A Miami federal judge gave final approval Tuesday to a settlement agreement in a decade-long legal battle between the Florida Academy of Pediatrics and the state.
Pediatricians and pediatric dentists filed the suit on behalf of some 2 million poor children who rely on Medicaid for their health care.
The plaintiffs alleged reimbursement rates were so low, children couldn’t find doctors willing to participate in the program.
Attorney Stuart Singer says the settlement agreement will require the state to pay qualifying doctors nearly double traditional Medicaid rates.
“They’re will be a reasonable opportunity for board certified pediatricians and possibly other providers for children to receive Medicare rates, rather than Medicaid rates. Medicare rates are substantially higher.”
The new fee schedule begins in October, Singer says. U.S. District Judge Alberto Jordon will continue to monitor the agreement to make sure more children are receiving treatment.