Safety Net Hospital Alliance

Rep. Jay Trumbull, R-Panama City, has revamped his legislation on the state’s trauma centers. It’s not clear whether the House bill will make it through the Senate because the Senate’s legislation on trauma centers is already dead.

Sarah Mueller

Gov. Rick Scott met Monday with members of the Safety Net Alliance of Florida to discuss hospital funding. Hospitals have said doctors will leave the state and the poor may not get care if proposed budget cuts become permanent.

A map representing the 13 regions for Medicaid Managed Care
Agency For Healthcare Administration

Florida is asking for extraordinary power to revamp its Medicaid program. It’s prompting alarms from health advocacy organizations and policy analysts because it could cut off access to health care for millions of Floridians. They also complain it’s being done without stakeholder input.

Nick Evans

Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida members are worried federal and state lawmakers will reduce health care funding for low income Floridians.

Some counties have special taxes they collect to support their local hospitals that treat needy patients. The counties send that tax money to the state, which is able to pull down federal matching funds. That money then goes back to those 20 counties and ultimately to their hospitals. But a change in the Senate would require those districts to share with more than 40 others in the state that don’t have those extra taxes. And some say that “Rob Peter to Pay Paul” system isn’t fair:

LHatter / WFSU

State Representative Mike Fasano is calling the legislature’s decision not to expand Medicaid under the federal health law a quote “cop out”. Fasano made the remarks at a rally put on by the state’s hospital associations Tuesday:

 “To hear from those in both chambers that we’re going to come up with an alternative. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s a cop out. Nothing more than a cop out. We should have been working on this for the past two years," he said.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital serves a high number of uninsured and low-income Floridians.

“Without the extension of coverage Florida healthcare providers will be financially penalized with no opportunities to replace those lost revenues with additional Medicaid payments,” Sarasota Memorial Hospital President and CEO Gwen MacKenzie told a Senate panel Monday.

MacKenzie says the hospital had more than $84 million dollars in unpaid hospital bills, called uncompensated care, in 2012.