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Health News Florida

At the Capitol: Hospital Pay, Texting, ALFs

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Florida Senate

After hearing complaints from “safety net” and teaching hospitals, the Senate’s Health Policy Committee is asking the Agency for Health Care Administration to give more options for implementing a new Medicaid payment plan. Right now, the new diagnosis-related group payment formula would mostly benefit for-profit hospitals, Miami Herald’s Naked Politics blog reports.

Lawmakers want AHCA to do new simulations with certain changes to the DRG system. They want to see what would happen to payments under Gov. Scott’s recommended two percent reduction in Medicaid spending. One senator asked for a simulation with $50 million in funding directed to teaching hospitals; another wants to see it with a formula that takes geographic differences in wages into account, Naked Politics reports.

Meanwhile, a ban on texting-while-driving cleared its first committee with a unanimous vote, even though some on the Senate Transportation Committee say they wished the bill was tougher, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

A bill that would toughen regulations on assisted living facilities was unanimously approved by the Children Families, and Elder Affairs Committee, according to the Florida Current. An advocate for ALF residents criticized the bill as a “watered-down version” of the one that lawmakers failed to pass last year, the Current reports.