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Hospital Leaders Urge Legislators Not to Further Destabilize Florida's Healthcare Landscape
Date:3/11/2008

osed. Mrs. Spivey spoke out against limited service hospitals.

Additionally, hospital leaders say the current, 35-year-old Certificate of Need process is working -- it has promoted orderly, competitive growth of full-service hospitals and beds. Since 1999, 28 acute care hospitals have been authorized in Florida: 21 new and 7 replacement hospitals. And since 2004, full-service hospitals have added 1,941 beds, with another 2,391 in development.

Hospital leaders also raised concerns that limited service hospitals will aggravate Florida's existing shortage of doctors, nurses and health workers. Already, 16 hospitals are exempt from state rules that require them to provide certain emergency services 24/7, due to a shortage of physician specialists. In 2006, Florida's Agency for Workforce Innovation projected that the state will need another 112,843 health workers by 2014 -- with huge gaps projected in registered nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists and radiologists.

"Hospitals across Florida are already working hard to maintain adequate numbers of physician specialists, nurses and other health workers," Goldfarb said. "Eliminating the planning process for new hospitals and opening the door to the unchecked growth of limited service hospitals will only reduce healthcare access and patient safety."


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SOURCE Florida Hospital Association; Safety Net Hospital Allianceof
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