Safety Net Hospital Alliance Seeks To Protect State Funds

Sep 10, 2019

The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida has launched a new website as part of an effort to protect hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding targeted to 28 hospitals that provide care to the most Medicaid patients. 

Launched Monday, criticalcarefund.com highlights the role the hospitals play in Florida’s health care system. “Critical care fund” also was the moniker the statewide association used earlier this year to describe $319 million in supplemental funds targeted to the 28 facilities across Florida.

“This fund has been threatened in past legislative sessions. So, we want everyone to know as the 2020 session gears up that taking money out of this fund would mean state dollars stop following the patients in need of the most complex care. This website demonstrates those facts clearly,” said Justin Senior, chief executive officer of the association, which represents public, teaching and children’s hospitals.

The Senate during the past two years has sought to redirect the supplemental funding and to use it, instead, to increase base Medicaid rates paid to all hospitals. The move would have resulted in the loss of tens of millions of dollars for hospitals such as Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, but it would have led to net gains at for-profit facilities that provide less Medicaid care.

Ultimately, lawmakers agreed in this year’s state budget to redirect $9.5 million from the supplemental fund to increase Medicaid base rates for all hospitals. The criticalcarefund.com website also features the logo of the United Way.

United Way of Florida has made maintaining the supplemental funding one of its 2020 legislative priorities. House and Senate committees will start meeting next week as they prepare for the 2020 session, which will begin in January.