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Scott's budget plan would cost Miami-Dade $405 million, Jackson hit hardest

A top state health official said Tuesday that Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget contains changes in Medicaid funding to fix an “unfair, not easily understood” payment system but also may trigger huge reductions for many hospitals, including the Jackson Health System.

“Hard decisions have to be made,” said Liz Dudek, secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, in a telephone interview. She said Medicaid costs have been “spiraling out of control,” and the Scott administration was trying to bring fairness to a hospital payment process that she said “mystified” and “horrified” her with its complications.

The damage for the state’s hospitals could be huge. All of Scott’s proposed Medicaid cuts, if enacted, could cost Florida hospitals $1.6 billion, according to an analysis by Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida.

Overall, Miami-Dade hospitals overall would lose $405 million, while Broward stands to lose $211 million, according to the Alliance.

Jackson Health System, which lost $86 million in fiscal 2011, could see its state Medicaid payments reduced during the next fiscal year by $258 million, AHCA reported — a drop from $861.5 million to $603.2. That includes reductions in direct payments and other funding through the Lower Income Pool and Disproportionate Share program. Story here.

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