At the HHS committee meeting, guest speaker Clint Shouppe from BayCare Health System presented on Medicaid funding in Florida, with a focus on the future of the state’s Low Income Pool (LIP), which is funded largely by intergovernmental transfers (IGTs) from counties and special taxing districts, as well as federal matching dollars.  LIP, which provides supplemental funds to hospitals to partially offset the costs associated with providing uncompensated care, is only approved through July 2015.  At this time, the state has commissioned an independent review of the existing Medicaid financing mechanisms, which includes considering ways for the state to transition to a system that relies less heavily on IGTs for supplemental hospital funding.  The report is due to the legislature on January 15, 2015.  In the interim, FAC continues to support a system for distributing IGTs that ensures donor counties are able to direct federal matching dollars to best meet the health care needs of their constituents.  FAC will be working with the hospitals and other interested parties as this issue continues to develop.    

In addition to selecting its top priorities, the HHS committee revised several existing policy statements.  After much discussion, the committee approved a change to the County Health Departments (CHDs) statement to clarify support for increasing state general revenue for CHDs, as well as for restoring past funding cuts for operating support.  The committee also formally approved a statement supporting state legislation establishing programs to allocate state funds to hire additional Veterans Services Officers in counties, with the goal of increasing federal services and benefits for veterans.

The committee selected the following items as 2015 priorities:

* Medicaid County Cost Cap
* IGTs/ LIP 
* Homelessness/Veterans’ Services
* County Health Departments

For more information on any HHS policy statements or related issues, please contact Susan Harbin.