FHA Member Alert
Today, the Joint Budget Committee for Health and Human Services released the follow-up offers for the 2023-24 State Budget.
The House and Senate remain at $5 million and $10 million for rural hospital improvement, respectively. As you are aware, the Florida Hospital Association has been working to secure these funds and highlight our state’s rural hospitals and the critical role that they play in the continuum of care across the State of Florida. FHA is thankful to the many members who worked with us to showcase the importance of these funds and the critical work they will support. We will continue to advocate for these funds through the remaining budget negotiations.
While we remain grateful that there are no across-the-board Medicaid rate reductions, there will still be implications related to the DRG version updates included in the House and Senate budgets. The Senate has continued to hold its position of $76 million for hospital rate enhancements for care of complex Pediatric cases; the returning House offer does not fund this. The House maintained its original offer of $76 million for a pediatric physician’s rate increase. Please note a new issue as of Thursday afternoon: the House has offered $54.3 million to standalone Specialty Children’s Hospitals. Additionally, both proposals direct the Agency to seek federal authority and develop and plan to participate in the Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids (ACE Kids) Act. FHA knows many members are interested in this program to provide care for this vulnerable population.
These issues have been bumped to the Full Appropriations committee and will be negotiated over the remaining days of the budget process. FHA will continue to inform the support these funds will bring to hospitals and providers delivering this essential care to vulnerable children across our state.
Both chambers have made great progress toward an increase in state and federal funds for the Graduate Medical Education program. This includes a new Slots for Doctors program with $30 million in total funds for physician specialties and subspecialties in statewide demand. Additionally, there is an increase of $15.5 million in total funds for primary care slots. The Senate also included $93.8 million for an increase in the existing Statewide Medicaid Residency Program (SMRP). That would bring the total of all funds to $191.1 million for the program. However, the House did not include this issue in their return offer. This item will remain a discussion point as the chambers have bumped all unresolved issues to the full Appropriations Chairs.
Chair Harrell and Chair Garrison have finished their work and indicated that all remaining issues will be bumped to the full Appropriations committee for continued negotiations. FHA will continue to keep you updated through this budget process and advocate on your behalf. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Mary C. Mayhew
President & CEO
Florida Hospital Association