Hospital Days 2023
This week, FHA had the pleasure of hosting the 2023 Hospital Days at the Florida Capitol! Close to 100 leaders from Florida’s more than 300 hospitals convened in Tallahassee to advocate for high-quality, accessible health care.
The FHA Board of Trustees held their March meeting, where they were joined by influential guests including the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Shevaun Harris; Florida College System Chancellor Kathy Hebda; and Florida House Representative Randy Fine, Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee.
On Wednesday evening, FHA kicked off the public Hospital Days events with a Legislative Reception to welcome FHA member hospital executives, government relations and clinical leaders to Tallahassee. We were proudly joined by dozens of Florida legislators and the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) Secretary Jason Weida. Later that evening, FHA hosted a dinner with member chief executive officers at the Governor’s Club, bringing together FHA leadership, hospital leaders, and the FHA Board of Trustees.
At Thursday’s Legislative Briefing, FHA members heard from several members of Florida’s legislative leadership, Committee Chairs, policy leaders, and more:
- Senate President Kathleen Passidomo
- House Speaker Paul Renner
- Representative Danny Perez – Rules Committee Chair & Incoming Speaker
- Representative Sam Garrison – Health Care Appropriations Committee Chair and Future House Speaker
- Senator Colleen Burton – Health Policy Committee Chair
- Representative Kim Berfield – Hospital Workplace Violence Bill Sponsor (HB 825)
- Representative Hillary Cassell
The 2023 Hospital Days events concluded with legislative visits at the Capitol, an excellent opportunity for member hospital leaders to meet with their state lawmakers. Workforce was a key topic of conversation, and FHA is proud to report that our partners in the Florida Legislature are taking on these priorities.
Thank you to all FHA members who attended the 2023 FHA Hospital Days! It was an excellent event, and we look forward to welcoming back even more members next year.
View the full FHA Hospital Days photo album.
Visit https://fhacapitolupdate.org/ to access FHA materials and communications during the 2023 legislative session.
- One Pagers & Issue Briefs on key hospital priorities
- Access our session-related alerts and newsletters archive
- Bill-tracking report
Hospitals Demonstrate Unity & Strength as Workplace Violence Bills Pass Through Committees
On Monday, FHA and its members demonstrated the strength and unity of Florida’s hospitals by attending key hearings on workplace violence in Tallahassee. Hospital nurses from Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital gave compelling testimony about their and their colleagues’ experiences with violence across the hospital. Member front-line staff also confidently fielded questions from legislators on the committees. David Goodman, Director of Security at St. Joseph’s Hospital – BayCare also gave thoughtful testimony backed by his years of experience dealing with security issues at health systems. Both bills were approved by House and Senate committees.
Senate Bill 568, sponsored by Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, and House Bill 825, sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Berfield, would prevent violence at hospitals in Florida by increasing penalties on individuals who intentionally harm any team member or volunteer at a hospital. The bills also extend protections to include not only emergency medical providers but all hospital personnel and volunteers. FHA and its members have worked extensively to introduce and move this legislation and we will continue to work with lawmakers to create opportunities for its passage.
Bills on Florida KidCare Eligibility Begin Moving through the Legislative Process
FHA-supported SB 246 by Senator Calatayud & HB 121 by Rep. Bartleman made their first committee stops during week 2 of session in Tallahassee. The bills would raise the income eligibility threshold for Florida KidCare from 200% of the federal poverty level to 250%. If passed, this legislation would allow more Floridians to enroll in the four government-sponsored health insurance programs operated by Florida KidCare.
This is important because Florida Medicaid enrollment has swelled during the pandemic and states were not allowed to conduct redeterminations. Florida will soon be allowed to disenroll individuals who no longer qualify for Medicaid on April 1, 2023. These bills could see individuals who no longer qualify for Medicaid receive coverage through KidCare programs – protecting access to care and reimbursement for providers.
There have been indications that these bills are supported by legislative leadership and FHA will continue to back them through the legislative process.
Tort Reform Legislation Continues to Move Through Legislative Checkpoints
Hospitals and health systems are impacted by frivolous litigation both as health care providers and large employers. House Speaker Paul Renner is prioritizing groundbreaking legal reforms through HB 837 by Rep. Fabricio and Rep. Gregory – which passed a floor vote in the House late in session week 2. Speaker Renner gave a fascinating Q&A on the bill with member hospital executives during FHA Hospital Days. The companion bill, SB 236 by Hutson, was approved by its final committee and will head to the Senate floor next week.
FHA continues to support the bills but closely monitors them for any unintended consequences that could impact our member hospitals.
