The state’s largest teaching hospitals would see a $200 million reduction in Medicaid payments under a proposal Gov. Rick Scott has floated to the federal government in hopes of keeping Florida’s supplemental Medicaid funds at a full $2 billion.
According to spreadsheets distributed by the governor’s office, Scott’s re-worked spending formula would means deep reductions in the largest teaching facilities including an $84.7 million reduction in supplemental Medicaid funds to Jackson Memorial Hospital, the largest contributors of intergovernmental transfers that fund the Low Income Pool program.
Conversely, the for-profit facilities would gain the most under the proposal being advanced by Scott, the former chief executive officer of the nation’s largest hospital chain.
Shands Gainesville would take a $34.5 million reduction under the plan and its sister hospital, Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, would see a near $36.6 million reduction in Low Income Pool funds. According to the spreadsheets the facility had a $2.5 million profit, a small sum than the proposed the reduction.
Though the reduction in LIP would far exceed the hospital’s profits, the governor’s spokesperson, Jackie Schutz, said Scott does not support the closure of the hosital.
Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida spokesperson Ron Bartlett said the group is analyzing the governor’s spreadsheets and would have further comment on Friday. The association, which represents 14 hospital systems, has been working on its own analysis of the proposal and how the facilities fare under the new LIP plan.
The group also has objected several times to how the governor is defining “profits” noting that Scott is using the total total margin, which includes revenues from investments and not the operating margin.
Broward General Hospital also would see a substantial hit to its LIP funding losing $22.3 million. Like Shands Jacksonville’s, Broward’s loss in LIP would exceed its profitability, according to the governor’s office.
While teaching hospitals are the loser under Scott’s revamped LIP proposal, for-profit HCA facilities are some of the winners. The biggest winner is South Miami Hospital, which would gain an additional $7 million. Memorial Medical Center would see an additional $6.6 million in LIP, Columbia Kendall Medical Center would gain $5.4 million, Orange Park Medical Center would gain $5.4 million and Aventura Hopsital & Medical Center would see an additional $4.7 million in LIP funding, while Baptist Medical Center would gain $4.4 million.
Florida was advised last week that it tentatively could expect a $1 billion Low Income Pool program for the 2015-16 year and a 4600,000 LIP program for the following year. Deputy Medicaid Director Justin Senior sent a letter to HHS advising that the press misreported the information and the state could receive a $2 billion-plus program.
The federal government advised that the press did not misinterpret the initial announcement. Scott has pushed to keep the LIP program at current funding levels which would enable him to keep his promises to cut taxes and increasing education funding intact.
The federal government in correspondence to Florida told Scott that the $2 billion-plus figure the state was pursuing was too large. Scott filed a lawsuit agains the federal government in federal court in Pensacola and requested an injunction that, if granted, legal pleadings showed, would essentially force the federal government to keep LIP funding at current levels.
Ben Wakana press secretary for the Department of Health & Human Services said the government has gotten the letter and is reviewing it.
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