Bill Would Allow HCA Trauma Centers to continue

Law would allow HCA to continue trauma care

Tallahassee, FL - We just told you this week how Hospital Corporation of America hospitals are charging more than any other hospitals in the state for trauma care.

Now HCA is turning to state lawmakers in hopes that it can keep open those profitable trauma centers.

The corporation doled out $1.7 million in political contributions in Florida in the 2014 election cycle.

HCA now hopes state legislators will keep them in the trauma business. A proposed law would allow three new trauma centers at Bayonet Point, Blake and Ocala to survive a court challenge to shut them down.

More-established Florida trauma centers have filed lawsuits saying the state board of health shouldn't have allowed them to open in the first place.

Our investigation in partnership with the Tampa Bay Times uncovered that average daily charges at HCA’s new trauma centers are 43 percent higher than at other hospitals and some HCA trauma centers charge a fee of up to $33,000 the second a trauma patient arrives.

“We've heard a lot about charges in these facilities in the last few days, but costs and reimbursements in trauma care is a complicated matter not addressed in this bill,” said Jason Brodeur, the chairman of the House Health Innovation Subcommittee.

The bill passed its first hurdle, clearing the subcommittee by an 8-to-4 margin.

We tried to contact all of those committee members, but only heard back from Brodeur, who said his bill didn't include fees, but he looks forward to researching the issue further.

You can contact the legislators on the committee and let them know your thoughts.

House Health Innovation Subcommittee Representatives:

Jason Brodeur

Mia Jones

Ronald Renuart

Greg Steube

Mike Hill

Jake Raburn

David Richardson

Kionne McGhee

Sharon Pritchett

MaryLynn Magar

Joe Gibbons

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