Gov. Scott Orders First Step In Killing Broward’s Hospital Districts?


I predicted months ago that Gov. Rick Scott, who spent his life in the private health care business, would be unsympathetic to Broward’s public hospital systems.

The original story is here.

I suspected that Scott was hostile to tax-financed hospital districts because he was the former CEO of the health care giant, Columbia/HCA.

I have to wonder if Scott took the first step today in dismantling the North Broward Hospital District and South Broward Hospital District?

Scott ordered a year-long study to see if government-run districts are the best way to deliver health care to the uninsured.

Some of Scott’s advisers — and I suspect the governor, too — favor the “money follow the patient” concept, which would allow taxes to flow to private hospitals that treat the uninsured.

Scott is right to be suspicious of public hospitals based on the Broward model.

With a cushion of tax money, the South Broward district has merged or forced out of business all of its private competitors.  Should public entities compete so vigorously with private enterprises that they eliminate them?

The North District is notorious for political inside dealing and has been surrounded by allegations of misspending for years.

So a government hospital district may not be the most efficient way of delivering health care for the uninsured.

According to Scott’s news release, he will appoint a commission to examine the government-run hospitals.  They will study, among other things, the much-criticized deal to take the North Broward district private and whether the deal was competitive and fair.

Wanna take a bet now on what the commission will find?

Here is Scott’s news release:


Governor Scott orders review of
government-run hospitals

Creates Commission on Review of
Taxpayer Funded Hospital Districts

Tallahassee, Fla. Today, Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order 11-63, creating the Commission on Review of Taxpayer Funded Hospital Districts. The Commission will consider whether government-run hospitals are in the best interest of taxpayers and recommend a cost-effective and efficient model for providing Florida with a health care safety net.

The Commission’s focus will be to identify efficient models for how government-run hospitals are:

· Providing access to care for the broadest population.

· Compensating physicians.

· Ensuring predictable costs to taxpayers.

The Commission will also review sale or lease proposals of public hospitals to ensure taxpayers get the best return for their investment and that the competitive process is fair.

“I am confident this new Commission will protect Florida taxpayers, Governor Scott said.  “At the same time, the Commission’s guidance will help provide Floridians a high-quality health care system.

10 Responses to “Gov. Scott Orders First Step In Killing Broward’s Hospital Districts?”

  1. Old Country Doctor says:

    The North District has had governance dedicated to political power and corruption rather than health care. It should be done away with.

  2. Jd says:

    He must be looking for ways to bilk the system or drive business to his company Solantic. Anything this snake does has to be looked at for ulterior motive. Rick Scott=slime ball.

  3. Kevin Tynan says:

    Don’t throw the baby out with the dishwater! The South Broward Hospital District, better known as the Memorial Healthcare System, is a well run hospital system that has actually lowered taxes over the last 8 years, despite the ever increasing dollars being spent for the needy, the uninsured or the underinsured. Memorial sets the bar for other private and public hospitals, not just in South Florida or Florida but in the nation.

  4. been there says:

    what I want to know is how these new hospitals go after their accounts recievables…will they ruin people’s credit (read this 16% car loans) if after 90 days they cant pay their $2500 deductible….we could really help build a middle class by not letting these kind of things effect credit…

  5. Floridan says:

    On the other hand, if you need serious medical care, would you rather be taken to Broward General or Northwest Regional Hospital in Margate (HCA) or Florida Medical Center in Lauderdale Lakes (Tenet)?

  6. Buddy says:

    A reader reminded me that I forgot to mention the members of the new commission. This appears to be a group highly unfavorable to the 30 public health care districts in Florida, including the two in Broward.
    Members includes:
    *Dominic Calabro, CEO of Florida Tax Watch, which is a pro-business group.
    *Jacob “Jake” Jackson, a former North Broward Hospital District commissioner. Jackson helped hire Alan Levine as the CEO of the North district in 2006. Levine, who left the district and is now in the private health care industry, was the chief of Scott’s transition team on health care and suggested the commission study.
    *J. Scott McCleneghen, a Miami banker.
    *Dwight Chennetee, CEO of the Palm Beach County Health Care District, which operates in conjunction with non-government health care providers.
    *Randall McDelheney, a Panama City Pharmacist.
    *R. Paul Duncan, a health services researcher at the University of Florida.
    There are several others.
    The Senate and House can appoint a member to the commission.

  7. Suspicious But Hopeful says:

    I understand the Governor’s first two goals — providing the broadest service and compensating physicians. Both are serious issues in healthcare needing to be addressed.

    “Ensuring predictable costs to the taxpayer” is a fascinating and to me curious phrase. It is different than cost containment, it is different than any phrasiology I’ve seen in connection with healthcare reform. So I’m really not sure what they mean by it. I am also not aware that cost to taxpayers in public hospital healthcare, per se, has somehow not been unpredictable.

    I would like more information please on what that means.

    Public hospital districts tax us as homeowners and businesses so they can pay for charity and indigent care. If the burden of that cost was financed or shifted in some other way, then this tax could go away. It’s not clear whether taxpayers would make out better or worse that way, what system of care would emerge, or whether doctors and practitioners would be more or less motivated to practice in such a system. It is worth studying. We should dismiss no options.

    Much has been speculated about whether public hospital systems should remain public, go private or become non-profits. This is less important than ensuring that the service be of high quality, available to all, that it contain costs where possible, and that both providers and patients be satisfied with the resulting system. The corporate set up of the hospitals should be a means to best achieve those ends.

    We cannot say that we want healthcare reform and then dismiss efforts to study and achieve those means. We should however question the goals of those efforts to make sure they are the proper goals. In this instance, I am suspicious about one of the goals and would like to learn more about exactly what it means and doesn’t mean.

  8. Real Cost says:

    If the President’s health care plan is preserved, we would have little need for charity from hospitals like Broward Medical Center and Hollywood Memorial. There would be little need for the hospital districts because almost everybody, with the exception of a few illegal aliens and others, would have healthcare. The tax for treating the uninsured should go down. Broward wouldn’t need two giant public agencies with dozens of high paid administrators to treat a fraction of those being treated today.
    “Floridan” above asked if we rather go to a private hospital or a public hospital. Depends on what private or non-profit hospital.
    If I lived in Dade County, I rather go to Baptist than Jackson, the public option. I rather go to Holy Cross than Broward General.
    Public hospitals have no monopoly on good care. There is Cleveland Clinic and many other fine facilities.

  9. District Nurse says:

    The Hospital District has outlived its usefulness. If patients knew how poorly various aspects of their care are planned and executed, they would never go to a District hospital.

  10. Jacko says:

    Well, according to this guy the public hospitals are more profitable than the private hospitals in the Broward county area: