Safety Net Hospitals: Leading the Way to a Healthier Florida
When Floridians face their gravest challenges, a unique part of the state’s healthcare infrastructure is there to support them. For the burn victim suffering devastating injuries, the father in need of an organ transplant, the child with a rare form of cancer, the motorcyclist clinging to life after a highway crash, the single mother facing an unknown disease without health insurance – for thousands of people like these across the state with critical health care needs, Florida’s safety net hospitals are their only lifeline.
The teaching, public, children’s and regional perinatal intensive care hospitals that make up the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida (safety net hospitals) play a crucial role in caring for our state’s neediest citizens, providing highly specialized medical care, and training our next generation of doctors to ensure a healthy future for Florida.
Safety net hospitals and our communities also provide essential local revenue support to help pay for Florida’s Medicaid program. In fact, our hospitals and communities provide more than $755 million in local revenues in 2010 that allowed the state to draw down more than $1 billion in federal Medicaid matching funds.
Beyond our impact on health care, safety net hospitals are also major economic catalysts in each of the communities we serve. In 2010, our hospitals collectively employed more than 77,000 non-physician workers and utilized more than 13,000 physicians. Our operating budgets totaled nearly $11 billion and helped to support a myriad of local businesses. Combined, we invested in more than $1.7 billion in infrastructure improvements – which have direct and indirect economic benefits in our communities. We also helped to stimulate the exchange of goods and services in every part of the state, from the Panhandle to South Florida.
The objective of the organization is to provide support for the mission of their membership as it relates to the essential safety net role for assuring health care access to all Floridians, regardless of their ability to pay for these services. This support may include governmental advocacy, public relations efforts and community education programs that help assure health care access for the uninsured either through the governmental sponsored care or through public and/or private efforts that make private health insurance more accessible to all citizens of the state.