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House refuses broader health care provisions added to surgical center expansion


Disagreement over health care policy changes is playing out in real time the last day of the legislative session as the House and Senate push back on one another’s priorities.

This morning, the House refused to agree with a long list of issues tacked onto their priority legislation (HB 85) creating recovery care centers earlier this week by the Senate.

Among them are expanded immunity from lawsuits for free clinics, a provision banning “fail first” policies in which health plans require patients to try cheaper treatments even if doctors think something else may be more effective and requiring surgical centers to see charity care patients.

“This is not the bill that we sent,” Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, said on the House floor. “This is no longer just recovery care centers, and I just want to make sure we all know that.”

The House has made ambulatory surgical centers and recovery care centers a key part of its free-market health care agenda. They want to extend the hours that patients can stay at ambulatory surgical centers to 24 hours and create recovery care centers that can treat those patients for the following 72 hours.

It’s not a priority for the Senate, which explains why the chamber tacked on a number of its priorities, a common tactic that’s called creating a “train” in Tallahassee-speak.

By not agreeing to the broader bill, the House sent the bill back to the Senate as time ticks toward the end of session later today.