Expansion of Jackson Memorial Hospital through its $830 million bond program to help the county’s major health system sustain solvency was detailed by Carlos A. Migoya, president/ CEO of Jackson Health Systems, before a small but interested audience in Kendall on Apr. 16.
The inaugural “Meet the Board” session arranged by the Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations was aimed at providing residents with an opportunity to ask questions of local and state government officials and their organizations. The question of continued economic stability for the nation’s largest public hospital system was introduced at the outset of a Q&A session by KFHA president Michael Rosenberg.
“How do you make money at a hospital that largely services indigent patients?” Rosenberg asked.
For nearly an hour, Migoya provided a variety of answers that included what effect the 10-year program of capital improvements will provide for a staff of 1,100 residents at the Civic Center campus as well as old and new Jackson Health System satellite hospitals elsewhere in Miami-Dade.
The hospital system last year reported a $50 million profit but Migoya admitted that “to achieve another $50 million this year will turn on what happens in Tallahassee.”
As he spoke, the state legislature remained deadlocked on a $4 billion gap between Senate and House health budgets that could ultimately channel $200 million to Jackson for Medicaid patient care, a decision that also pivots on Gov. Rick Scott’s support.
“Even last year, when the system earned its first true surplus since 2006, skeptics said it was an unsustainable blip that would be followed by tumbling volumes and revenues,” Migoya said. “We have proven the skeptics wrong.
“Through the passion and professionalism of our caregivers and the support of our community, Jackson’s future is brighter than ever,” he declared, pointing to increased numbers of patients are choosing Jackson system hospitals. “A new crop of world-class physicians are joining our team, both directly and through our academic partnerships with the University of Miami and Florida International University.”
Among other key points he made:
• Ground will be broken in the fall for the new Rehabilitation Hospital on the JMH campus, first major project to get underway in the bond program, a building Migoya projects for completion by September 2018;
• A $63 million program of improvements is planned from bond moneys to fund new improvements at Jackson South Hospital, and $81 million is earmarked for Jackson North;
• Property is being acquired for a new Jackson facility to serve the booming Doral and central Dade population to open within three years, including a children’s care facility;
• Two other expansion sites are being sought to establish Jackson facilities to serve areas in Hialeah, Carol City, Miami Gardens and eastern Miami-Dade.
Migoya pledged that Jackson “would continue to receive indigent patients that normally are refused by private hospitals elsewhere in the county — but there is no ‘free care’ provided other than emergency room respondents.”