Hospital Reporting Requirements on Immigration Status Heard by Senate Rules Committee
FHA is closely monitoring SB 1718 – Immigration by Senator Ingolia. The bill is backed by Governor DeSantis and prescribes broad immigration reforms to curb government spending on unauthorized immigrants. Section 5 of the bill requires hospitals that treat Medicaid patients to report on care for unauthorized immigrants according to the following details:
- Hospitals must include a provision on the patient admission form to indicate whether a patient is a United States Citizen or lawfully present in the United States.
- Hospitals must submit quarterly reports to AHCA showing information on admissions and costs for unauthorized immigrants.
- AHCA shall adopt rules related to the format and information to be contained in the report.
SB 1718 was reported favorably by the Senate Rules Committee this week. FHA will continue to communicate with lawmakers and our member hospitals about any updates or changes to this legislation.
FHA-supported Telehealth expansion Heard by Senate Banking & Insurance Committee
SB 298 by Senator Jim Boyd, highlighted as one of the Senator’s key priorities for 2023, was approved by the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee this week. The bill makes a sensible regulatory change by allowing audio-only phone calls to be included in the definition of telehealth. In practice, this change allows providers and plans to offer telehealth over the phone and seek reimbursement from health insurers.
FHA has worked with lawmakers to educate on this important bill over the last few sessions. We encourage members to contact your local House member to ask them to support the companion bill, HB 267 by Fabricio.
FHA Convenes Meeting with the State University System (SUS) Deans of Nursing
This week, FHA had the privilege of meeting with several Deans of Nursing from the State University System of Florida to share a comprehensive update on FHA’s efforts to support and advocate for the healthcare workforce. FHA President and CEO, Mary Mayhew opened the discussion and shared the advocacy efforts being made to help address the Florida nursing workforce crisis. She emphasized the priority of the workforce challenges and the importance of establishing an infrastructure to support building the nursing workforce pipeline by strengthening industry and academic partnerships, and recurring LINE/PIPELINE funding to attract, recruit and retain nursing program faculty who are critical for developing future nurses.
The SUS Nursing Deans shared priority areas for meeting the projected needs of the nursing workforce and included:
- Addressing the shortage of qualified faculty and clinical preceptors
- Recurring and dedicated funding for LINE/PIPELINE to sustain the capacity and capability of meeting the enrollment needs of qualified students
- Florida NCLEX pass rates
FHA and the SUS Deans are eager to continue working toward effectively addressing the nursing workforce shortage and we are confident that the future of nursing in Florida is bright!
Coming Soon: Legislative Budgets to be Released Next Week
Next week, House and Senate committees will produce their budget proposals for the Fiscal Year 2023 – 2024 state budget. This is the first crucial step as lawmakers begin the process of crafting the state’s annual budget. FHA will provide timely communications next week and beyond as the budget is developed. We are monitoring for important hospital priorities such as Medicaid reimbursement, workforce development funding, behavioral health community-based care, and more.
FPQC Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Initiative
Join FPQC and Florida hospitals to address the myriad of organizational, social, and environmental factors that influence maternal health behaviors and outcomes in the SDOH Initiative. To apply, click here.
Revenue Estimating Conference – General Revenue
The Office of Economic & Demographic Research (EDR) released the results from the March 2023, General Revenue conference. After six months of continued collections exceeding the forecast, the conference adopted the following estimates over previous projections:
- SFY 2022-2023: Increase of $4.27 billion
- SFY 2023-2024: Increase of $2.78 billion
- Combined two-year increase: $7.06 billion
The largest adjustments in the forecast were made to the sales tax categories accounting for $6.39 billion over the two years, with all six sale tax categories increasing. The second largest adjustment was the Corporate Income tax, for a combined two-year increase of $1.2 billion. The Conference documents can be found here.
FHA continues to monitor the current financial situation of the state including the state budget, opportunities to increase revenue, the Medicaid program and other possibilities for hospital funding opportunities.
Medicaid Enrollment Passes 5.7 million
The Medicaid enrollment report for February 2023 was released with 5,733,610 now enrolled. This reflects an increase of 36,972 over January, with a growth of almost 2 million recipients since the beginning of the pandemic. View the Agency’s enrollment report here.
FHA Celebrates Patient Safety Awareness Week
FHA kicked off PSAW with a message from FHA President & CEO, Mary Mayhew about the importance of the work being done to recover from COVID and reduce patient harm in Florida’s hospitals. Other resources shared throughout the week included:
Florida hospitals are committed year-round to improving care for all our patients. This is one week a year to showcase the great work and reflect on the journey ahead.
