Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill streamlining the states certificate-of-need process. It includes a loser pays provision to cover a hospitals legal fees if there is an unsuccessful appeal after a CON has been granted by the state.
The bill was strongly supported by the Florida Hospital Association, said FHA Senior Vice President Ralph Glatfelter, who said the organization endorsed the bills focus on how a new or replacement facility would impact access and competition, and how it would provide service for indigent and Medicaid patients. It will streamline the process so, when a need is identified, the hospital will become a reality more rapidly, thus increasing access to services, Glatfelter said.
The loser pays provision requires parties that appeal a state CON decision to post a $1 million bond and to cover the other partys legal costs if the appeal fails. (For a longer version of this story, please click here.) -- by Andis Robeznieks