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Hospital Commission Makes Final Stop

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Lottie Watts
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Gov. Rick Scott’s Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding’s “Spotlight Transparency Tour” made its last scheduled stop Thursday at Miami-Dade College’s Medical Campus.

This meeting included a presentation from Steven Sonenreich, chief executive officer of the private non-profit Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. He said there’s an industry-wide transparency problem when it comes to the rates of services.

“These gag clauses in contracts between hospitals and insurance companies do not allow us to publish our rates,” he told the commission appointed by the governor. “And the insurance companies also will not share data with you.”

Jackson Health System’s Chief Executive Officer Carlos Migoya pointed to a different transparency issue: that patients don’t necessarily see data about doctors and the rates of success at hospitals for procedures.

“That’s what it’s all about. That’s part of free market. So the consumer can make an educated decision. And they can’t today,” Migoya said. “They’re making a decision on a perception, not on a fact.”

Scott’s Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding was announced during the Legislature’s contentious session this spring, as leaders debated hospital funding and an alternative to Medicaid expansion. Scott said he put together to examine and produce a report on how public dollars are spent in the state’s hospitals.

The “Spotlight Transparency Tour” previously visited Tampa and Jacksonville.

Kenny Malone is a reporter with WLRNin Miami. WLRN is part of Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Kenny Malone hails from Meadville, PA where the zipper was invented, where Clark Gable’s mother is buried and where, in 2007, a wrecking ball broke free from a construction site, rolled down North Main Street and somehow wound up inside the trunk of a Ford Taurus sitting at a red light.