passes bill to make opening hospitals easier

March 21, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida House wants to eliminate a requirement that hospitals and other health care facilities show there is a demand for their services before getting licensed to build or expand.

The House voted 77-33 on Thursday to eliminate the certificate of need for hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities.

Republican bill sponsor Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen said eliminating the licensure requirement would increase competition among hospitals and therefore decrease health care costs.

Democrats opposed the bill, saying that it will benefit private hospitals that are now price gouging patients. Democratic Rep. Even Jenne said certificates of need are needed to make sure that the market isn’t oversaturated and that quality of care would be diminished.

A similar Senate bill is stalled in committee.