Gov. Rick Scott

Florida health officials said Wednesday they would give insurers a 7.7 percent rate increase in the fledgling Medicaid managed care program, in what has been a contentious battle between Gov. Rick Scott, the insurers and hospitals.

Florida Office of the Governor

Gov. Rick Scott is ordering state health officials to audit more than 100 hospitals as part of his ongoing battle with hospitals, which he says are driving up Medicaid costs.

Scott Panel To Focus On Ambulatory Surgical Centers

Aug 11, 2015
Florida Office of the Governor

A health care panel formed by Gov. Rick Scott will meet Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Tallahassee and focus, in part, on ambulatory surgical centers --- an issue that has spurred debate in the Legislature.

The House during a June special session approved a bill that would have allowed patients to stay at ambulatory-surgical centers for up to 24 hours, eliminating a regulation that currently prevents overnight stays.

Also, the bill would have allowed the creation of "recovery care centers," where patients could stay for up to 72 hours after surgery.

WMFE

The fallout from sting videos targeting Planned Parenthood is growing in Florida. Gov. Rick Scott ordered the Agency for Health Care Administration to inspect the 16 Planned Parenthood clinics in Florida, and three of the clinics were cited for performing second trimester abortions when only licensed for first trimester abortions. Another was cited for not following procedures labeling fetal tissue.  Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya spoke with WMFE's All Things Considered host Crystal Chavez.

CRYSTAL: So where are these clinics that were cited?

Scott Seeks Hospital, Insurer Audits

Aug 4, 2015
Florida Office of the Governor

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday directed the state Agency for Health Care Administration to audit at least some contracts between hospitals and health insurers to determine if they comply with a state Medicaid law.

Scott contends that contracts could exceed a legal limit on Medicaid payment rates.

AHCA Secretary Liz Dudek on July 17 requested that hospitals and insurers certify that they did not exceed the limit, which is 120 percent of a Medicaid fee schedule. The letter listed an Aug. 1 deadline to respond.

Associated Press

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is ordering state health officials to inspect Planned Parenthood offices to ensure they are obeying the law when performing abortions.

In a statement Wednesday, Scott called recent videos troubling and said it's against the law for any organizations to sell body parts. The Republican governor said the state will take quick legal and regulatory action against any of the 16 facilities found in violation.

Jackson, Molina Officials To Face Hospital Commission

Jul 22, 2015
Lottie Watts / WUSF

A commission formed by Gov. Rick Scott to delve into health-care funding issues will meet Thursday in Miami and hear a presentation from Jackson Health System President and CEO Carlos Migoya and insurance officials.

The Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding will meet at the Miami Dade College Medical Campus and also will hear presentations by David Pollack, president of the insurer Molina Healthcare of Florida, Inc., and Eric Johnson, director of life and health product review at the state Office of Insurance Regulation.

Child Welfare Agencies Get Cash Infusion From Lawmakers

Jul 8, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

 Private agencies that play a major role in Florida's child-welfare system will share an increase of more than $17 million under a new funding formula approved by lawmakers during last month's special legislative session.

Most of the new money will go to community-based care agencies --- or CBCs, as they're known --- in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties and in Southwest Florida, areas where the state system has seen the largest increases of children coming into foster care.

Millions In Free Clinic Funds Vetoed

Jul 6, 2015
Associated Press

Gov. Rick Scott single-handedly vetoed funding for a 10-page list of local and statewide projects that legislators hoped to included in the state’s 2015 budget. The cuts totaled $461 million from the $78 billion state budget.

One area where Scott’s cuts hit particularly hard: health care for the poor. Among his bigger cuts was $9.5 million for the Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, which supports free and low-cost clinics that provide health-care to low-income communities across the state.

Politico

Women will have to wait 24 hours before having an abortion under a bill Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed into law today, a reflective period supporters said they hoped would change some women’s minds before ending their pregnancies.

Scott signed the abortion measure along with 54 other bills, including legislation that would allow terminally ill patients to take experimental medicines. Scott also signed into law a measure that revises the rules for the panel that regulates Florida electric rates. He vetoed a bill dealing with home medical equipment providers.

