Budget Impact on Healthcare Though there was hope that Florida would be facing a better year in regards to the state budget, it is now apparent that there will be a $1.7 billion dollar shortfall that the upcoming legislative session will have to address. With healthcare being one of the largest parts of the budget, there will once again be deep cuts. We expect the Senate to propose cutting all mental health, Medically Needy, and Meds AD funding. We may once again see deep cuts in Medicaid.
Governor Scott unveiled his proposed budget during the final committee week before session. It totaled $66.4 billion dollars, a 4.6% decrease from last year. It included a $1 billion dollar increase to education and $35 million dollars in tax cuts. To fund these items, Governor Scott proposed deep cuts including $1.9 billion dollars in Medicaid funding. He proposes a "rate banding" system where hospitals are put into categories and each hospital would receive the same reimbursement rate. Jackson Memorial would lose $133.5 million, Shands would lose $60 million and Miami Children's would lose $34.4 million. Both the Senate and House will form their own budgets but this will serve as a political message for what the Governor expects and will sign. The Governor's budget recommendations, if adopted by the Legislature, pose a wholesale threat to the economic viability of hospitals that provide a high level of indigent and Medicaid care.
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