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Out-of-state group airs TV ads as the trauma battle moves to Tallahassee

 A dispute between Florida hospitals over who should treat the most critically injured patients has hit the  airwaves.
"Powerful special interests are keeping us from the emergency care we need, restricting access, risking lives," says an advertisement depicting a car crash that has begun airing in Tallahassee. Viewers are urged to call their legislators in support of "life-saving" trauma care.
The advertisement was paid for by the 60 Plus Association, a Virginia-based organization that bills itself as the conservative alternative to the AARP.
Trauma care has been the subject of legal wrangling ever since the state Department of Health allowed the HCA hospital chain to open new trauma programs around the state. This provoked a lawsuit from several existing trauma centers, mostly located in the Tampa Bay region.
Late last year, Florida's second-highest court declared invalid a 20-year-old rule used to justify new trauma programs, handing at least a temporary victory to established programs that argued they would be hurt by the loss of trauma patients. The department of health is now in the process of rewriting the rules by which trauma centers are approved.
-- Letitia Stein, Tampa Bay Times


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No More Rick Scott

$1.7 Billion. That's how much the federal government fined Columbia/HCA for Medicare and Medicaid fraud that took place under Rick Scott's watch as CEO. That sum, which ultimately led to Scott's ouster, set a record for the largest fine of its kind in history. To this day, he has yet to fully answer for his inability to spot and stop Columbia/HCA's systemic overbilling. In a recent debate, Scott said only, "I made sure patients were taken care of. I really could have done a better job to hire more internal and external auditors." And while Scott has previously blamed underlings, former Columbia/HCA accountant and FBI informant John Schilling doesn't buy it: "I can’t say what he knew or didn’t know, but he should have known what was making up the majority of the revenues of the company," he told the Palm Beach Post.

- The Rap Sheet on Rick Scott, Andy Kroll

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