Florida bud­get cuts Med­i­caid re­im­burse­ment rates by 12%

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a $69 bil­lion state bud­get that cuts hos­pi­tals’ Med­i­caid re­im­burse­ment rates in the state by 12%, which Moody’s In­vestors Ser­vice said will have a neg­a­tive ef­fect on the state’s hos­pi­tals. The cuts in­clude $407.5 mil­lion in in­pa­tient rate cuts and $102.9 mil­lion in out­pa­tient cuts. Bruce Rueben, pres­i­dent of the Florida Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion, said the cuts would force some hos­pi­tals to dis­con­tinue ser­vices or shift more costs to pri­vately in­sured pa­tients. The bud­get also en­acts an ex­pan­sion of Florida’s Med­i­caid man­aged-care pro­gram, though that re­quires a fed­eral waiver (May 16, p. 6). The bud­get main­tains a $1 bil­lion pool of fund­ing shared among hos­pi­tals with large num­bers of poor pa­tients. How­ever, the dis­tri­bu­tion of the fund­ing was changed so more goes to in­vestorowned hos­pi­tals, a change the gov­er­nor’s spokesman said was de­ter­mined by a leg­isla­tive com­mit­tee. A dif­fer­ent ex­pla­na­tion was of­fered by the hos­pi­tal as­so­ci­a­tion, which sup­ported the pool-fund­ing bill. Rueben said the new dis­tri­bu­tion is a re­sult of “try­ing to smooth out the fact that there was less money avail­able.” Scott, the for­mer CEO of Columbia/HCA Health­care Corp., ap­pointed a com­mis­sion to study whether pub­lic hos­pi­tals should con­tinue to ex­ist in Florida in their cur­rent form. Its first meet­ing was May 27, the day af­ter Scott signed the bud­get.

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