March 24, 2023 – The House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees released initial budget proposals this week, which include significant investments to strengthen Florida’s health care workforce.
“Florida hospitals deliver the high-quality care that Florida residents and visitors expect and deserve,” said Mary Mayhew, president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association (FHA). “But with hundreds of people moving to Florida daily, the demand for health care services is skyrocketing. As we think about the future of Florida, we must have strong and financially stable hospitals with a robust health care workforce. FHA is grateful to the Florida Legislature and legislative leaders including Senate President Passidomo, House Speaker Renner, and Health Care Appropriations Chairs Senator Harrell and Representative Garrison for championing important investments in the state health care system. We are proud to see an increased commitment to mental health and substance use disorder treatment, strengthening our pipeline of health care workers and making it more adorable for them to live and work in the Sunshine State. These meaningful investments are critical to Florida’s future economic vitality and to supporting a modern, sophisticated health care delivery system ready to provide worldclass care.”
The proposals released by the House and Senate both include:
- $25 M investment in LINE, a competitive grant program that matches contributions from health care partners to educational institutions (dollar for dollar) to increase the capacity of high-quality nursing education programs and expand Florida’s nursing workforce.
- $100 M investment in PIPELINE, which supports student scholarships, faculty recruitment and retention, equipment and simulation centers
- New investments in graduate medical education to expand opportunities for doctors to earn their degrees.
- $100 M investment in the Hometown Heroes Program, which supports homeownership by providing mortgage down payment assistance.
Currently, 70% of hospitals in Florida are experiencing critical staffing shortages. Adding even more pressure to the crisis, one in four nurses and one in three critical care nurses are resigning. By 2035, the Florida Hospital Association forecasts the Sunshine State will face a shortage of nearly 60,000 nurses.
Too many children and adults are not able to timely access critical mental health services. Without that timely access, their health status may further decline often leading to the need for Emergency Department services or an admission in an inpatient psychiatric unit.
The budget proposals released today invest hundreds of millions to support Florida’s behavioral health needs. Programs funded include:
- Continuation of more than $100 M investment in community-based behavioral health models including CAT, FIT, and FACT teams.
- $156 M to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Block Grant to plan, implement, and evaluate activities that prevent and treat substance abuse in Florida.
- $42.9 M for Mental Health Treatment Bed Capacity Maintenance to expand the availability of civil and forensic beds for Floridians dealing with a mental health crisis.
Importantly, both budgets include no cuts to hospital Medicaid reimbursement. Both chambers have also included targeted Medicaid reimbursement for pediatric and behavioral health treatment, but slightly differ in their approach. FHA looks forward to working with both chambers to secure targeted reimbursement for Florida’s most complex or vulnerable patients.
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.