Health officials: South Florida has twice as many trauma centers as needed

Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties in South Florida need just three adult trauma centers, according to state regulators. However, the three counties have a total of six, the Miami Herald reported.

Florida's safety net hospitals have raised concerns over the number of trauma centers the Department of Health has proposed authorizing for each of 19 regions across the state.

Lindy Kennedy, president of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, wrote a letter to the department saying it failed to address "the important issue of what actions are needed when the number of allocated trauma centers … is less than the number of operating verified trauma centers," according to the report.

Department of Health spokesperson Mara Gambineri said in a statement that the updated rules would result in the closure of any existing trauma center. "The allocation rule does not provide authority for the revocation of the license of an existing trauma center. The allocation rule details the need [if any] in each trauma service area for additional [new] trauma centers, and provides authority to the department to accept applications, where such new trauma centers are warranted."

But the safety-net hospitals are worried because it isn't clear what will happen to the trauma centers when their licenses have to be renewed. To this point, Ms. Kennedy said in a statement, "[The alliance] believes that all existing trauma centers that are compliant with state and federal standards should be eligible for recertification, which occurs every seven years, regardless of the number of trauma centers that are allocated," according to the report.

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