Florida Group Concerned About Potential Salary Cap on Future County Health Department Employees
The Florida Association of Counties is working to undo a proposed state budget provision that would cap the salaries of future employees in county health departments, Health News Florida reports. The counties say the caps would make it impossible to offer competitive salaries that would attract physicians and dentists.
State lawmakers last month learned that some physicians and dentists in the state were earning between $221,000 and $477,000 annually in contracts with the health departments. State Department of Health officials said that in some counties, there are not enough physicians who accept Medicaid, and low-income people who instead have to seek care through county departments. The state contributes about 30% of county health department funding. One provision of the proposed budget would eliminate partnerships between eight counties and federally qualified health centers to hire professional staff.
State Senate Budget Committee Chair J.D. Alexander (R) said that the cap is necessary to keep tabs on government spending. State Senate Health Spending Committee Chair Durell Peaden (R) said that the budget proposal has not been finalized and that lawmakers are "still working on this" (Sexton, Health News Florida, 4/21).