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Bill advances that bans some referrals

A bill that would ban doctors from referring patients to clinics in which they own a stake won unanimous approval Wednesday from the Senate Health and Rehabilitative Services Committee.

A similar bill has been approved by House committees. The bills go to the floor of the House and Senate next, where they face substantial opposition from the Florida Medical Association.

Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop joined supporters of the bill Wednesday and urged the state's doctors and legislators to end the practice.

Koop compared "self-referrals" to kickback schemes and said they are the result of greed.

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