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State Seeks Renewal Of Medicaid 'Waiver'

Nurse smiling with a child patient
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida Medicaid officials are asking the federal government to renew and amend a “waiver” that allows the program to care for sick children in home- and community-based settings.

The state Agency for Health Care Administration announced this week it is requesting a five-year renewal of the waiver and is accepting public comment on the proposal through March 24.

The waiver allows the state to provide medically necessary services to children under 21 who have degenerative spinocerebellar disease, which results in a progressive deterioration or impairment of the spinal motor and sensory systems. It is open to children who are determined disabled using criteria established by the Social Security Administration and is limited to 20 children annually.

The waiver request would allow the state to reserve capacity for 15 children to transition them from skilled nursing facilities to the community. The intent is to ensure that vacant slots are available in the waiver when children want to move from nursing homes into communities.

The federal government, which helps fund the Medicaid program, requires a 30-day public comment period. A waiver involves the federal government waiving rules that usually apply in the Medicaid system.