Feds ex­tend safety net funds for Fla. hos­pi­tals

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

Federal health of­fi­cials have agreed to fun­nel $2 bil­lion to Florida hos­pi­tals and providers that serve unin­sured pa­tients for an­other year.

The fund was in jeop­ardy be­cause federal health of­fi­cials wanted to even­tu­ally sun­set the so-called “low-in­come pool.” Of­fi­cials as­sumed pa­tients would gain in­sur­ance un­der Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion as part of the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act, giv­ing hos­pi­tals an­other rev­enue stream to treat poor pa­tients. But Florida law­mak­ers voted against Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion.

Af­ter that de­ci­sion, hos­pi­tals warned they wouldn’t have the safety net money needed to keep treat­ing the poor and unin­sured.

Health ad­vo­cates said the agree­ment is only a short-term so­lu­tion and re­newed a call for Florida law­mak­ers to ex­pand Med­i­caid be­cause the low­in­come pool won’t be around much longer.

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