The Florida House of Representatives is asking the state’s hospitals for “extensive financial data,” according to the Tampa Bay Times, as the chamber considers a state budget with nearly $600 million in cuts affecting those facilities.
The Times reported all members of the Florida Hospital Association (FHA) have been sent a request for data on all executive compensation over $200,000, along with their associated job title. They’ve also been asked to detail privately-raised funds, money spent on lobbyists and FHA dues, as well as their hospital or health system’s current market capitalization.
The information made used to justify legislators’ cuts to hospital Medicaid payments, though how big the reduction will be is still up for debate.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott—himself a former hospital executive at the Hospital Corporation of America—had initially proposed a $929 million cut in hospital funding. The Florida House proposed a lower cut of $621 million, according to the Naples Daily News, while the Florida Senate is only calling for a $259 million cut, according to Florida Health News.
FHA President Bruce Reuben has said the state should be prioritizing Medicaid funding, not cutting it to make up for tax cuts elsewhere in the state’s $81 billion budget.
“We’re going to do our best to educate people that cutting this much money for funding health care services to low-income children, pregnant women, the disabled and the elderly is hard to understand, especially when we don’t have a deficit,” he said to the Naples Daily News.