Florida Hospitals Seek Medicaid Hike
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For updated global info & data on COVID-19, please click HERE.
For COVID-19 cases and death counts in USA by state, please click HERE.
For COVID-19 cases in Florida, please click HERE.
As of Wednesday morning, April 8, 2020, Florida had 14,302 confirmed cases in Florida residents and 445 cases in non-Florida residents of COVID-19, and 296 deaths.
Lindy Kennedy, president of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, sent a letter Sunday, April 5, 2020, to Governor Ron DeSantis and Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew, to let them know that Florida’s hospitals have seen marked reductions in revenue. Kennedy wrote, “We would ask you to keep in mind that hospitals are businesses, just like restaurants and cruise lines, and have seen marked reductions in revenue due to precipitous drops in non-COVID patient care and elective procedures…We too, are struggling to make difficult choices regarding staff furloughs, clinic operating hours, etc.”
Safety net hospitals would like to see Governor DeSantis using a portion of $1.6 billion in increased federal Medicaid funds for Florida to increase the amount Medicaid reimbursing hospitals for providing obstetrical care and treating COVID-19 patients.
Medicaid is funded jointly by the state and federal government, providing health care to poor, elderly, and disabled residents. Before the arrival of COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government contributed about 61% of the Medicaid fund, and Florida state government was responsible for 39%. Recently, the U.S. Congress agreed to increase the federal contribution to Medicaid up to 67% through the additional funding of $1.6 billion to the state of Florida. Therefore, this higher federal contributions would lower the financial burden on the state of Florida. It is estimated that this increased federal contribution would free up about $93 million in state general revenue that was previously slated to help pay for inpatient hospital care. Therefore, the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida would like to see somewhere between $51 million and $69 million to be used to increase payments for obstetrical services.
Kennedy said the rate increase are justified because the costs of providing the care have increased since hospitals have to comply with disease control protocols.
The federal government has already agreed to increase the amount Medicare reimburses hospitals for providing treatment for COVID-19 patients by 20%. Kennedy, however, would like to see Medicaid also pay hospitals the additional 20% even when a COVID-19 test result is negative or delayed.
Lindy Kennedy’s letter arrived after hospital systems across the state announced furloughs and pay cuts as a result of reduced revenues. Miami’s Jackson Health System, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, and Tenet Healthcare all had similar experience in decreased revenues, need for payouts, furloughs, or layoffs.
With Florida coronavirus cases approaching 10,000 Friday, the Agency for Health Care Administration is tracking available hospital and ICU beds around the state and making those numbers public to help determine what resources will be needed in the weeks to come, in the video “Coronavirus: Here’s how many hospital beds are available in Florida“, below:
Construction crews assemble beds at a makeshift field hospital at Miami-Dade County fairground in Westchester, Florida. The county is preparing for a surge of coronavirus cases, in the video “Coronavirus: 250-bed field hospital set up at Miami-Date county fairground, AFP“, below:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved a special waiver for Florida to dynamically respond to the COVID-19 / coronavirus outbreak using their state Medicaid program, in the video “COVID-19: Florida Makes Medicaid Changes (CMS Approves)“, below:
In the video “COVID-19 pandemic: South Florida hospitals review visitation procedures“, below:
Hospitals across Northeast Florida are cutting back hours for health care workers after Florida Gov. Ron Desantis ordered hospitals to stop non-essential surgeries until further notice during the coronavirus pandemic, in the video “Some Northeast Florida hospitals cutting back hours after order from Gov. DeSantis“, below:
So, let’s all try to stay home! Wear mask or scarf or some coverings for mouth and nose when in public area. As for individual citizens, please wash your hands often (each time for at least 20 seconds), get tested if and when you can, stop shaking hands, observe social distancing (staying at least 6 feet from others), be sure to get sufficient rest, be well nourished, exercised, drink plenty of hot water and ginger tea, and decrease unnecessary social contacts.
Some of the basics needed in prepping for potential self-quarantine:
- Hand cleanser (soap & water & hand sanitizer)
- Cleaning products: for cleaning household surfaces such as countertops, faucets, door knobs, drawer pulls, light switches, telephone, handles of brooms, mops, etc., for reference list suggested by CDC, click HERE.)
- Laundry detergent
- Food (at least 3 weeks worth of staples: beans, pasta, rice, canned vegetables, frozen food, canned soup, shelf-stable milk, or dehydrated food, etc.)
- Water (be it in bottled water form or activated carbon filter pitcher and/or distiller)
- Face masks
- Prescription meds (talk to your doctor as to how much of your prescription meds need to be stocked)
- Over-the-counter medicine (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, cough medicine, etc.)
- Robust WiFi
- Video conferencing services
- Entertainment (check out: Netflix’s Pandemic & Amazon’s Contagion)
- Exercise guides or equipment
You may be interested in these podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/worldaffairs/id101215657
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Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
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