Healthcare Business News

Fla. governor's veto list includes healthcare funding

By Beth Kutscher
Posted: April 17, 2012 - 5:30 pm ET

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has released his final veto list for the 2012-13 General Appropriations Act (PDF), including cuts to healthcare funding.

In total, Scott vetoed $142.7 million of the $70 billion budget. Funding for Medicaid represented $21 billion of the Legislature's budget, which was passed March 9.

In a letter to Secretary of State Ken Detzner listing the vetoed items (PDF), Scott wrote that the state will allocate funding for Diagnosis Related Groups, a prospective payment system already in use by Medicare and more than 30 states. The goal is to address two legislative priorities: cost containment for Medicaid and developing a “fair and equitable system” for hospital reimbursement, he wrote.

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The total 2012-13 budget for health and human services passed by the Legislature was $29.9 billion, of which Scott vetoed items totaling more than $27.5 million.

The vetoed items included $3.4 million that would have provided exemptions from inpatient and outpatient reimbursement ceilings for facilities classified as sole community hospitals.

Scott also eliminated $250,000 for the construction of a pediatric cardiac hybrid catheterization lab/operating room at the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, Hollywood, and $1.5 million for the planning and design of a freestanding children's hospital in southwest Florida.

He also cut funds allocated for facilities that provide services for mental illness, autism, the homeless, rape victims and medically fragile children. Other items vetoed included funding for a mobile health unit in Gadsden County, research and training programs at academic medical centers, new crisis stabilization units and vagus nerve stimulation devices.

In the letter, Scott noted that education was a top funding priority for his administration even as he sought to close the state's $3.7 billion budget gap.

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