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House backs 'recovery care' proposal

With Republican leaders seeking to scale back health-care regulations, the House on Thursday approved a bill that would allow patients to stay longer at ambulatory-surgical centers and allow the creation of "recovery care centers."

House members voted 79-34 to approve the bill (HB 145), sponsored by Rep. Paul Renner, a Palm Coast Republican who said it would lead to greater access to care and lower costs.

Current law bars patients from staying overnight at ambulatory-surgical centers, but the bill would allow stays up to 24 hours.

Also, it would allow the creation of recovery care centers, where patients could stay up to 72 hours after procedures.

The House will have to work out differences on the bill with the Senate.

A Senate version (SB 222) would allow the longer stays at ambulatory-surgical centers but does not include authorizing recovery care centers.

Rep. Don Hahnfeldt, R-The Villages, joined 33 Democrats in opposing the House bill Thursday.