Negotiated health care rulemaking committee named, prepared to meet

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Tampa General Hospital and Broward Health challenged the state's proposed rules for NICU beds in administrative court.

The Agency for HealthCare Administration on Friday released the names of the medical and nursing experts who will serve on a 17-member committee meant to “negotiate”new rules to regulate operation of intensive care units for some of the state’s sickest newborns.

Retired Judge Gregory P. Holder will serve as the mediator of the panel, according to the announcement published in the Florida Administrative Register. Holder was a Hillsborough County Judge for 26 years before retiring and joining Zinober Diana & Monteverde P.A. in Tampa.

The panel includes representatives from Jackson Health System, Broward Medical Center, Nemour’s, West Kendall Baptist Hospital, AdventHealth for Children and AdventHealth for Women, Ascension Florida & Gulf Coast, Broward Health Medical Center as well as the University of Florida and the University of South Florida.

AHCA Chief Bureau of Health Facility Laura MacLafferty and Amy Miles, a senior attorney at the agency, also have been appointed to the panel.

Though it’s rarely used, Florida law allows agencies to enter into a negotiated rulemaking process “when complex rules are being drafted or strong opposition to the rules is anticipated. Under the process, the agency is required to appoint a “committee of interested persons” and to publicly post the list of representatives.

Anyone who is not invited to serve on the committee who feels like their interests aren’t represented can serve on the committee so long as they apply within 30 days of the panel being named.

While the goal of the negotiated rule making process is to find agreement on a “mutually acceptable rule,”  there is no requirement that the agency move to adopt the negotiated rule.

AHCA announced it would employ the negotiated rulemaking process over the summer after the rules it drafted were challenged in state administrative court by Tampa General Hospital and Broward Health. The rules are necessary because the state eliminated the certificate of need program, which regulated high end tertiary services such as neonatal intensive care units.

AHCA Deputy Secretary for Health Quality Assurance Kim Smoak told members of the House Finance & Facilities Subcommittee the state wants to “aggressively” move forward with new rules.

Committee members are:

— Two medical experts in perinatal and/or neonatal medicine: Eduardo A. Otero, MD, MBA, FAAP, Broward Health Medical Center; and Tara Randis, MD, MS, associate professor of pediatrics, and the Pamela and Leslie Muma Chair in Neonatology at the University of South Florida.
— A medical expert in emergency medicine: Alberto R. Taño, MD, FAAP, president of the medical staff at West Kendall Baptist Hospital.
— A medical expert in pediatric cardiology: Anthony Fred Rossi, MD
— Two registered nurses with experience with neonatal care or neonatal intensive care units: Kim Outlaw, RN, BSN Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare; and Beckett S. Perkins, APRN
— Two neonatal medical directors for private hospitals: Mitchell E. Stern, MD, Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Instituteat Plantation General Hospital; and Rajan Wadhawan, MD, MMM, CPE, FAAP, senior executive officer for AdventHealth for Children and AdventHealth for Women
— Two neonatal medical directors for public hospitals, charity care, or safety net hospitals: Michael R. Gomez, MD, MS-HCA, FACHE, CPE  with 28 years practice in Neonatology and Pediatric practice; and Meredith E. Mowitz, MD, MS, medical director at UF Health Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
— A representative of the Pediatric Cardiology Technical Advisory Panel (PCTAP): Jeremy Ringewald, MD, FSCAI
— A representative of a children’s hospital: Martha G. McGill, MBA, MHA, Nemours’ chief of network operations and senior vice president for Florida
— An administrator from a hospital in a metropolitan area with a population of greater than 500,000 persons: Laura Hunteri, vice president of strategy and business development at Jackson Health System
— An administrator from a hospital in a metropolitan area with a population between 100,000 and 500,000 persons: Jason A. Foland, MD, MBA, CPE, FAAP, FCCM, chief medical officer at Studer Family Children’s Hospital, Children’s Services for Ascension Florida & Gulf Coast
— An administrator from a hospital in a rural area with a population of less than 100,000 persons: JoAnn Baker, Chief Executive Officer at Doctors Memorial
— Representatives of the Agency for Health Care Administration: Laura MacLafferty, AHCA chief of the bureau of health facility regulation; and Amy Miles, AHCA senior attorney

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


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