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Watered-down trauma center bill passes House

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trauma centers

What began as a bang ended with a whimper as the House passed a diluted trauma center bill and sent it to the Senate Friday. The measure (HB 1077), which passed 93-24, began its legislative life to do away with a cap on how many trauma centers can open in Florida. The bill that was passed says areas with “at least 1.25 million … need at least two trauma centers,” and those with “more than 2.5 million … need at least four trauma…

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House budget would cut jobs, money for hospitals and county health units

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The Florida House would spend $31.3 billion on health care programs during the next budget year, cutting money for hospitals and county health departments, but boosting spending on mental health and substance abuse programs. Chairman Jason Brodeur outlined the proposal Tuesday morning during hearings before the Health Care Appropriation Subcommittee. It was one of five subcommittee releasing budget outlines, pending release of the formal appropriations bill by week’s end. Under the plan, the state would spend nearly 1 percent less than it…

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Today on Context Florida: Inmates & employment, health care cost, the Civil War and Key West Ambassador to Cuba

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Today on Context Florida: With more than 100,000 inmates behind bars, Dominic Calabro notes that Florida’s correctional population is among the largest in the United States. It costs an average of nearly $19,000 per year to house an inmate — more than three times the cost of in-state tuition at the University of Florida. More than 1 in 4 former prisoners are returned to prison within three years of release. Calabro says that allowing nonviolent prisoners who have paid their debt…

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Florida hospitals say they spent $1.5B in charity care

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Florida hospitals paid for $1.5 billion in health costs for uninsured and underinsured patients last year. The Florida Hospital Association released its annual report Wednesday, noting it provided inpatient care for 2.7 million people and treated 9.5 million patients in emergency rooms in 2014. Hospitals contributed a total of $4.2 billion in community benefits, including charity care. Hospitals also spent about $22.4 million to ensure they are prepared to for emergencies, including hurricanes or outbreaks such as Ebola. Florida hospitals…

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A $30 million hospital issue could get tucked into Medicaid conforming bill

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During the contentious debate over Medicaid expansion top Republicans in the Florida House railed against hospitals as special interests and part of the “healthcare industrial complex.” Now the House is taking its battle against hospitals on multiple fronts, including trying to revive a little-noticed bill from the 2015 Regular Session that cracks down on the ability of hospitals to challenge Medicaid reimbursement rates set by the state. A staff analysis of SB 322 noted there were a number of hospitals that were challenging…

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Hospitals, HMOs asked to give Rick Scott’s commission info about finances, employees, top procedures and costs

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To prepare for the first meeting of the Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding  next week in Tallahassee Gov. Rick Scott sent Florida hospitals and HMOs a letter requesting they provide detailed information about their finances in a form provided to them by the government. Hospitals are being asked to provide information between 2006 and 2013 as well data on the 10 leading inpatient, outpatient and emergency department procedures performed at their hospitals and the prices for those procedures. HMOs are being…

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Senate unveils alternative LIP model that increases base rates for all hospitals

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The Senate on Thursday will propose an alternative “Low Income Pool” model that would use supplemental Medicaid dollars to increase the base rates all hospitals are paid to treat the poor, elderly disabled, uninsured and underinsured. The new modified LIP plan would still give the major local contributors to the LIP program a healthy return on investment because the plan also calls on modifying Diagnostic Related Group payments for inpatient care to critical Medicaid providers, or those with trauma centers, neurological…

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