JEFFERSON CITY - On the Missouri Senate floor Thursday, the Senate's only licensed physician, Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, blocked a bill that would reduce the number of agencies that could regulate state hospitals.
The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, a veterinarian, who says that numerous agencies can get in the way of doctors doing their jobs.
"They come in and they go on fishing expeditions, looking for anything that will justify their regulatory agencies. So we said ok, everyone goes through the same rules," said Brown.
The bill states that only the Health Department is allowed to conduct hospital inspections and licensing procedures.
Schaaf blocked the bill and said that the legislation will make hospitals less safe for patients.
"This eliminates what they call 'duplicative inspections'. Well, what is duplicative about it? If there are two inspections, how do you know they are looking at the exact same things?" said Schaaf.
Schaaf also questioned the proposed legislation's inspection techniques.
"This says that you can only look into allegations that are in the report, so if you see something else wrong in the hospital, they're not allowed to put it in the report. What kind of a deal is that? That's horrible!" Schaaf said.
Brown expressed doubt regarding Schaaf's testimony.
"Some of the things said aren't exactly accurate. It's not designed to make hospitals less compliant to the patient, " said Brown.
The filibuster tabled the bill and the Senate went home without a vote.