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Counties preparing a challenge to new Medicaid billing law

The Florida Association of Counties has officially announced it will soon challenge a new Medicaid law that is expected to cost taxpayers millions of dollars. As Sascha Cordner reports, while supporters of the law say the counties are just trying to avoid paying what they owe, the counties say they shouldn’t be forced to pay $300 million in disputed Medicaid bills due to mistakes in the state’s billing system.

Counties are required to pay part of their residents’ Medicaid costs. But, Florida Association of Counties Spokeswoman Cragin Mosteller says it’s not fair a new law now leaves taxpayers on the hook for millions just because of accounting errors by the state-federal health care program.

“AHCA has had multiple problems with the billing system for Medicaid for counties with some time now. Counties are billed multiple times for the same patient. There’s been accounting errors. And, so it’s just a giant accounting mess, and rather than investing the time and resources to fix that mess, the Legislature just passed the buck, and asked counties to pay the bill, regardless of whether the bill was right.”

So far, five counties are planning to join the suit, including Leon, Seminole, and Polk. Mosteller says the challenge that should be filed in the 2nd Judicial Circuit in Leon County in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Governor Rick Scott has promised steps will be taken to keep the same errors from repeating in the future.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.