Impact On Healthcare Of Final Florida Budget

By  //  April 24, 2012

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Healthcare Budget

IN KEEPING HIS PLEDGE to add $1 billion to the K-12 education budget, Governor Rick Scott signed the 2012-13 Florida budget on April 17th while visiting Cunningham Creek Elementary School in St. Johns County.

In an official letter to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, Governor Scott enumerated $142.7 million in vetoed appropriations from the final $70 billion budget plan, many of which involved healthcare funding and healthcare projects throughout the state.

Overall, $21 billion of the budget will fund the state’s Medicaid program, which represents roughly 71% of the entire state Health and Human Services budget.

However, as previously reported in, the budget that passed the Florida Congress in March included a Medicaid rate reduction of about 5.6%, which amounts to a cut of more than $303 million to hospitals, rather than the $2 billion originally proposed by Scott. Fortunately for the greater than 3.2 million Florida Medicaid enrollees, the Governor left that aspect of the budget alone.

At $2.9 million, Holmes Regional Medical Center takes the biggest hit on Medicaid rate reductions.

The projected impact of the budget’s reduced Medicaid rates on Brevard County hospitals totals over $5.2 million. The breakdown on the impact on individual Brevard hospitals of those reductions, which include not only the 5.6% rate reduction, but also imposed limits on the number of emergency department visits Medicaid will reimburse for nonpregnant adults over the age of 21—capping them at six per fiscal year, are as follows:

  • Holmes Regional Medical Center: $2,971,592 (includes Palm Bay Hospital)
  • Parrish Medical Center: $944,193
  • Wuesthoff Rockledge: $565,611
  • Wuesthoff Melbourne: $.406,806
  • Cape Canaveral Hospital: $.283,957
  • Viera Hospital: $64,501
  • Kindred Hospital Melbourne: $13,510
  • Health South Sea Pines: $11,767

The hospital and healthcare items that were cut out of the budget in Gov. Scott’s final veto list, include the following:

• $3.4 million in “hospital reimbursement ceiling exemptions,” which would have provided exemptions from inpatient reimbursement limits for “sole community hospitals.”

• $250,000 for the construction of a cardiac hybrid catheterization lab and operating room at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.

• $1.5 million for the planning and design of a freestanding children’s hospital in Southwest Florida.

• $3.14 million in funds for the University of Miami College of Medicine, which would have supported 500 Florida residents.