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Florida gets closer to Medicaid managed care extension deal

By Lynn Hatter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-994639.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – An agreement between Florida and the federal government on an extension to the state's five-county Medicaid pilot, is getting closer. Lynn Hatter reports the negotiations are still hinging on to spend a billion dollars of federal money that supports healthcare for low-income patients.

The federal government had considered cancelling the Low-Income Pool about six months early which would have caused Florida hospitals to lose about 500-million dollars. Now state Medicaid Director Justin Senior says the federal government has agreed to fully fund that program with a caveat: the federal government wants to know how state hospitals will put the money to use.

"What types of initiatives are you going to implement to provide access and quality of care to the uninsured or under-insured and Medicaid population in order to get the LIP dollars?"

The Low-Income Pool issue is the last piece that needs to be in place before the federal government will agree to extend the state's five-county Medicaid-managed care pilot program. And the extension to the pilot must be finalized before the federal government will begin to consider expanding Medicaid managed care statewide.