A federal judge has given final approval to a settlement in a decade-long legal fight over care provided to children in Florida's Medicaid program.
Judge Adalberto Jordan signed off on the deal Tuesday. The settlement, which was released in April, calls for steps aimed at increasing payments to doctors, improving dental care for children and trying to make sure children get enrolled in Medicaid and receive services with minimal disruption.
"We are pleased that the court has approved this settlement which should lead to better access to medical and dental care for the 2 million Florida children on Medicaid," said Stuart Singer, an attorney with Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, the lead counsel for those who brought the case.
Critics of Florida's Medicaid program have long argued that low reimbursement rates dissuaded doctors and dentists from treating children and other patients in the program.
The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Florida Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and individual plaintiffs filed the lawsuit against the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Health in 2005.
Jordan gave preliminary approval to the settlement last month.