Scott's Hospital Workgroup Drawing Bipartisan Interest

May 8, 2015

Shands Jacksonville says losing LIP funds could shut it down.
Credit University of Florida

Governor Rick Scott’s newly-formed hospital workgroup is quickly becoming a hot ticket. Several lawmakers are volunteering to serve on the panel that will examine hospital funding.

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Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Broward, is the latest lawmaker to volunteer for the hospital review group. Governor Rick Scott announced its formation a month ago as lawmakers debated healthcare financing. It comes as the legislature remains at odds over Medicaid expansion and the state awaits a decision on a critical hospital financing program. Scott wants to look at how public hospitals are spending money:

“Are patients around the state able to afford our healthcare? Do we get a good outcome? Is their patient satisfaction? Let’s make sure we have a healthier system for everybody," Scott said.

Sens. Rene Garcia,R-Hialeah, and Alan Hays, R-Umatilla,  have also volunteered to serve of the panel. Hays was the first to volunteer for the group, and has expressed skepticism about the Senate’s Medicaid expansion plan, called FHIX (fix).

“What incentive is there for us to dig in our pocket and pay the monthly premium might be to be on the FHIX program, when currently we can go to the hospital ER and get treated for free anyhow?” He said during a healthcare workshop last month.

Expansion supporters argue it’s cheaper to keep people healthy than treat them when they’re ill.

Governor Scott wants to take a closer look at public hospital finances, and has raised questions about their profits.  He has not named his appointees nor said when the group will convene.