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Counties may challenge new Medicaid billing law

A new law signed by Governor Rick Scott requires Florida’s 67 counties to pay more than $300 million in disputed Medicaid bills. Now Lynn Hatter reports, the counties are considering filing a lawsuit to challenge the legislature’s attempt to recoup that money.

Florida counties have to pay a portion of long-term hospital stays and nursing home care.  Up until about four years ago, they had been paying the majority of their bills. But in 2008 the state switched its billing system. And counties say the new one is full of billing errors.

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.

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Manatee County Commission has voted to pursue a lawsuit or join other counties in a case to keep from having to pay bills they say they don’t owe.

The Investment firm Moody’s has issued a report on the state’s move to make counties pay the disputed claims. It says it views the legislature’s move as a credit negative.

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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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