Florida's Government-Owned Hospitals Must Determine Worth, If They Should Sell

Florida's government-owned hospitals will soon begin a new legislatively-mandated process in which they must hold public meetings, hire valuators, compare their clinical performance to other hospitals and decide whether to sell, according to a Miami Herald report.

The process was established upon the passage of House Bill 711 this past spring, which was championed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott, a former executive of Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America. At the end of the valuation and clinical performance analysis, the hospital districts' boards are to determine whether the hospital should be sold.

Hospitals do not have to begin the process until December 31, although Memorial HealthCare System, also known as South Broward Hospital District, in Hollywood is nearly finished. It will hold its public meeting today to discuss the potential benefits of selling the $1 billion system.

North Broward Hospital District in Fort Lauderdale is beginning the process and comparing bids to select a third-party valuation team. Jackson Health System in Miami has yet to begin.

Gov. Scott could appoint all seven members on each of the Broward district boards by the end of his term, according to the report, which makes those two districts most vulnerable to the new evaluation process.

Gov. Scott has previously questioned whether the state needs government-owned hospitals. In 2011, he appointed a task force to analyze whether government hospitals should continue to receive tax dollars for charity care.

The group recommended hospital taxing districts be reapproved by voters every eight to 12 years or close down. While HB 711 does not address that report directly, it is designed to weigh the pros and cons of selling the state's public hospitals.

More Articles on Florida Hospitals:

Florida Hospitals Expand to Suburbs for Long-Term Growth
Florida Governor Signs Bill to Increase Oversight of Public Hospital Sales
62 Florida Hospitals Join National Initiative to Improve Safety, Readmissions Rate

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