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The Florida Senate

CS/HB 1157 — Freestanding Emergency Departments

by Health and Human Services Committee and Rep Koster and others (CS/SB 1976 by Appropriations Committee and Senator Brodeur)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Health Policy Committee (HP)

The bill defines the term “hospital-based off-campus emergency department” (HBOCED) and amends current law to draw a stronger distinction between HBOCEDs and urgent care centers (UCC). The bill restricts an HBOCED from holding itself out as a UCC and requires that a HBOCED clearly identify itself as an emergency department (ED) and post signage in conspicuous areas that specified that the HBOCED is an ED and not a UCC. The bill also includes similar identity transparency requirements for all HBOCED advertising.

The bill requires the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to publish the following information on its website, which must be updated at least annually:

  • A description of the differences between an HBOCED and a UCC;
  • At least two examples illustrating the cost differences between non-emergent care provided in a hospital ED setting and a UCC;
  • An interactive tool for consumers to locate local urgent care centers; and
  • Steps to take in the event of a true emergency.

Hospitals must post a link to the information provided by AHCA on a prominent location on their websites.

The bill also requires a health insurer to post on its website at least two examples illustrating the impact on insured and insurer paid amounts of inappropriate utilization of nonemergent services and care in a hospital ED setting, compared to a UCC and an interactive tool to locate in-network and out-of-network UCCs.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2021.

Vote: Senate 39-1; House 118-0