As the Manatee-Sarasota edition of Tampa Bay Medical News went to press, controversy continued to brew over the alluring pot of indigent care funds controlled by the Sarasota County Commission.
Local healthcare leaders were awaiting word from Tallahassee, where state lawmakers were considering a request from the county to strike language from state law that had gone unnoticed for a half-century.
The saga began around Thanksgiving last year, when an administrator at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota spotted a clause in a 1959 amendment to the 1947 law the Florida legislature passed establishing the Sarasota Public Hospital District. It mandated the commission to reimburse other hospitals in the county for indigent care in the same manner it reimburses non-profit Sarasota Memorial.
On Dec. 15, Doctors Hospital presented the county with the first of several monthly bills. Englewood Community Hospital and Venice Regional Medical Center soon followed suit. Collectively, the three for-profit hospitals have billed Sarasota County for more than $30 million.
is closely following this divisive issue, and will post updates via email blasts and TampaBayMedicalNews.com