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Health News Florida

Surgical Center Bill Re-Emerges In House

State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers
State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers

A House Republican on Thursday began renewing a push to allow patients to stay at ambulatory surgical centers for up to 24 hours and to allow the operation of longer-term "recovery care" centers.

State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, filed a bill ( HB 85) to address the issues during the 2016 legislative session. The House passed such a proposal during a special session in June, but the Senate did not go along.

Under current state law, patients are required to be discharged from ambulatory-surgical centers on the same day they undergo procedures.

But the Fitzenhagen bill would allow patients to stay overnight. Also, it would allow "recovery care" centers, where patients could stay up to 72 hours after surgery. Florida does not currently issue licenses to recovery-care facilities.

Parts of the hospital industry opposed House efforts to pass such a bill this year, raising concerns about issues such as profitable services being siphoned from hospitals to the other types of facilities.

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