Associated Press

The Obama administration says there’s no need for a judge to order mediation as Gov. Rick Scott requested because they’ve been engaged in ongoing discussions with Florida.

In court documents filed Tuesday, federal health officials said they talked with Florida as recently as Monday and that the discussions are ongoing and have been productive. The Obama administration also said there is no basis for mediation because their administration has already been clear on the core issue of the lawsuit.

Associated Press

The number of abortions performed in Florida dropped by 10 percent between 2010 and 2014, but the decrease is less than in other Republican-led states that have more aggressive restrictions on the procedure.

Roughly 72,100 abortions were performed in Florida in 2014, a 9.7 percent dip from about 79,900 in 2010, according to state health records. The number of abortion clinics has remained steady at about 70 during the time period.

Arguments Set In Scott LIP Lawsuit

Jun 8, 2015
Florida Office of the Governor

A U.S. District Court judge will hear arguments June 19 in a lawsuit filed by Gov. Rick Scott against the federal government in a dispute about the Low Income Pool health-funding program.

Chief U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers issued an order Thursday scheduling the hearing on Scott's motion for a preliminary injunction in the case.

Key Republicans on Tuesday asserted that the administration of Florida Gov. Rick Scott was playing politics in a continuing fight over health care that has already derailed one legislative session this year.

Scott, who has changed his stance on whether to expand Medicaid coverage twice now, is opposed to a plan pushed by Senate Republicans that would use federal money to provide private insurance to low-income Floridians.

Senators Rake Medicaid Official Over Coals

Jun 3, 2015
Agency for Health Care Administration

 A Senate committee tore into a high-ranking official from Gov. Rick Scott's administration Tuesday in a sign of mounting frustration with the governor's role in the legislative battle over health care.

During a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting held to approve a proposal (SB 2-A) aimed at helping lower-income Floridians get health insurance, committee members from both parties spent more than an hour grilling state Medicaid director Justin Senior over a perceived lack of respect for the Senate.

FL Groups To Back Feds In LIP Lawsuit

Jun 3, 2015
Associated Press

A federal judge this week agreed to allow the League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida Legal Services and Florida CHAIN to file a brief supporting the Obama administration in a lawsuit filed by Gov. Rick Scott about major health care issues.

Chief U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers issued an order Tuesday granting the groups' joint request to file the brief. Scott's lawsuit has sought to prevent federal officials from linking an extension of the Low Income Pool, or LIP, health-funding program to a potential expansion of Medicaid.

Feds Take Aim at Gov. Scott's LIP Lawsuit

Jun 2, 2015

Describing the state's arguments as "baseless," federal officials this week fired back in court against Gov. Rick Scott's contention that the Obama administration has unconstitutionally tried to link expanding Medicaid with the continuation of a key health-care funding program.

The Florida Legislature kicked off a 20-day special session Monday, with legislative leaders sounding more open to compromise as they race against the clock to pass a new state budget.

The conciliatory tone espoused by House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner was different than it was just a few weeks ago when the Republican-controlled Legislature ended its session amid finger-pointing and lawsuits.

Florida House of Representatives

Medicaid expansion supporters are targeting Hialeah — the zip code that saw more health insurance sign-ups than any other in the country.

Several other zip codes with the highest enrollment were also in South Florida. Health advocates say those enrollment numbers show the need to expand Medicaid to more than 800,000 Floridians who fall into a coverage gap. They make too much money to qualify for regular Medicaid but too little to qualify for a subsidy in the federal exchange.

Lawmakers Talk LIP In Districts

May 27, 2015

 

 MIAMI-DADE HEALTH FUNDING AT ISSUE

Abe Aboraya / WMFE

Gov. Rick Scott’s hospital commission, tasked with looking at how taxpayer dollars are used to support health care for the poor, discussed performance funding for hospitals at a meeting Tuesday in Orlando.

The nine-member group delved through detailed hospital statistics, and started brainstorming ideas for how to reform hospital payments.

