2 Florida hospitals stripped of Medicaid funds fight state budget provision

Two Florida hospitals are challenging a legislative decision that bars them from receiving Medicaid money used for training physicians, according to the Miami Herald.

Florida's budget for this year includes language that bars graduate-medical education funds from going to hospitals "owned or operated by a controlling interest" that has had a nursing home license revoked since the beginning of 2017.

Under the budget provision, Larkin Community Hospital in Miami and Larkin Community Hospital Palm Springs Campus in Hialeah, Fla., would lose their Medicaid funds for training physicians. The state says the hospitals are under the controlling interest of Jack J. Michel, who also has controlling interest in a nursing home that had its licensed revoked in January, according to the Miami Herald.

The hospitals filed a lawsuit in June challenging the fine print in the budget, called "proviso" language. They argue the budget proviso is unconstitutional for a few reasons, including that it singles out the two hospitals.

"The challenged proviso language was adopted to specifically target the Larkin hospitals, which operate their teaching hospital facilities in only one county in the state," states the hospitals' lawsuit, according to the Miami Herald. "Laws targeting and designed to operate upon … specific entities, providers or business owners that operate in a single county are special laws."

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody's office recently filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing the budget language applies to all hospitals in Florida. The language would bar any "hospital fitting the proviso's defined parameters" from receiving physician-training money, according to court documents filed by the state.

Access the full article from the Miami Herald here.

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