FLORIDA: Issues First-In-Nation Pediatric Care Standards
Within two weeks, Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration will send copies of new statewide pediatric care standards to hospitals and hopes to implement them as soon as July 1 -- making the state the nation's first to develop separate rules for care of children, the St. Petersburg Times reports. Developed in response to cases in which children received poor care at hospitals that were ill-equipped to serve them, the standards are intended to ensure facilities caring for children have the "necessary equipment, staffing and experience" and that parents are aware of those facilities best-suited for pediatric patients, state officials said. For example, under the new standards, anesthesiologists working with children younger than two years old must annually treat at least 25 children in that age group. The standards will designate facilities as primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary pediatric hospitals; the latter requires the hospital to have a pediatric research program and all levels of care, including organ transplants. State officials expect some hospitals to challenge the stringent rules, which will prohibit some facilities from offering certain services unless more resources are added (Allison, 5/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.