Ultimate financial responsibility for treatment received at a participating hospital or a regional referral hospital by a qualified indigent patient who is a certified resident of a county in the State of Florida, but is not a resident of the county in which the participating hospital or regional referral hospital is located, is the obligation of the county of which the qualified indigent patient is a resident. Each county shall reimburse participating hospitals or regional referral hospitals as provided for in this part, and shall provide or arrange for indigent eligibility determination procedures and resident certification determination procedures as provided for in rules developed to implement this part. The agency, or any county determining eligibility of a qualified indigent, shall provide to the county of residence, upon request, a copy of any documents, forms, or other information, as determined by rule, which may be used in making an eligibility determination.
(1) A county’s financial obligation for each certified resident who qualifies as an indigent patient under this part, and who has received treatment at an out-of-county hospital, shall not exceed 45 days per county fiscal year at a rate of payment equivalent to 100 percent of the per diem reimbursement rate currently in effect for the out-of-county hospital under the medical assistance program for the needy under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, as amended, except that those counties that are at their 10-mill cap on October 1, 1991, shall reimburse hospitals for such services at not less than 80 percent of the hospital Medicaid per diem. However, nothing in this section shall preclude a hospital that has a formal signed agreement with a county to treat such county’s indigents from negotiating a higher or lower per diem rate with the county. No county shall be required to pay more than the equivalent of $4 per capita in the county’s fiscal year. The agency shall calculate and certify to each county by March 1 of each year, the maximum amount the county may be required to pay by multiplying the most recent official state population estimate for the total population of the county by $4 per capita. Each county shall certify to the agency within 60 days after the end of the county’s fiscal year, or upon reaching the $4 per capita threshold, should that occur before the end of the fiscal year, the amount of reimbursement it paid to all out-of-county hospitals under this part. The maximum amount a county may be required to pay to out-of-county hospitals for care provided to qualified indigent residents may be reduced by up to one-half, provided that the amount not paid has or is being spent for in-county hospital care provided to qualified indigent residents.
(2) No county shall be required to pay for any elective or nonemergency admissions or services at an out-of-county hospital for a qualified indigent who is a certified resident of the county if the county provides funding for such services and the services are available at a local hospital in the county where the indigent resides; or the out-of-county hospital has not obtained prior written authorization and approval for such hospital admission or service, provided that the resident county has established a procedure to authorize and approve such admissions.
(3) For the purpose of computing the maximum amount that a county having a population of 100,000 or less may be required to pay, the agency must reduce the official state population estimates by the number of inmates and patients residing in the county in institutions operated by the Federal Government, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Health, or the Department of Children and Family Services, and by the number of active-duty military personnel residing in the county, all of whom shall not be considered residents of the county. However, a county is entitled to receive the benefit of such a reduction in estimated population figures only if the county accepts as valid and true, and does not require any reverification of, the documentation of financial eligibility and county residency which is provided to it by the participating hospital or regional referral hospital. The participating hospital or regional referral hospital must provide documentation that is complete and in the form required by s. 154.3105. (4) The county where the indigent resides shall, in all instances, be liable for the cost of treatment provided to a qualified indigent patient at an out-of-county hospital for any emergency medical condition which will deteriorate from failure to provide such treatment if such condition is determined and documented by the attending physician to be of an emergency nature; provided that the patient has been certified to be a resident of such county pursuant to s. 154.309.
(5) No county shall be liable for payment for treatment of a qualified indigent who is a certified resident and has received services at an out-of-county participating hospital or regional referral hospital, until such time as that hospital has documented to the agency and the agency has determined that it has met its charity care obligation based on the most recent audited actual experience.