The FCMU Mission
The mission of the Florida Center for Medicaid and the Uninsured is to conduct research, policy analysis, and education on issues related to access, quality, and cost of health care for underserved populations. Critical to our mission is the timely dissemination of information to policy makers, providers and advocates.
FCMU: Health Services Research and Vulnerable Populations
FCMU serves as a campus-wide home for researchers and analysts interested in issues related to access to quality health care for Florida’s vulnerable populations. This is important for two reasons. A focus on vulnerable populations is particularly important in our state. In Florida, children and adults have significantly lower rates of employer-sponsored health insurance and higher rates of uninsurance relative to national averages. Florida’s demographic makeup is among the most racially and ethnically diverse in the country creating a strong demand for a culturally and linguistically competent healthcare workforce. The state’s population is aging rapidly, placing an increasing burden on the long-term care system. In addition, as the federal and state budgets grow tighter, Medicaid will face significant cutbacks in service and in enrollment. Lessons learned in Florida will have implications for the nation as a whole.
FCMU’s Role in Florida Health Care
The Center advances its mission in a number of ways. First, the Center will actively pursue grants and contracts from national foundations and agencies to support the work of UF health services researchers interested in underserved populations. Second, the Center serves as a resource to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) for the study of issues pertaining to state health policy. In this regard, the Center engages in a contractual arrangement with AHCA to research issues that pertain to the development of policy options for Florida Medicaid. The Center will also draw on existing research expertise within the university. For example, the Bureau of Economic and Business Research in the College of Business currently provides survey support to the Center. The dissemination of data, findings, and policy options to stakeholders is a key element of the Center’s work. In addition to publication in major health services research journals, the Center produces and distributes its work in forms that appeal to policymakers. These include policy papers, issue briefs and fact sheets. The Center also holds periodic meetings and forums that engage Florida’s lawmakers, their staff, and other advocates in meaningful health policy debates. Critical to the expansion and sustainability of health services research is the development of younger researchers and analysts. The Center is be committed to serving as a research base for graduate students interested in low-income and vulnerable populations.