TAMPA — State health officials will hold a workshop at 9 a.m. Friday at the Hillsborough County Department of Health at 1105 E Kennedy Blvd. to discuss the fate of the state's provision trauma centers, including the one at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, which are at the center of a high profile legal fight over who gets to treat the most critically injured.
An independent team of experts will review Florida's hospital trauma center system after Bayfront Medical Center, Tampa General Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital challenged the state's decision to allow the HCA hospital chain to open new trauma centers at several hospitals, including Bayonet Point and Blake Medical Center in Bradenton. They argued that new centers weren't needed and would hurt existing programs.
Late last year, the 1st District Court of Appeal agreed with their argument that a 20-year-old state rule used to justify the new trauma programs is invalid. The ruling didn't mean that the HCA trauma centers must close. That's the subject of a separate case.
But after the ruling, state health officials began holding workshops on developing a statewide trauma system. They will seek guidance from American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma experts, who will start work this month.