New Florida governor will scrutinize public hospitals

Florida's public hospitals will come under the close scrutiny of the incoming governor, reports the Miami Herald. Rick Scott's transition team has recommended that a panel be convened to study whether public facilities such as Jackson Health System in Miami and Broward County's hospital system are needed.

"The governance of Jackson has historically been very poor. ... They're going to find that the Legislature is going to be increasingly unwilling to fund the infamous misadventures of Jackson," said Alan Levine, who chaired a committee that made the recommendations to Scott. He added that Palm Beach and Hillsborough Counties have successfully treated indigent patients without operating public hospitals.

Levine, who previously served as a healthcare advisor to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, is currently an executive with Health Management Associates, a private hospital operator based in Naples, Fla., notes the Herald.

In addition to years of money-losing operations, Jackson has also been through a variety of managers. Its current CEO, Dr. Eneida Roldan, announced in November she will leave her post this June after clashing with the Miami-Dade County Commissioners.

Scott, who was inaugurated earlier this week, is best known for helming for-profit hospital operator Columbia/HCA when it pled guilty to 14 federal felonies connected to Medicare fraud.

For more:
- read the Miami Herald article