February 10, 2013

ACS Evaluates Florida's Trauma System

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) requested the consultation of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Trauma Committee to evaluate Florida's Trauma System since the trauma center rule was held invalid by the court. The ACS review was conducted Feb. 2-5 in Tallahassee and included 18 hours of stakeholder sessions. ACS will submit its final report containing 80-100 recommendations to DOH in the next several weeks. FHA will distribute this report as soon as it is available. In the meantime, view presentation materials along with the following summary of ACS's preliminary recommendations:  

    • Florida should impose a moratorium on new trauma center designation until the trauma center plan has been updated.

    • The trauma community must establish a clear vision and statewide trauma system plan that is based on the needs of patients and communities and is developed in consensus by stakeholders. ACS stated "inclusivity" does not equal "deregulation" and that consistent, objective and transparent processes are needed.

    • FDOH should appoint a new Florida trauma system advisory council. The council should be multi-disciplinary and should include representation from Trauma Center hospitals and non-Trauma Center hospitals.

    • The Florida trauma system plan should be revised to address current challenges.  Specifically, a current needs assessment should be conducted; the system for distributing trauma funds should be revised; protocols and the outdated rules for trauma center designation should be revised.  

    • Trauma center funding is currently based on volume, which creates adverse incentives and competition.  The system should be revised to address patient acuity and costs associated with readiness/resource investment.

    • Current trauma regions should be realigned with the Domestic Security Task Force regions.

    • An assessment of definitive care sites should be conducted. The parameters defined in current statute should be used as the assessment framework.

    • Statewide protocols for patient destination determination should be established.

    • DOH should implement the next-generation trauma registry and include data from all acute care facilities.

    • DOH has also been conducting rule workshops around the state for input in developing the new rule.