Sprinkle list: UF Health Jacksonville secures much-needed operational support
UF Health Jacksonville

House Speaker Paul Renner comes through for his former city's safety-net hospital, a highlight of an otherwise down year for Jacksonville in the budget.

Jacksonville’s safety-net hospital and sole Level I trauma center is getting a lifeline from the Legislature.

As the release of supplemental funding initiatives indicates, UF Health is slated for $10 million of operational support, courtesy of House Speaker Paul Renner.

While this is one-time funding and won’t recur next year without robust lobbying, this is good news for a hospital that historically is underfunded, without a special tax or some other mechanism providing monies directly.

The appropriations request, carried by Republican Sen. Clay Yarborough and Republican Rep. John Snyder, frames the funding as being in support of “the indigent care mission in Jacksonville.”

“Currently, UF Health in Jacksonville runs at a significant deficit and requires additional resources to meet the uncompensated care needs for the benefit of the community.”

Indeed, after a year with $83 million in operating losses, the Fitch Ratings Agency downgraded the hospital’s standing in late 2023. Action News Jax reported that as of late November, the hospital only had 42 days of cash on hand.

And the rating could have been worse if UF Health Jax wasn’t being considered as an integral part of the University of Florida’s larger system.

“The rating affirmation at ‘BBB-‘ reflects UFH-J’s strong relationship with the broader UF Health System, including UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville (UFH-G) and UF Health Central Florida (UFH-C), as the organizations continue to integrate and share common governance. UFH-J has unique service offerings as the leading academic medical center (AMC) in the Jacksonville area. UFH-J is fundamental to the strategic development of UF’s College of Medicine and the university’s goal to continue to enhance the profile of its academic health system.”

The Fiorentino Group’s Joe Mobley was the lobbyist of record for this project.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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