Healthcare Workforce: Employer Focus Group – Workforce Skills
The Florida Chamber Foundation will be convening several employer focus groups around the state to support the Florida Workforce Needs Study 2.0 research effort. These employer-only sessions will help the Foundation:
- Gain insight regarding current and emerging skills needs.
- Catalog best practices in employer-educator partnerships.
- Identify ways to maximize utilization of training support initiatives.
Your feedback will help inform strategies and policy recommendations in a final report on this research to be released in late 2023.
Hospitals are encouraged to join and provide feedback on the needs of the healthcare industry across the state. Be sure to register for your region-specific event! Registration links and additional details can be found here.
FHA Comments on CMS’ Advancing Interoperability and Improving Prior Authorization Processes Proposed Rule
A continued issue all FHA members face is obtaining prior authorization and ensuring patients have timely access to care. On Monday, FHA provided comments strongly supporting CMS’s proposals to improve the prior authorization processes, implementing timeliness standards for prior authorization, requiring plans to provide a reason for denying the prior authorization and requiring health plans to report data on timeliness, denial and appeal rates and post lists of what items and services require prior authorizations. FHA, however, emphasized the need for faster authorizations than what was proposed, the need for enforcement mechanisms, auditing health plan compliance and expanding the data sharing metrics to ensure the public can understand health plan performance. The proposed rules, issued in December, address Advancing Interoperability and Improving Prior Authorization Processes for Medicare Advantage organizations, Medicaid, Medicaid managed care plans, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plans and issuers of Qualified Health Plans on the Federal Exchanges.
CMS sets March 31 deadline for applications for Round 2 of Section 126 resident slots
Hospitals are encouraged by March 31 to apply for up to five medical education full-time equivalent resident cap slots made available by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services through Section 126 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The FTE slots from this latest round of applications will be effective July 1, 2024. When completed, the program will have made available 1,000 Graduate Medical Education FTE resident cap slots, phased in at a rate of no more than 200 slots per year. Visit CMS’s DGME page for details on applying and eligibility.
Operation Nightingale Update
In January, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) released information on a scheme involving three Florida nursing programs to sell fraudulent transcripts and nursing degree diplomas. The purchase of these fraudulent documents was used to qualify the individuals to sit for the national nursing board exam. The FHA has continued to monitor the progress of the investigation and the Florida Board of Nursing (FBON) has continued to work with Federal authorities to identify individuals in our state. Accordingly, updates are being made to the licensure status of the identified individuals in Florida. Employers can monitor and verify licensure status online at https://www.nursys.com/ or an employer can sign-up for e-Notify through NCSBN and receive notifications when licensure status changes.
The next FBON meeting is scheduled for April 12-14, 2023. Meeting materials and agenda are pending Board approval however, it is anticipated that the FBON agenda will include acceptance of voluntary relinquishments of RN licenses from involved individuals.
FHA will communicate any additional information as it becomes available. Thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of our Florida communities.
If you have any questions, please contact me at [email protected] or 407-376-2755.
Application Deadline Extended: Wednesday, March 29, 2023.
If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].
Miami Open Offers Health Care Professionals a Special Invitation
One of the largest tennis tournaments in North America, the Miami Open will be hosted at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens from March 22 through April 2, 2023. On Wednesday, March 29 and Saturday, April 1, all hospital staff are invited to attend the Health Care Professionals Day event. Tickets start at $50 each for the weeknight session or $65 for the daytime weekend session. Every health care professional who purchases a ticket and attends will receive a special Miami Open branded scrub top.
Please join the Florida Hospital Association for a webinar on the ”Medicaid Redetermination Process Part II – Continuous Coverage,” on Thursday, March 23, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (ET). Jodi Ray, the Principal Investigator/Project Director of Florida Covering Kids & Families will discuss enrollment assistance through Medicaid, the Marketplace, and CHIP as the Medicaid redetermination process begins to take place. Please click here to register.
Infection Prevention Hot Topics: The Role of the Infection Preventionist in Addressing Health Care Disparities
March 14, 2023, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET
Nursing Leadership: Building Partnerships to Build a Nursing Pipeline
March 23, 2023, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 9.m. ET
Antidote Safety Pearls: Don’t Be A Fool, Use Your Antidote Tool: Quick Action Saves Lives
March 31, 2023, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET
Infection Prevention Series: Fundamentals for the Novice Infection Preventionist
April 11-13, 18-20, 2023, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET
Responding to a Crisis: An Overview of Lee Health’s Response to Hurricane Ian
April 17, 2023, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET
Infection Prevention Hot Topics – Antibiotic Stewardship and What We Can Learn from Antibiograms
May 17, 2023, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET
Infection Prevention Hot Topics – Ventilator-associated Events
June 20, 2023, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET