As the leading voice of Florida’s hospital community, Florida Hospital Association (FHA) President and CEO Mary Mayhew visited Washington, DC this week to meet with members of Congress to discuss important issues facing Florida’s hospital community, including workforce shortages and the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment program.
“Senators Rubio and Scott are tackling issues faced by Florida’s hospitals head on by engaging stakeholders to combat workforce shortages and introducing legislation that will modernize the outdated DSH payment program,” said FHA President and CEO Mary Mayhew. “Florida’s hospitals are facing an unprecedented workforce shortage due to the pandemic and our hospitals are losing millions in Medicaid funding through the current DSH payment program formula. As our hospitals recover from the pandemic, it is imperative that we solve these issues now so that our hospitals can meet the pressing health care needs of their communities.”
Delivering high-quality care to Florida’s communities requires hospitals to assemble a qualified and skilled workforce. Preliminary data from the FHA’s Florida Nurse Workforce Study (which will be released in full in August) show that Florida is expected to face a shortage of more than 58,000 RNs and LPNs by 2035. Action is necessary to reverse these trends, and FHA looks forward to continuing to work with stakeholders and lawmakers on this important issue.
Last year, Florida, the third most populated state in the country, received the same amount of Medicaid DSH funding as Connecticut, the twenty-ninth most populated state. The DSH allotment formula does not reflect states’ current populations, demographics, Medicaid enrollment, or Medicaid spending. As a result, Florida’s hospitals are spending millions each year, which could be reinvested in new models of care for patients. FHA supports the SAFE Hospitals Act of 2021 which was introduced by US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and looks forward to continuing to advocate for this necessary legislation.
About the Florida Hospital Association
Founded in 1927, the Florida Hospital Association is the leading voice for health care in the State of Florida. Through representation and advocacy, education and informational services, the Florida Hospital Association supports the mission of more than 200 hospitals and health care systems to provide the highest quality of care to the patients we serve. Led by President and CEO Mary Mayhew, the Florida Hospital Association has offices in Tallahassee and Orlando and is governed by a Board of Trustees and officers elected by the member institutions. For more information, visit www.fha.org.