Nursing Homes, Safety Net Hospitals Win In Budget

Mar 9, 2018

Nursing homes will get a $130 million bump in Medicaid payments, and residents who live in the facilities will get nearly a 25 percent increase in a monthly stipend they can use for personal needs, under a state budget deal finalized Thursday.

Under the spending plan, the state during the upcoming year would spend $37.1 billion across six state health-care and social-service agencies. Nearly $9.9 billion of that amount would be state general-revenue tax dollars, compared to the $9.4 billion during the current year.

Rural Hospitals Wary Of Florida's Budget Proposal

Mar 4, 2018

Rural Hospitals are having trouble providing health care to their patients, and officials say the Florida Legislature’s budget plan isn’t likely to help.

Heidi de Marco / Kaiser Health News

Amid the outcry over the Florida school shootings, the Trump administration says it is "actively exploring" ways to help states expand inpatient mental health treatment using Medicaid funds.

Health Program Money Won't Hit Projections

Feb 25, 2018
Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

Gov. Rick Scott last year bragged that the Trump administration had agreed to steer $1.5 billion in supplemental Medicaid funding to the state, saying at the time the money will “truly improve the quality and access to health care for our most vulnerable populations.” 

House Eyes Work Requirement In Medicaid

Feb 22, 2018

Florida might consider imposing work requirements on adults enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program, a move some critics contend would be “cruel” for poor people who rely on the safety-net program for health care.

Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

President Donald Trump’s new budget proposal flirts with combating high prescription drug prices, but industry watchers say the tweaks to Medicare and Medicaid do little more than dance around the edges of lowering the actual prices of drugs.

Unable to walk or talk, barely able to see or hear, 5-year-old Maddie Holt waits in her wheelchair for a ride to the hospital.

Nursing Homes Get Boost In Senate Budget

Jan 25, 2018
Florida House of Representatives

Nursing homes would get a nearly 4 percent increase in what they are paid to treat frail, elderly Floridians, while $318 million in Medicaid funding would be redistributed among the state’s hospitals, under a proposed spending plan released Wednesday by a Senate budget panel.

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The Trump administration’s watershed decision Thursday to allow states to test a work requirement for adult Medicaid enrollees sparked widespread criticism from doctors, advocates for the poor, and minority and disability rights groups.

Kentucky got the green light from the federal government Friday to require people who get Medicaid to work. It's a big change from the Obama administration, which rejected overtures from states that wanted to add a work requirement.

Medicaid Work Requirement Unlikely In Florida

Jan 12, 2018

While the Trump administration signaled willingness this week to allow work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries, the Florida Legislature is unlikely to move ahead with such a mandate this year.

The Trump administration early Thursday initiated a pivotal change in the Medicaid program, announcing that for the first time the federal government will allow states to test work requirements as a condition for coverage.

Florida officials say hackers may have accessed the personal information and medical records of up to 30,000 Medicaid recipients two months ago.

State Faces Shortfall In Children's Medical Program

Dec 12, 2017
Nick Evans/WFSU

A Medicaid program that pays health-care costs for some of the sickest children in the state has an estimated $25 million budget shortfall, a key lawmaker said Monday night.

Margaret Leatherwood has eight choices for health insurance next year but no good options.

Democrats Seek Vote On Expanding Medicaid In Florida

Dec 10, 2017

Two Democratic lawmakers are calling for voters to decide next year whether Florida should expand the Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Medicaid Plan Required To Return $1.8 Million To State

Dec 4, 2017

Simply Healthcare Plans made too much money from Florida's health-care program that treats the poor, elderly and disabled and was required to return nearly $1.8 million to the state.

Having failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress is now working on a tax overhaul. But it turns out the tax bills in the House and Senate also aim to reshape health care.

Here are five ways the tax legislation could change health policy:

1. Repeal the requirement for most people to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty

Assisted Living Facilities Face $280 Million Tab For Generators

Nov 30, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott's mandate that all assisted living facilities have generators and 96 hours of backup fuel will cost the industry about $280 million, according to estimates published Wednesday by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

In April 2014, state and federal drug agents raided Jeffrey Campbell’s medical clinic in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Police cars blocked the parking lot as bewildered patients scattered and the agents carted off boxes of records from the doctor’s office.

The former general counsel for WellCare was sentenced to six months in federal prison for making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid Program.

The Trump administration’s recent endorsement of work requirements in Medicaid and increased state flexibility is part of broader strategy to shrink the fast-growing program for the poor and advance conservative ideas that Republicans failed to get through Congress.

Some States Roll Back ‘Retroactive Medicaid’

Nov 14, 2017

If you’re poor, uninsured and fall seriously ill, in most states if you qualify for Medicaid — but weren’t enrolled at the time — the program will pay your medical bills going back three months. It protects hospitals, too, from having to absorb the costs of caring for these patients.

Nursing Homes Seek State Money For Generators

Nov 14, 2017
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Florida's largest nursing-home association has one question as the 2018 legislative session approaches: Will the state help foot the costs of generators at nursing homes?

Residents in this rural state grappling with a heroin epidemic and an aging population voted Tuesday to deliver a rebuke to Republican Gov. Paul LePage and join 31 other states that have expanded Medicaid under former President Barack Obama's health care law.

Senate Moves Again On Health Insurance Changes

Nov 8, 2017
Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

Physicians would have greater leeway in prescribing medications to patients, and insurance companies would have less time to approve prior-authorization requests under a bill unanimously approved by a Senate panel Tuesday.

A bill that would create a Florida system parallel to the existing federal Veterans Health Administration passed its first committee hearing Tuesday.

It would allow veterans to opt into the state’s Medicaid system in addition to or even instead of the VA.

Latvala Wants To Avoid More Hospital Cuts

Nov 3, 2017
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The Florida Legislature during the 2017 session agreed to a $521 million cut in Medicaid funding for hospitals as part of its $83 billion-plus budget.

Doctors Can Have Say On Managed Care Plans

Oct 27, 2017

State Medicaid officials are soliciting physicians to share their experiences with Medicaid managed-care plans by Nov. 20.

New Standards Add Pharmacies In Medicaid

Oct 26, 2017

To address “concerns and issues” with pharmacy networks, Medicaid officials have reduced maximum times and distances that patients can be forced to drive for prescriptions, members of the House Health Innovation Subcommittee were told Wednesday.