Health & Science
4:10 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Feds Approve First Steps To Statewide Medicaid Managed Care

A year and a half ago, Florida lawmakers had an idea: the state may be able to save money and get a handle on the rising costs of Medicaid, if it stopped writing checks every time a bill came in. That’s called a fee-for-service model, and for years, Florida’s Medicaid program has operated on that system. But at a cost of around $22 billion, Medicaid has also grown to be the state’s single largest spending item.

The Federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services Monday signed off on the first part of a plan that will steer Florida on a path toward Medicaid managed care.

Under managed care, the state will be split into several different regions, and health insurance companies will compete in those regions for customers. The companies will get a fixed amount of money from the state to cover the costs of care. Those in long-term care will be the first to enroll in the plans.

The state is still awaiting approval full a statewide transition. A pilot program launched back in 2006 is ongoing.