Nonprofits win fight over Fla. trauma centers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - An appellate court says a state rule allowing for additional hospital trauma centers is invalid.

The 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel Friday was a victory for four not-for-profit hospitals in Jacksonville, Tampa and St. Petersburg.

They had opposed plans by for-profit hospitals in outlying communities to also open trauma centers.

The 1st District Court of Appeal majority ruled the Florida Department of Health's rule allowing for the new facilities was out of date because it failed to reflect changes in state law made in 2005.

All three judges, though, rejected an argument by the not-for-profit hospitals that the rule was arbitrary and capricious.

The not-for-profit hospitals contend the new facilities would siphon off patients and harm their already strained financial conditions.

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