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Florida Hospitals’ Inquiry about Immigration Status: Things to Know

Most Florida hospitals will begin gathering information on patients’ immigration status on Saturday. Defying medical professionals’ advice that this could discourage sick people from getting care.

Patients at Florida hospitals that take Medicaid will be asked about it, though they can choose not to respond. The provision is just one of many in a new bill. SB 1718, intended to stop the flow of unauthorised immigrants into the state. This was approved by the Florida Legislature and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in May.

Other healthcare providers, such as physician offices and community health centres, are exempt from the new rule. The new bill will have the following effects on your hospital care:

Understanding the Possible Immigration Status Inquiries Made by Florida Hospitals

Hospitals that receive Medicaid will need to ask patients if they are lawfully residing in the United States on their admission and registration forms. Patients who attend the emergency room or are admitted to the hospital will be questioned.

For instance, patients at Memorial Regional Hospital, one of Broward’s public hospital systems, can choose from the following options. US Citizen, Legal Resident, International Visitor, International Student, Undocumented, Other/Unknown Patient chose not to respond.

The Effects of Immigration Status Inquiries at Florida Hospitals

According to the law, hospitals will have to put a statement on the forms. Assuring patients that their answers won’t have an impact on their treatment or result in a disclosure of their legal status to immigration authorities. The immigration issue, according to the bill’s detractors, may scare some individuals away from getting medical attention.

In an email to the Miami Herald, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration said it was “in the process of putting this legislation into effect and will work with hospitals to make sure they have the knowledge they require to abide by the new law prior to its effective date.”
The agency, as well as the bill’s author, state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, did not respond to queries from the Miami Herald.

Hospitals affected by Law?

The new law will apply to any Florida hospital that takes Medicaid. The following hospitals are located in South Florida:

In Miami-Dade: Baptist Health South Florida; HCA Florida Mercy Hospital; Mount Sinai Medical Center; Miami-Dade’s public hospital system; Jackson Health System, HCA Florida Kendall Hospital.

In Broward: Broward Health Medical Center and Memorial Regional Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Florida; Broward’s two public hospital systems;which is part of Memorial Healthcare System.