A preliminary decision by the state to approve a new hospice program in Pasco County faces legal challenges from two companies that were turned down.
The state Agency for Health Care Administration, which gave approval to Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care of Pasco County, received challenges from The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast and Compassionate Care Hospice of Pasco. The companies are challenging the preliminary decision to authorize Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care’s proposed $719,500 project and the state’s decisions to deny their license applications.
Florida uses what is known as the “certificate of need” process to regulate new health-care services and programs such as hospice. AHCA on March 30 published a need for one new hospice program in Pasco County beginning in July 2019. Ultimately, eight companies filed CON applications to provide the services.
On Aug. 17, the agency gave preliminary approval to the application filed by Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care. In its application, Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care told regulators that, if the application was approved, the company would ensure access to hospice care for homeless people. The application said the company initially would provide $10,000 to provide hospice services to homeless people and would incrementally increase that funding. By the fourth year of operations, the company would commit $30,000 annually to support homeless services.