Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - February 28, 2013
February 28, 2013 - Special Meeting
Agenda Item #1

Health Care Funding

Briefing Provided Upon Request

Contact and/or Presenter Information
Karen Windon, Deputy County Administrator

Action Requested
Discussion of health care funding and options. Motion to bring to the March 12 meeting, an ordinance and associated required documents to provide for a referendum for the voters to determine whether to levy a half cent indigent health care sales surtax.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
FS 212.055(7)

Background Discussion

Over a series of work sessions, the Manatee County Health Care Alliance, providers, stakeholders and staff have discussed the status of health care in this community. Part and parcel of that discussion has been the fact that the corpus resulting from the sale of the public hospital and the primary funding source of health care outside of the general fund would be depleted in 2015.

The discussion for this meeting focuses on the system of health and the funding options related to that system. Dean Donna Petersen of the University of South Florida College of Public Health will discuss health and health systems and how they relate to and impact the community.

As relates to funding, there are three primary options for this discussion. The first would be to do nothing and discontinue funding any health care components that aren't mandated. The second would be to increase property taxes to pay for health care in this community. The third would be to implement a statutorily authorized half cent sales surtax for indigent health care, the medically poor, and for innovative and cost effective health care programs.

Many in our community are utilizing the emergency room as a primary care service. This is an expensive and inefficient utilization of resources and doesn't result in improved health outcomes. If the decision is to not address health care funding, this utilization will continue and increase. We will not only be unable to continue to fund hospitals, but will also see funding for other health care activities under the current corpus eliminated. This includes clinic services as well as substance abuse funding.

Through the option of a health care sales tax, not only would these services continue, but new, innovative, cost effective programs could offset this emergency room utilization resulting in better health outcomes for this community.

Staff recommends the indigent care sales surtax as the preferred option. This will require an ordinance to provide for the placement of a sales tax on a ballot for referendum. It also requires the submission of a Health Care Plan for the utilization of the proceeds.

County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other
The County Attorney's Office has been working with staff on these concepts and has provided insight as to allowable costs under the Florida Statutes.

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs