Who We Are, What We Do and Why We’re Different

The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida advocates on behalf of Florida’s 14 safety net hospital systems located in the most densely populated areas, yet with clinics and transfer agreements covering Florida’s rural communities and coast to coast.

The teaching, public, children’s and regional perinatal intensive care hospitals comprising the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida share a common, yet unique mission. We provide the most highly specialized medical care and train tomorrow’s doctors. Yet, unlike some, our doors are open to all of our state’s citizens. This combination of advanced medical care and commitment to our communities is what sets us apart.

We offer medical education for tomorrow’s physicians and nurses. We serve as trauma centers, offering highly specialized medical expertise and dedicated emergency treatment for Floridians throughout the state. We provide specialized care to women and children, as well as operate costly services like burn units, transplantation and neonatal intensive care, knowing full well that there will never be enough patient volume to cover the expense of offering these lifesaving services to the unfortunate few who need them.

Safety net hospitals ensure that the citizens of Florida receive the care that they need—and deserve.

 

Safety Net Hospitals: Essential Pieces of a Healthy Florida

When it comes to Medicaid and charity care, not all hospitals are equal. Florida’s Safety Net Hospitals serve a special role in caring for the poor and uninsured. It is essential that state policy makers protect these hospitals from devastating budget cuts in 2008. Consider:

  • Safety net hospitals represent just 10 percent of the state’s hospitals, yet provide over 50% of the charity care in Florida, and nearly 50% of all Medicaid hospital care.
  • 75% of their patients are government-sponsored or uninsured.
  • Their Medicaid/uninsured patient caseload is 66% higher than the rest of the hospital industry.
 

Any medicaid low income pool cuts must safeguard hospitals providing the care

  • There’s a $103 million deficit in the Low Income Pool (LIP), a state/federal Medicaid program that is a crucial source of reimbursement for safety net hospitals.
  • Recognizing the state’s fiscal crisis, safety net hospitals recommended, through the LIP Council, $60 million in program reductions and are asking the Legislature to provide only $43 million in General Revenue support.
  • It’s essential that any LIP cuts must protect the hospitals that provide a disproportionate amount of care to Medicaid/uninsured patients, operate costly trauma centers and deliver most of the graduate medical education in the state.
 

Communities and hospitals already bear costs of medicaid hospital care

  • State General Revenue only pays 9.6% of the cost of inpatient Medicaid care.
  • 90.4% of the “state’s share” is made up by local taxes and the state’s “sick tax” on hospitals.
  • Safety net hospitals lose money on every Medicaid patient they treat — they receive 94 cents for every $1 in audited care they provide to Medicaid patients.

Remember: For every $1 in state money cut from the Medicaid program, the state loses $1.27 in federal matching money. Legislators must avoid wastefully forfeiting money earmarked by the federal government to assist Florida’s poor.