Medicaid

Consumer
8:36 am
Tue March 24, 2015

GOP Hits Medicaid to Offset Doc Fee Hikes

House Republicans quietly deepened recommended budget savings from the government's chief health care program for the poor by about $140 billion in recent weeks to offset part of the cost of higher payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients, according to officials familiar with the tradeoff.

The maneuver comes as Republicans in both houses struggle with competing priorities, in this case a desire to stabilize what is widely viewed as a dysfunctional system of provider payments under Medicare, while pursuing a 10-year goal of balancing the budget.

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HNF Stories
3:03 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Health Expansion, LIP Program Divide Budget Proposals

In a move that creates a $5 billion divide with the House, the Senate released a budget proposal Thursday that banks on expanding health-care coverage for low-income Floridians and extending a critical funding program for hospitals.

The Senate proposal, approved by a key budget panel and touted by President Andy Gardiner, reinforces that health-care funding could be the most-vexing issue facing lawmakers during the rest of this year's legislative session.

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Health News Florida
9:19 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Bill Seeks Medicaid Money for Mental Health

The Florida Senate is working on bills that would increase the amount of federal Medicaid money used to fund mental health and substance abuse problems, Florida Politics reports. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services will discuss the bill drafts Monday at its meeting.

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Health News Florida
8:33 am
Wed March 11, 2015

House Panel Blocks Medicaid Dental Changes

Credit Dave Buchwald

A House panel Tuesday rejected a proposal to revamp the Medicaid program's system of providing dental services to children.

The House Health Innovation Subcommittee deadlocked 6-6 on the proposal (HB 601), filed by Rep. MaryLynn Magar, R-Tequesta. A tie kills a bill. 

Under the state's new Medicaid managed-care system, HMOs and other types of managed-care plans are responsible for providing dental services to children.

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Health News Florida
9:09 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Broward Health Racks Up $10.2M Legal Tab

Federal authorities haven’t publicly accused taxpayer supported Broward Health of submitting bogus claims to Medicare and Medicaid, but the health system still has racked up a $10.2 million tab for legal advice, the Florida Bulldog reports.

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HNF Stories
8:52 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Study: Foster Kids Not Getting Health Care

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Some foster children are not getting their required medical screenings even though the visits are paid for by Medicaid, federal health investigators warn in a study released Monday.

The Health and Human Services' inspector general study looked at a random sample of roughly 400 foster children from California, Texas, New York and Illinois and found nearly 30 percent did not receive one or more of their required health screenings between 2011 and 2012.

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HNF Stories
9:21 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Survey: Uninsured Rate Hit New Low in 2014

Credit HealthCare.gov

The share of Americans without health insurance dropped to its lowest level in seven years in 2014 as President Barack Obama's overhaul took full effect, according to an extensive survey released Tuesday.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that the trend appears likely to continue this year, since 55 percent of those who remained uninsured told the pollster they plan to get coverage rather than face escalating tax penalties.

In Florida, the rate dropped 3.4 points.

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HNF Stories
8:39 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Senate Health Panel Tries Again on Telemedicine

Senate Health Policy Chairman Aaron Bean
Credit Florida Senate

Pointing to a need to increase access to health care in areas such as rural communities, a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders Tuesday expressed confidence they will reach agreement this year on a plan to boost the use of telemedicine in Florida.

Sometimes called "telehealth," telemedicine involves using the Internet and other technology to provide care to patients remotely.

As a basic example, a physician could use a video link to consult with a patient who is at home.

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HNF Stories
7:45 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Disputes About Old Hospital Rates Stir Controversy

  A Senate committee Tuesday postponed taking action on a controversial bill that stems from disputes about old Medicaid payment rates for hospitals.

The bill (SB 322), filed by state Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, would create a five-year time limit on challenges by hospitals to reimbursement rates. Supporters of the bill said it is needed because some hospitals have filed administrative challenges to reimbursements that date back to the 1990s or earlier.

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HNF Stories
3:00 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

FL Negotiates For LIP Money Amid Questions

Credit Agency for Health Care Administration

 Florida's Medicaid director met Tuesday with federal officials as the state tries to continue receiving $1 billion a year to help hospitals and other providers care for low-income and uninsured people. Justin Senior, a deputy secretary at the state Agency for Health Care Administration, traveled to Baltimore to meet with federal officials about what is known as the Low Income Pool, or "LIP," program.

