Counties contest millions in unpaid Medicaid bills

Mar 16, 2012

The Florida Association of Counties is urging Governor Rick Scott to veto a bill requiring them to pay more than $300 million in Medicaid bills. Lynn Hatter reports the counties argue they don’t owe that money due to problems with the state’s billing system.

In 2008 the state Agency for Healthcare Administration switched from a paper-based to an electronic billing system. Florida Association of Counties Spokeswoman Craigin Mosteller says the state’s system is filled with errors and in many cases the counties are being wrongfully charged for Medicaid care.

Sound- Let’s say Visa sends you my statement. And you say well I want to pay my bill, but I won’t pay Craigin’s bill. And you argue with VISA for four years, and Visa comes in and says, you know what? Just pay 85-percent of Craigin’s bill. In fact, we’ll take it from your paycheck. That’s what the legislature has done to counties.”

Counties have to pay a portion of long-term hospital stays and nursing home care.  The requirement that they pay was put into a budget conforming bill. It gives them the option to pay 85-percent of the bills or 100-percent of the bills with the option to sue.