Lawmakers have agreed on final health care spending issues, releasing a list of agreed to health care items that includes nearly $85 million in add-on payments for children’s hospitals willing to enter into Medicaid managed care contracts.
According to budget documents made available late Wednesday night, the money will be directed to facilities that, as of July 1, were separately licensed specialty hospitals providing comprehensive acute care services to children.
Payments to the hospitals will be distributed to the qualifying hospitals proportionally.
The House included mandatory Medicaid contracting language in its Medicaid managed care rewrite, which was a non-starter for the Senate.
The language was a carryover from the 2020 Session when the House tried to include the contracting mandate in a budget conforming bill and without public debate.
By including the issue in the budget, it should mean that it no longer will need to be part of the Medicaid managed care rewrite, HB 7047.
Attempts to contact the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida for a comment were not immediately successful.
The funds were included in both the House and Senate “sprinkle lists.” Sprinkle is legislative parlance for last minute funding that is sprinkled throughout the budget, usually on items that haven’t been previously discussed.
Other major health care sprinkles include $25 million for UF Health in Jacksonville, which is also set to receive $55 million from the Health Care Appropriations silo for the Leon Haley Jr. Trauma Center. The new facility will be named after the former head of the hospital who passed away while on a family vacation last year.
Lawmakers are also setting aside $3.7 million for a children’s hearing aide program and $3 million for a “Healthcare Transparency Marketing Campaign.”
The release of the list is a sign budget negotiations are wrapped and the Legislature will hit its new planned end date of Monday, March 14.