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Health Plans Lawyer Up For Medicaid Challenges

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

The 12 managed-care plans at risk of being shut out of Florida’s Medicaid program have turned to 11 different law firms to represent them.

The Tallahassee-based firm Rutledge Ecenia has been hired by two managed-care plans unhappy with the state Agency for Health Care Administration’s decisions.

Attorney Stephen Ecenia is representing Magellan Complete Care, while Tana D. Story has been hired to represent Our Childen PSN of Florida.

Magellan currently has a contract to provide mental-health services statewide but was not chosen to participate in the program going forward.

Our Children PSN is a specialty-provider service network protesting AHCA’s decision not to include it as a provider in Medicaid regions 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11.

The majority of attorneys who have been hired are Tallahassee-based, but there are exceptions: Coral Care, for example, hired attorney Thomas F. Panza with the Ft. Lauderdale-based firm Panza, Maurer & Maynard.

Additionally, Lighthouse Health Plan hired the Broad and Cassel firm and Orlando attorney Benjamin J. Robinson. He will work with  Frank P. Rainer out of the firm’s Tallahassee office on a challenge.

AHCA announced last month that it planned to award five-year Medicaid contracts to nine different health plans. The contracts cumulatively could be worth as much as $90 billion, according to Medicaid Director Beth Kidder.

Twelve health plans filed notices with the state by a Friday deadline of their intent to protest the decisions. The letters of protest filed by the health plans attorneys can be found  here