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BoCC Statement Regarding LRH Settlement

Published on Mar 8, 2023

Bartow, Fla. (March 8, 2023) — On March 3, 2023, Polk County government learned Lakeland Regional Health (LRH) agreed to a financial settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ news release read in part about allegations that LRH made impermissible donations to Polk County under the Medicaid program during 2014-2015.

“While DOJ’s statement references ‘non-bona fide donations’ made to Polk County, rest assured the county received no such donations, and there are no implications of any inappropriate actions on the part of Polk County,” said Board Chairman George Lindsey. “The role of the county was simply to send local matching funds to the State of Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) as required for the purpose of increasing the provision of health services for the Medicaid, uninsured, and underinsured population.”

AHCA then applied both county and state matching funds to acquire federal funds that were sent directly back to Lakeland Regional Health.

“Further during the period in question, the county was audited by an outside agency that showed Polk County was compliant with Federal Laws, State Statute and local ordinances,” said Lindsey.  “The Board of County Commissioners’ continues to ensure the integrity of the expenditure of taxpayer funds while providing the best possible services to our residents.”