April 16, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis asked to waive Florida’s certificate of need law for ambulances

Tallahassee, Florida; April 16, 2020: A Florida medical transportation company is asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to suspend regulations that prevent the company from providing crucial services during the COVID-19 crisis.

Brewster Ambulance Service has permission to operate only in Collier County. Last year, the company tried to expand service to neighboring Lee County, where there is only one ambulance provider. But Brewster was blocked by rules that force medical transport companies to prove that there is a need for their service before they can open. Today, Pacific Legal Foundation sent a letter to Gov. DeSantis asking him to suspend the rules — known as Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity — during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Governors in 18 other states have already suspended certificate requirements like Florida’s, which impede dynamic healthcare responses in our fast-changing and life-threatening crisis,” the letter says. “Forcing Brewster to wait for permission to operate until local bureaucrats deem the business ‘needed’ puts Floridians’ lives in danger.”

Florida is one of only five states that require ambulance companies to prove there is demand for their services before they open.

“Coronavirus isn’t limited by county lines, and Florida’s medical response shouldn’t be either,” said Anastasia Boden, a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “Rules like Florida’s are irrational under normal circumstances, but they are particularly unreasonable during a global pandemic when entrepreneurs in all fields need the flexibility to adapt to quickly changing conditions.”

PLF’s letter to Gov. DeSantis is available here.

Case Documents

Pacific Legal Foundaation case document
PLF Letter to Gov. DeSantis
April 16, 2020 Download

About Pacific Legal Foundation

Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 39 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 12 victories out of 14 cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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