Hospitals could multiply in Florida as state cancels certificate-of-need requirement

Florida lawmakers eliminated a regulatory process that limited how many hospitals and specialty services could be built in the state, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Beginning July 1, general hospitals won't need to secure a certificate of need to build a facility or start a new service, such as pediatric and adult open-heart surgeries, organ transplants, neonatal intensive care units and rehab programs.

In two years, the second part of the bill will go into effect, which cancels the certificate of need requirement for some specialty hospitals, such as children's and women's hospitals, rehab hospitals, psychiatric and substance misuse hospitals, and others.

Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based AdventHealth and Orlando (Fla.) Health told the Orlando Sentinel they will accelerate their construction projects that were on deck to go through the certificate-of-need application or were tied up in regulatory red tape. Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare did not say how the change would affect its building plans in Florida.

Roughly 35 states have certificate-of-need laws, according to National Conference of State Legislatures data cited by the Orlando Sentinel.

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