Tom Kuntz, a former chairman of SunTrust, helped build performance funding metrics for Florida’s university system. Kuntz says the hospital commission could look at a similar system for hospitals.

WMFE

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s commission investigating hospital finances will meet for the first time today. The meetings come as Florida’s legislature preps for a special session.

Health care spending has been the big division in Florida’s budget thanks to a billion-dollar hospital fund that’s ending. Federal officials want Florida to expand Medicaid to cover Florida’s uninsured, and hospitals have been pushing for expansions.

Florida Office of the Governor

Gov. Rick Scott’s new hospital commission consists of Republican donors and business leaders who will likely help him go after some of the state’s hospitals as the standoff over Medicaid expansion intensifies.

The panel, which will meet for the first time today, is beginning its work as the governor has become increasingly antagonistic toward hospitals that receive taxpayer funds in the face of a $1 billion hole in his budget.

Communications Office / Gov. Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott told agency heads to prepare for the worst Thursday, asking them to list only the state’s most critical needs in the event the Legislature can’t reach an agreement on a budget that doesn’t expand health care to the poor.

Scott sent the letter to agency heads the day after lawmakers said they were making progress on a budget impasse that they’ll seek to resolve in a special session beginning June 1.

“Prepare a list of critical state services our citizens cannot lose in the event Florida is forced to shut down on July 1st,” Scott wrote.

Congressional Hearing Planned On LIP Showdown

May 13, 2015
Politico

A congressional committee will hold a hearing on Gov. Rick Scott's showdown with the federal government over health care funding, but that meeting could come too late to help close a potential $2.2 billion hole in the state budget.

Scott announced Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., will have the House Energy & Commerce Committee look into the governor's allegations that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is trying to illegally coerce the state into accepting Medicaid expansion.

The quagmire in Tallahassee over health care spending forced an early end to the spring legislative session. At the heart of it is a federal program known as the Low Income Pool, or LIP. It reimburses Florida hospitals more than two billion dollars a year for providing care to low-income or indigent patients. The federal government is phasing the program out as it shifts to new programs provided by the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. 

Now, Gov. Scott is making the rounds in Washington D.C., trying to prod the feds to keep funding LIP. Now, Scott has backtracked from his previous position on supporting expansion of Medicaid in the state to serve low-income residents.

Scott recently spoke to reporters in the nation's capitol.

"The families that are covered through the Low Income Pool is a different group of individuals than are covered by Obamacare," Scott said.

Click on the video below to hear what he had to say about LIP and Medicaid:

PolitiFact Florida rated his statement "Mostly False," saying:

This makes it sound as if the people who would qualify for Medicaid under an expansion are completely different than patients who leave hospitals with unpaid bills the LIP fund helps pay to providers. Health policy experts said that while there would still be uninsured people not paying their bills under an expansion, plenty of overlap exists between the two, especially at lower incomes.

Governor Rick Scott has selected nine people to serve on his hospital funding commission.  The formation of the groups as all or part of a major federal healthcare funding program expires next month.

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday announced his nine appointments to a commission tasked with examining hospital finances, naming only one health care professional to the commission and a chair that has been a frequent donor to the governor and other Republican causes.

The governor has gone on the attack against hospitals over a fight to expand Medicaid and extend federal funds that help hospitals who care for Medicaid and uninsured patients. The issue is creating a potential $1 billion hole in the state budget.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a longtime opponent of "Obamacare," made a startling announcement shortly after his mother's death, going on TV two years ago to explain that he had dropped his objections to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The Republican governor, a former hospital executive who entered politics running TV ads against the Affordable Care Act, said then in 2013 that his mother's death had changed his perspective, and that he could no longer "in good conscience" oppose expanding health care coverage to nearly 1 million Floridians.

Strip clubs, massage studios and hospitals will have to hang signs alerting people about human trafficking under a bill that's going to Gov. Rick Scott.

The Senate unanimously passed the bill (HB 369) Wednesday. It's a weaker version of a bill it approved last week and the House later changed.

The signs provide a telephone number people can call if they or someone they know are being enslaved as prostitutes, farm workers, housekeepers or restaurant, retail or factory workers.

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