Governor Scott’s Fighting for Florida’s Future budget implements important initiatives to improve transparency and protect patients at Florida hospitals. The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget also bolsters community-based care including mental health services, supports Floridians with developmental disabilities, cares for Florida’s seniors and strengthens Florida’s defense against infectious diseases like Zika. Governor Scott knows that raising a successful family begins with ensuring good health and the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget makes important investments that will keep Florida families healthy for years to come.
Last year, Governor Scott fought to make hospitals more transparent so that patients had access to data to help protect against unfair pricing at Florida hospitals. Florida’s hospitals continue to have record profits and the Governor is committed to fighting price gouging and unfair costs for Floridians needing important medical care. This year, the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget continues in that mission and saves $298 million in hospital costs, which are responsible for the largest increases in Medicaid program expenditures. This is accomplished by eliminating existing arbitrary and inconsistent supplemental payments for hospitals that provide less charity compared to the for-profit hospital industry. Public hospitals, not-for-profit hospitals, and for-profit hospitals are all at an all-time low in how much charity care they are providing relative to their record profits.
The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget also saves an additional $581 million by allowing Medicaid managed care plans to reimburse hospitals at more efficient rates compared to the traditional Medicaid program. Hospital services are the only services in Medicaid managed care medical assistance where plans are statutorily prohibited from paying more efficient rates.
Additionally, the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget saves $50 million by slowing hospital inflation and eliminating an automatic increase in Medicaid hospital rates.
Finally, the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget recommends transitioning hospital outpatient payments from an inflationary cost-based system to an ambulatory patient grouping (APG) prospective payment system to reward a high-quality and efficient delivery of care. APGs are similar in concept to diagnosis related groups (DRGs) for hospital inpatient services.
More Than $1 Billion in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Funding
Governor Scott understands the importance of addressing the needs of those with mental illness and better aligning services to serve this unique population in their communities. The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget continues to invest more than $1 billion for individuals with behavioral health needs in Florida. The recommended budget increases mental health and substance abuse funding by $25 million over current year funding levels.
Enhancing Behavioral Health Services in Florida’s Communities
The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget invests more than $18.7 million in additional funding to better coordinate and enhance mental health and substance abuse services in Florida’s communities for those in greatest need. Governor Scott signed Executive Order 15-175 in July 2015, which directed the Department of Children and Families to develop and implement best management practices based on pilot programs in Broward, Pinellas and Alachua Counties. This funding will fill the gaps in services identified by the work performed pursuant to the executive order.