Excerpted from the Miami Herald. Click here to read the full story.
After two years of struggling to contain a financial crisis, leaders of Miami-Dade’s public hospital system adopted a budget for 2014 on Friday that invests in hiring more physicians and nurses, upgrading electronic health records and improving patient outcomes — all helping to position Jackson Health System for epic changes coming with federal healthcare reform next year.
The Public Health Trust that runs Jackson Health System ratified the $1.5 billion budget, which now must receive approval from Miami-Dade commissioners by Sept. 30, the close of the fiscal year.
Another key investment is the hiring of 150 additional full-time staff, primarily bedside nurses and community physicians who are expected to refer patients to Jackson for hospitalization when necessary.
While Jackson invests in the future, though, the hospital system estimated 10,000 full-time employees will enter their third year without a merit increase or pay raise. Employees also will continue to pay 5 percent of their salaries toward health insurance and 3.2 percent toward their pension plan in the Florida Retirement System.
The budget assumes no reductions in service, though the geriatric psychiatric program at Jackson North is scheduled to close and its estimated 600 patients a year will receive treatment at Jackson Memorial’s main campus.