New Report Explains How Stimulus Dollars Were Used in Health Care Systems Throughout Florida

Oct 15, 2010, 08:41 ET from Collins Center for Public Policy

MIAMI, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Collins Center for Public Policy has released a report that examines the impact of the federal government's economic stimulus funding on Florida's health care system.

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The Collins Center report – The Impact of Federal Stimulus Funding on Health Spending in Florida: Accomplishments and Challenges – was co-authored by Jack Meyer, Ph.D. and Marie Gueye, MMP of Health Management Associates, a consulting firm specializing in health care program development and data analysis which the Collins Center hired to study and analyze the funding and expenditures. The complete report can be downloaded from the Collins Center web site by visiting http://floridastimulus.collinscenter.org.

Florida will receive more than $20 billion through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The Collins Center report highlights four important parts of ARRA investments relating to health care:

  • An increase in the Federal Matching Assistance Program with an additional $4.36 billion in Medicaid funding for Florida;
  • Expansion and modernization of 44 federally qualified community health centers through $88.6 million in ARRA funding;
  • Launch of a new statewide program to reduce hospital-acquired infections through a grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention; and
  • Development of health information technology to facilitate the adoption of electronic medical records through a $2 billion grant from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

"Our hope is that by providing straightforward information about how spending has occurred so far, we may be able to help chart a course for how Florida might continue to make wise decisions about its spending for the health of its residents in the future," said Leda M. Perez, Ph.D., Vice President, Health Initiatives for the Collins Center for Public Policy "This report is meant to serve as a helpful reflection of what has been accomplished and what more might yet be achieved."

In addition to describing state and local programs that have received ARRA funds, the report offers seven recommendations the state and private businesses can adopt to benefit health care in Florida.

1. Develop a plan to adjust to the phased reduction in ARRA's enhanced federal support for Medicaid.

2. Use this planning period to learn about the complex medical needs of the people who would be newly enrolling in Medicaid, and determine best practices in chronic care management to serve them.

3. Augment state efforts to redirect patients from emergency rooms for non-emergency care to primary care settings.

4. Obtain greater funding for community health centers.

5. Continue the momentum begun with ARRA support for reducing health care-acquired infections.

6. Ensure that the initial vision for moving from a paper-based to an electronic health care system stays on course and is implemented throughout the state.

7. Sustain initiatives to build up an adequate and qualified health care work force to help assure that the state has enough primary care physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nutritionists and health information technology experts to meet the needs of a growing and aging population.

A webinar will be held on October 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm during which Meyer and Perez will present the report's findings. For more information, visit http://floridastimulus.collinscenter.org

This report is the first of a series of reports that will focus on several aspects of ARRA funding, including investments in infrastructure and education.

Health Management Associates (HMA) is a consulting firm specializing in the fields of health system restructuring, health care program development, health economics and finance, program evaluation, and data analysis. HMA is widely regarded as a leader in providing technical and analytical services to health-care purchasers, federal and state government, and providers, with a special concentration on addressing the needs of the medically indigent and underserved people and assessing the new health reform legislation.

SOURCE Collins Center for Public Policy



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