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Health News Florida
9:25 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Alzheimer’s Care Costs Growing

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Caring for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients is emotionally demanding but also is increasingly expensive, according to a Fort Myers News-Press analysis of 10 years of records from state agencies, nursing homes and hospitals.

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Health News Florida
8:31 am
Wed January 14, 2015

FL Chamber Supporting Health Care Expansion

A new health-care policy plan from the Florida Chamber of Commerce backs an expansion of health coverage under an alternative to Medicaid expansion, the Florida Times-Union reports. The chamber president says they “largely agree" with the "A Healthy Florida Works” plan backed by several Florida business groups.

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Health News Florida
9:28 am
Thu December 18, 2014

AHCA Boss Plans for Scott's Second Term

AHCA Secretary Liz Dudek

Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Elizabeth "Liz" Dudek has an ambitious "to-do" list for Governor Rick Scott's upcoming second term, according to Christine Jordan Sexton of SaintPetersblog

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HNF Stories
8:56 am
Tue December 16, 2014

WellCare Appoints New CEO

Ken Burdick
Credit WellCare Health Plans

WellCare Health Plans, Inc., Florida’s largest Medicaid HMO provider, announced Monday that Kenneth Burdick will be appointed as CEO, according to a statement released by the Tampa-based company. 

Burdick, who previously served as the company’s president and chief operating officer, will be replacing interim CEO David J. Gallitano Jan. 1.

According to the statement, Burdick has previously held executive positions with companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Coventry Health Care, and UnitedHealth Group.

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Health News Florida
8:53 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Commissioner, Mom Accused of Fraud

St. John's County Commissioner Bill McClure
Credit St. John's County

Former employees of a medical clinic accuse the St. Johns County Commissioner and his mother of improperly billing for nearly 40 Medicaid patients, illegally storing controlled substances and forging prescriptions, the Florida Times-Union reports. 

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HNF Stories
9:08 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Scott Reappoints Dudek as AHCA Boss

AHCA Secretary Liz Dudek

Governor Rick Scott is reappointing Elizabeth Dudek to oversee the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

Dudek has been the head of the agency since 2011. Together, they helped privatize the Medicaid program, paying private insurance companies a set fee for roughly 3 million Medicaid recipients instead of the state paying for each service patients incur.

Scott also praised Dudek for overseeing that Florida hospitals were prepared for Ebola.

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Health News Florida
9:41 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Who Knew About Medicare Scam?

Susan Rawlings Molina

The veteran business executive hired by Florida Healthcare Plus is trying to repair the image of the firm after six former employees were indicted for their role in an international, $25 million Medicare and Medicaid scam, the Miami Herald reports.

In an interview, Susan Rawlings Molina says no one else at the company knew about the fraud, except for the ex-employees who are now facing charges. Only the former workers, not the company, are accused of wrongdoing.

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Consumer
9:22 am
Thu December 4, 2014

U.S. Health Spending Growth Lowest Since 1960

National health spending grew 3.6 percent in 2013, the lowest annual increase since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began tracking the statistic in 1960, officials said Wednesday.

Spending slowed for private health insurance, Medicare, hospitals, physicians and clinical services and out-of-pocket spending by consumers.  However, it accelerated for Medicaid and for prescription drugs, according to the report, published online by the journal Health Affairs.

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Health News Florida
9:41 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Whistleblower: $130M Scam at Non-Profit

A whistleblower’s lawsuit by an ex-Plaza Health Network executive alleges that false claims were submitted to Medicare and Medicaid to the tune of $130 million, the Broward Bulldog reports.

Health News Florida
9:34 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Hospital Loses Insurer, Spars With Another

Sarasota Memorial Hospital will no longer be an in-network hospital for patients signed up with the region’s largest Medicaid provider, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

After Dec. 31, Staywell Wellcare patients will not be covered at Sarasota Memorial, which currently treats 90 percent of the area’s Medicaid patients who need hospital care.

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Health News Florida
9:31 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Hispanic Kids Less Likely to be Insured

A new study released Wednesday by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute's Center for Children and Families found that Hispanic children in Florida are more likely to lack health insurance than Hispanic children in other states, the Miami Herald reports.

