TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Miami Children’s Hospital has been given the green light by the state to add a specialized labor and delivery unit.
Governor Rick Scott signed a wide-ranging health bill into law on Friday. In addition to the labor unit, the measure will also make oral medications more affordable to cancer patients and could lead to trauma centers at the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, new nursing homes at The Villages and some other large retirement communities.
The measure became controversial in the final days of the legislative session, in part because of a debate about whether Miami Children’s Hospital should be able to have an obstetrics unit that would serve women with high-risk pregnancies.
Some other South Florida hospitals fought the idea.
Debate also was heavy about part of the bill aimed at preventing health insurers from requiring cancer patients to pay higher costs for oral medications than they do for intravenous medications.
A coalition of groups, the Alliance for Access to Cancer Care, thanked Scott and lawmakers for passing the measure.
“Thanks to this new law, Florida’s cancer patients will see improved access to the medications and treatments they need to battle their disease, as this law addresses the unfairly high out-of-pocket costs too often associated with orally-administered cancer treatments,” the alliance said in a statement.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.