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Details Still Being Worked Out On ‘LIP’ Program

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Saying only the "number is final," Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Justin Senior said Thursday that details still need to be finalized about how Florida can use $1.5 billion in funding through the Low Income Pool program.

Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday that federal officials had approved $1.5 billion for the program, which provides money to hospitals that serve large numbers of low-income and uninsured patients. The announcement came as the House and Senate worked on budget plans, amid uncertainty about how much so-called "LIP" funding would be available.

Details of the program include highly complex issues such as how money is distributed to hospitals.

Senior discussed the LIP program Thursday as he went before the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee for a confirmation hearing. He said he expects the state will receive "final terms and conditions" for the LIP money in early summer.

Under the program, the state uses local tax dollars to draw down federal matching funds. About 60 percent of the program's money comes from the federal government.

Senior said a key to the program is making sure that local government agencies will get enough of a return on their money to be willing to contribute funds. After Senior discussed LIP and other health programs, the Senate subcommittee voted to support his confirmation.