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Counties to pay $300 million under Medicaid billing law

Florida counties will have to pay more than $300 million dollars in disputed Medicaid claims under a bill signed Thursday by Governor Rick Scott. Lynn Hatter has more.

The counties claim the state’s Medicaid billing system is filled with errors and that they’re being charged for claims they don’t actually owe. The law requires the counties to pay 85-percent of their bills, or 100-percent of the bill with the right to sue. Republican State Representative Matt Hudson says the new law also sets up what he calls “a payment plan.”

 “We’ll let you take a 15-percent discount off of what you owe to take care of that disputed amount and pay your tab and give you a payment plan to do that—five years to pay it off, or you want to continue to dispute, that’s fine. But you’re going to have to pay us what you owe us and then you can dispute and we’ll give you a refund if you’re successful in your dispute.”

The new law also limits the number of times Medicaid beneficiaries can go to the emergency room to six per year. It also allows low-income state workers to enroll their children in the KidCare program.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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