Counties file lawsuit over Medicaid billing law

Apr 26, 2012

The Florida Association of Counties has announced a lawsuit against the state of Florida over $300 million in disputed Medicaid bills. Lynn Hatter reports the counties decided to sue after the state passed a new law requiring them to pay the money.

During the 2012 legislative session, lawmakers crafted a plan that requires counties to pay 85-percent of the disputed claims, or 100-percent of the claims with the option to sue. But Florida Association of Counties spokeswoman Craigin Mosteller says that’s unconstitutional.

 “These disputed bills will be garnished and the counties won’t have a chance to review the bill. And that’s a fundamental issue. None of us do business that way. We don’t have a bill garnished from our paycheck before you even have a chance to review it and ensure its accuracy. But that’s exactly what the state is requiring.”

 The lawsuit leveled by the counties says the state cannot force them to pay bills more than four years old. The group calls the new rules an unfunded mandate. The credit rating firm Moody’s has said it views the legislature’s move as a credit negative.