Freestanding ER drops 'H' highway sign after hospital complains

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota has resolved a dispute with the Florida Department of Transportation over its use of a D9-2 hospital symbol sign directing people to a standalone emergency room, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

The department of transportation approved use of the D9-2 sign, which is blue and features a white "H" for hospital, for Doctors Hospital's ER facility in Lakewood Ranch in March 2018, when the facility began operations. After the department received a complaint from a competing hospital in the area that August, the state agency claimed Doctors Hospital didn't meet the criteria for a D9-2, Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. The criteria requires ER facilities to maintain on-site emergency medical transportation for patients.

Doctors Hospital argued that the facility does meet that requirement, but representatives opted to settle the dispute rather than continue the legal challenge. The department of transportation will replace the "H" on the highway with a sign that reads "Emergency Medical Care" with a directional arrow.

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