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Gail Matillo Opinion: Florida Officials Needs to Stand Up for Local Hospitals

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Florida’s senior population is one of the largest in the country, and it continues to grow as more individuals reach retirement age. Many of them choose assisted living communities because they want to maintain a certain level of independence and self-care.

When they do need medical attention or experience an emergency, they are usually transported to local hospitals, which are always open and ready to treat patients with the most complex medical conditions. Florida seniors rely on these healthcare systems to be effective and functional, which is becoming increasingly difficult as more and more regulations are being implemented by the federal government.

Now more than ever, we need elected officials in Washington, including our Florida delegation, to stand up for our local hospitals and ensure the federal government is not unnecessarily adding burdensome regulations that take valuable resources and time away from providing the best level of patient care possible, especially for our seniors.

Legislation like the No Surprises Act and the federal Hospital Price Transparency Rule exist to hold these healthcare systems accountable; adding more red tape will only tax providers who are already struggling financially and stretched thin. Instead, we should be celebrating the vast improvements that providers are making to ensure patients have access to useful information. Seniors can make better choices about their health when they can receive more accurate estimates for costs and out-of-pocket expenses.

Florida’s seniors deserve the very best we can offer them, and this includes making sure the local hospitals they rely on are both well-resourced and able to care for them without unnecessary complications. Congress should instead focus on enforcing current laws, which are making a difference for patients.

Gail Matillo is the president and CEO of the Florida Senior Living Association.

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