The federal government has granted a three-year extension to the Medicaid Managed Care Program in Florida, which requires that almost all Florida Medicaid beneficiaries enroll in managed-care plans, the News Service of Florida reports.
The initial shift towards a statewide managed-care system in Medicaid was approved by lawmakers in 2011 and as of this month, nearly 3 million people are set to be enrolled in the program.
This decision also includes financial relief for hospitals that depend on a “Low Income Pool” program to pay for treatment of poor uninsured patients, the News Service reports. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had been asking Florida hospitals to repay $267 million in overpayments to this fund. On Friday, it dropped the bill to $104 million, the Miami Herald reports.
The decrease is significant: Tampa General Hospital’s bill drops from $13.3 million to $5.2 million and Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital will pay $18.3 million and not $47 million, the Herald reports.
Despite the change of heart, federal officials made it clear they expect the state to move away from additional LIP funding in the future, the Herald reports.