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Repeal of 'certificate of need' laws proposed

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A House Republican on Monday proposed a wide-ranging bill that would repeal the state's "certificate of need" laws, which help determine whether hospitals, nursing homes and hospice facilities are built.

The proposal (HB 7), filed by Rep. Alex Miller, R-Sarasota, is an initial step in refueling a long-running debate about the certificate-of-need regulatory process.

The debate, which likely will play out during the legislative session that starts March 7, would come after House GOP leaders have pushed unsuccessfully in the past to end certificates of need for hospitals.

Under the certificate-of-need process, the state Agency for Health Care Administration reviews proposed health-care projects and decides whether they should be allowed to move forward.

The process often leads to legal battles within health-care industries about whether new facilities should be built.

Miller's bill is broader than past legislation because it also would repeal certificates of need for nursing homes and hospice facilities.