Florida Agency for Health Care Administration

State Eyes Medicaid-Managed Care Extension

Oct 18, 2016

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration will start holding public meetings Tuesday as it moves forward with seeking federal approval of a three-year extension of the state's Medicaid managed-care program.

Agency For Health Care Administration

Liz Dudek, a longtime state health official who helped lead an overhaul of the Medicaid program, is retiring as secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday.

Dudek, who has served as secretary since March 2011, shortly after Scott took office, will be replaced on an interim basis by Deputy Secretary Justin Senior. Dudek's retirement from the $141,000-a-year job is effective Oct. 3.

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The state of Florida has issued an emergency order to shut down Grace Manor Assisted Living and Memory Care in Port Orange.

Hospitals, AHCA Battle Over Care For Undocumented Immigrants

Jun 21, 2016

In what was dubbed an "inevitable sequel" in a long-running legal battle, a state appeals court Tuesday heard arguments in a dispute about Medicaid payments to hospitals that provide emergency care to undocumented immigrants.


Florida health officials are changing the state's policy for administering costly hepatitis C drugs to Medicaid patients and will now require insurance companies to provide the drug at an earlier stage in the disease.

Abortion Clinics Face Licensure Loss After Doctor's Arrest

Feb 19, 2016
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Four Florida abortion clinics --- two in Orlando and one each in Ocala and Fort Lauderdale --- face the potential loss of their licenses following the arrest of a physician the state says has an "ownership interest" in them.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration filed administrative complaints last month against EPOC Clinic LLC in Orlando, Orlando Women's Center LLC, Ocala Women's Center LLC and Fort Lauderdale Women's Center LLC.

Court Allows Challenge To Jacksonville Hospital Plan

Oct 16, 2015
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Ruling against state health regulators, an appeals court Thursday said a Baker County hospital can challenge plans for a Jacksonville medical center that could become a competitor.

The 1st District Court of Appeal, in a 16-page ruling, sided with Baker County's Ed Fraser Memorial Hospital in a dispute that centers on a state decision in 2010 to issue what is known as a "certificate of need" for West Jacksonville Medical Center.

Judges To Hear Abortion Clinic Disputes

Oct 2, 2015
Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida

High-profile disputes about whether Florida abortion clinics improperly performed second-trimester abortions will be argued before administrative law judges.

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Florida officials say three of the 16 Planned Parenthood facilities inspected last week were performing procedures beyond their licensing authority, and one facility was not keeping proper logs relating to fetal remains.

However, none of 16 clinics were found to be illegally selling or transferring fetal tissue or parts.

Senators Rake Medicaid Official Over Coals

Jun 3, 2015
Agency for Health Care Administration

 A Senate committee tore into a high-ranking official from Gov. Rick Scott's administration Tuesday in a sign of mounting frustration with the governor's role in the legislative battle over health care.

During a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting held to approve a proposal (SB 2-A) aimed at helping lower-income Floridians get health insurance, committee members from both parties spent more than an hour grilling state Medicaid director Justin Senior over a perceived lack of respect for the Senate.

Hospitals To Scott: Look Up Financial Data

May 20, 2015

As Gov. Rick Scott's newly created health care commission prepares to meet today to begin sifting through data about hospital funding, the governor's request for information has been met with hospitals essentially telling him to go look it up.

Many of the dozens of surveys returned by hospitals have five or fewer of the roughly 100 lines filled out with new information. Officials frequently referred Scott back to information filed with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, which oversees much of the state's spending on health care.

AHCA Ends VA Hospital Access Lawsuit

May 14, 2015
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The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration on Wednesday dismissed a nearly year-old lawsuit aimed at giving state inspectors access to federal Veterans Affairs medical centers and documents.

AHCA and two individual plaintiffs filed a notice in federal court in Tampa that they were dismissing the case, and U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell formally approved the dismissal. The federal government fought the lawsuit, arguing last year that the U.S. Constitution's "Supremacy Clause," bars states from regulating federal activities without consent.

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  A Lakeland hospice that didn’t renew its license in February will not have to shut down as the Agency for Health Care Administration had previously ordered, the Ledger of Lakeland reports.

ACHA lawyers had threatened fines and closure of Compassionate Care Hospice of Central Florida Inc., but backed off its demands at an emergency hearing Wednesday, according to the Ledger.

Florida Board of Medicine

A long-time Miami-area psychiatrist who prescribes heavy-duty drugs in abundance has not been doing it safely, the Florida Board of Medicine said Friday.

Dr. Francisco J. Pages, charged with mismanaging the care of nine patients, needs to be evaluated to see what his knowledge level is, the board decided at a meeting in Stuart. Pages needs training to make up the deficits and close supervision by another psychiatrist for at least two years, the board said.

Governor Rick Scott is reappointing Elizabeth Dudek to oversee the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

Dudek has been the head of the agency since 2011. Together, they helped privatize the Medicaid program, paying private insurance companies a set fee for roughly 3 million Medicaid recipients instead of the state paying for each service patients incur.

Scott also praised Dudek for overseeing that Florida hospitals were prepared for Ebola.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration doesn’t have the Constitutional grounds to inspect VA facilities, the News Service of Florida reports. In response to an AHCA lawsuit asking to inspect VA hospitals, the feds cited the “Supremacy Clause,” which says the state doesn’t supercede the authority of the federal government. Inspectors sent by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration over the summer had been turned away at Florida VA hospitals, the News Service reports.

A statewide coalition of hospitals is challenging the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration over payments for emergency care for undocumented immigrants through the Medicaid program, the News Service of Florida reports. The legal challenge filed last week contends AHCA is out of bounds in its limit on when payments for treatment should end, the News Service reports. Hearings are scheduled for Nov. 12 and Nov. 13.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration has amended its lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The state was using the case of veteran Roland "Dale" Dickerson as an example of  a patient who received subpar medical care at the VA, but a Times review of his medical records revealed the state had its facts wrong in the lawsuit.  

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A South Georgia lab that runs drug screens on urine samples from Florida and three other states has been paying doctors cash rebates for the tests they order, according to internal documents obtained by Health News Florida. 

Veritas Laboratories LLC in Tifton, which conducts complex tests that can bring hundreds of dollars in insurance reimbursement, keeps $100 and sends the rest to the doctor, the documents show.

It’s unclear how many physicians have signed up for the payments, but one who mentioned it in emails to colleagues said it brought “fantastic revenue.”

Florida's nursing-home inspectors have been ordered to curtail all work except complaints about life-and-death dangers because of the federal government's shutdown. Other health-care facilities and programs may be affected, as well.

State inspections and certification of health-care institutions and programs comprise one of the less-well-known pockets of federal spending affected by Congress' halt in funds for most government operations as of the beginning of fiscal year 2014 on Oct. 1.

A Florida Senate committee is working to put an end to unlicensed assisted living facilities, many of which kept elderly and disabled people in deplorable conditions.  Many of the unlicensed ALFs have “billed themselves as shelters, rooming houses or ‘sober homes’” to avoid inspection, according to the Miami Herald.

While most of the attention in Tallahassee this week has been elsewhere -- on education standards or the rollout of the health law -- legislative committees are grilling agency chiefs and hearing from the public on topics that could lead to action in 2014.

A South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial says that Florida is failing in its care for disabled children.  A lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice accused the state of not doing enough to care for disabled children, while the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration found the suit to be “disruptive.”  The editorial slams AHCA and other Florida agencies for the lack of options when it comes to caring for disabled children.