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Safety Net Executives Renew Call to Preserve DSH Payments

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 4, 2013

"People say, 'What services are you going to cut?' The reality is it is not so much cutting services. It is slowing the train down on providing services," Nathan says. "That would mean longer delays in the emergency department. It means less staffing. It means facilities getting older. It means in a growth area like ours not having sufficient beds to keep up with the growth. It means not being able to do as much for outreach that we would like to do for prevention. It means not having the funds available to make the changes to value-based purchasing at the pace that we would like to make."

Florida's legislature has rejected the Medicaid expansion dollars and Nathan says there is nothing to indicate that state lawmakers will change their minds anytime soon.

"So much of those cuts that we are expecting to see happen were supposed to be repackaged in dollars that would be sent back to Florida for the insurance expansion. Some of our legislators have said to me, 'You are foolish to think the federal government would do that,' and I say, 'Wait a minute. The federal government is doing what they said they would do. It's the Florida Legislature that is not accepting the money to come back.'"

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