HNF Stories
9:13 am
Thu November 13, 2014

43% of FL Medicaid Kids Miss Checkups

Credit U.S. Navy

Millions of low-income children - including almost half of those in Florida - are failing to get the free preventive exams and screenings guaranteed by Medicaid and the Obama administration is not doing enough to fix the problem, according to a federal watchdog report.

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HNF Stories
9:25 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Medicaid Expansion Still a No-Go in FL, TX

Texas and Florida, with their large uninsured populations, are not expected to offer coverage to many low-income patients. KHN’s Phil Galewitz and Mary Agnes Carey discuss:

MARY AGNES CAREY:  Welcome to Enrollment Encore: What you need to know before open enrollment in the health law’s marketplaces begins again on November 15th. I’m Mary Agnes Carey.

KHN Senior Correspondent Phil Galewitz joins me now to talk about Medicaid and the health law.

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8:23 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Court Backs AHCA On Medicaid Payments

An appeals court says Florida Hospital Orlando should repay more than $22,000 in Medicaid payments it claimed in the care of a 3-year-old child with leukemia, the News Service of Florida reports. The judges said Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration was justified in requesting repayment in the case that centers around the state’s determination of whether care is a “medical necessity,” according to the News Service.
  • Source: Usf
  • | Via: News Service of Florida
An appeals court Thursday sided with the state Agency for Health Care Administration in a dispute about whether Florida Hospital Orlando was paid too much for treating some Medicaid patients. The agency in December issued an order requiring the hospital to repay $22,138 in Medicaid overpayments, along with a $500 fine and $7,635 in costs.
Consumer
8:46 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Hospitals Taking Cues From Hospitality

Two years ago, Inova Health System recruited a top executive who was not a physician, had never worked in hospital administration and barely knew the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.

What Paul Westbrook specialized in was customer service. His background is in the hotel business – Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton, to be precise.

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HNF Stories
8:32 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Senate Hopeful Inspired by Medicaid Expansion Loses

  Democratic candidate Judithanne McLauchlan, who was inspired to run for Florida Senate District 22 against incumbent Republican Jeff Brandes because he was the only vote in the Senate against an alternative to Medicaid expansion, lost 57 percent to 43 percent.

During the 2013 Legislative session, Brandes was the lone vote against state Sen. Joe Negron’s alternative to Medicaid expansion. The plan, which would have drawn down $51 billion in federal funding over 10 years under the Affordable Care Act, was ultimately defeated by the Republican-controlled House.   

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HNF Stories
3:11 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Florida Matters Preview: Attorney General Debate

Left to Right: Al Ruechel (Bay News 9), Ybeth Bruzual (News 13) and Adam Smith (Tampa Bay Times) moderate the only debate among the three candidates for Florida Attorney General: Pam Bondi (incumbent, Republican), George Sheldon (Democrat) and Bill Wohlsifer (Libertarian).

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 9:20 am

Florida's candidates for Attorney General met for their first and only debate earlier this month in the studios of Bay News 9.

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HNF Stories
8:49 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Sickest Medicaid Kids in 'Chaos,' Doctors Say

Florida pediatricians who care for severely disabled children  say the state's overhaul of Medicaid has left  kids, parents and caregivers in turmoil.

Extremely fragile children, including some with tracheostomies and feeding tubes, face barriers in access to specialty care, physical therapy, home medical supplies and other urgent needs, the pediatricians say.

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HNF Stories
8:53 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Scott, Crist Weigh In on Medicaid Expansion

If former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist gets his old job back, he promises to expand Medicaid to roughly 1 million low-income residents by calling a special session of the Legislature or through an executive order. If Gov. Rick Scott is re-elected, the decision will be once again left to the Legislature with little meddling from him.

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HNF Stories
3:35 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Medicaid Expansion Inspires FL Senate Candidate

Medicaid expansion is an issue in the race for Florida’s Senate District 22, a swing district that covers most of Pinellas County and extends to South Tampa.

"This is an issue that propelled me into the race because I am running against the only senator that voted against the Medicaid expansion,” Democrat Judithanne McLauchlan said.

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