Medicaid

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Legal challenges continue to mount over the state’s Medicaid managed-care program. Lighthouse Health Plan filed a petition in state administrative court last week challenging state decisions that it says will lead to the automatic assignment of Medicaid patients in Northwest Florida to a competitor, Humana. 

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida / WUSF

Moving quickly, an appeals court has scheduled a hearing next week in a public-records lawsuit about whether Gov. Rick Scott should be required to turn over his calendar to an organization locked in a battle with the state about Medicaid contracts. 

Report: As Many As 37 Percent Of Rural Floridians Are Uninsured

Sep 26, 2018
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A report on health care access found the number of uninsured patients is on the rise in the 17 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid.

A Georgetown University Center for Children and Families’ report found as many as 37 percent of Floridians living in non-metropolitan areas were uninsured. 

Court Keeps Scott Records Ruling On Hold

Sep 19, 2018
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida / WUSF

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday received a legal ruling that will at least temporarily allow him to keep from turning over his calendar --- including information about fundraising events and where he will reside at night --- to a health-care organization.

Medicaid Patients Face Changes In Health Plans

Sep 19, 2018
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About 600,000 low-income patients will be assigned to new Medicaid managed-care plans in the coming months after the state ended contracts with their existing plans.

The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a lawsuit against Florida Gov. Rick Scott to get public records related to the state's Medicaid AIDS care contracts. 

State Reaches Deal On Medicaid Mental Health

Sep 6, 2018
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Patients with serious mental illness may have an increased choice of health-care providers under an agreement between the state and one of the largest Medicaid mental-health plans.

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Florida is moving ahead with new Medicaid managed-care contracts, but mental-health providers continue to await publication of details about how services need to be delivered.

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A dispute over the the state Agency for Health Care Administration’s decision to award a Medicaid managed-care contract in Southwest Florida has turned into a court battle.

It’s been over three years since the Florida Legislature debated -- and rejected -- a proposal to expand Medicaid. Expansion would make hundreds of thousands of uninsured Floridians eligible for the government healthcare insurance program for low-income people.

Thirty-three states, as well as the District of Columbia, have expanded the program. The most recent was Virginia where, after five years of heated debate, a slim Republican majority in the state Senate approved a budget that would expand Medicaid.

Will 2019 be the year Florida follows suit?

Medicaid home care aides — hourly workers who help elderly and disabled people with daily tasks like eating, getting dressed and bathing — are emerging as the latest target in the ongoing power struggle between some conservative lawmakers and organized labor.

WMFE

A fight over who should provide care for patients struggling with HIV and AIDS is growing increasingly bitter as opponents continue to blame Gov. Rick Scott. 

A federal court decision to block a change to Kentucky’s Medicaid program could affect a similar request from Florida.

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Tampa-based Argus Dental and Vision withdrew a legal challenge to recently awarded contracts in Florida’s new Medicaid dental program, clearing the way for the state to move ahead with what one official described as the “broadest dental package ever available” to Medicaid beneficiaries. 

Blue tarps still dot rooftops, homes lack electricity needed to refrigerate medicines, and clinics chip away at debts incurred from running generators. Yet despite these residual effects from last year's devastating hurricanes, Puerto Rico is moving ahead with major cuts to its health care safety net that will affect more than a million of its poorest residents.

Sammy Mack/Health News Florida

There’s one less Medicaid contract challenge the state Agency for Health Care Administration will have to try to fend off before an administrative law judge. 

Office of the Governor

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a public-records lawsuit Thursday in Leon County circuit court alleging that Gov. Rick Scott’s staff refused to provide copies of his public calendar and travel schedule. 

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The number of Medicaid patients in Florida could be decreasing like never before. Members of the state’s Social Services Estimating Conference on Wednesday agreed to revise downward overall Medicaid enrollment estimates for fiscal year 2018-2019 from 4.02 million people to 3.86 million people. 

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The Trump administration says it will restore Affordable Care Act payments to insurers that it had recently frozen, leading to concerns about higher premiums next year.

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Twenty-seven legal challenges filed by managed-care plans protesting state decisions to award $90 billion in Medicaid contracts have been grouped into five cases that will be heard in administrative court next month.

If the Jacksonville City Council gives the OK to Mayor Lenny Curry’s annual budget proposal, UF Health Jacksonville, which serves as a safety net for many uninsured and underinsured patients, could receive as much as $15 million in the coming fiscal year. Curry is also proposing for $120 million in local dollars to go fixing the hospital’s city-owned facilities over the next six years as a part of his capital improvement plan.

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A managed-care plan owned by the North Broward and South Broward hospital districts is fighting a state decision to eliminate it from providing Medicaid services to some of Florida’s sickest children. 

Eight months pregnant, the drug sales representative wore a wire for the FBI around her bulging belly as she recorded conversations with colleagues at a conference in Chicago. Her code name? Pampers.

In Florida, Midterm Elections Hold Faint Hope For Medicaid Expansion

Jul 16, 2018
WMFE

Can the deep-red Florida Statehouse follow Virginia and expand Medicaid?

Highly unlikely anytime soon, many state political analysts say.

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After a lengthy process that involved awarding tens of billions of dollars in Medicaid contracts, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration now will have to try to fend off legal challenges from health plans that were denied contracts. 

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The Trump administration's drive to wean poor people from government benefits by making them work has been slowed by a federal judge framing a fundamental question: Are poverty programs meant to show tough love or to help the needy?

A move by state health-care regulators to avoid litigation has, instead, created more.

Attorneys for Best Care Assurance, a managed care plan affiliated with Lee Memorial Health System, notified the state that they plan to challenge a decision last week to award a Medicaid contract to Molina Healthcare of Florida in a seven-county region of Southwest Florida.

WMFE

A move by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to eliminate a long-standing policy that gives poor, disabled and elderly Floridians 90 days to qualify for the Medicaid program isn’t getting support from people who care for patients or from patients’ family members.

Kaiser Health News

Two health plans that would have been locked out of Florida’s Medicaid market for the next five years were awarded state contracts after they threatened legal action.

Georgetown University Center For Children and Families

A federal law providing 10 more years of funding for the national Children’s Health Insurance Program should help Florida continue to reduce its rate of uninsured kids.

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