Blog: Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Asks for ANOTHER extension in pilot talks

Sep 30, 2011

The following article was posted to the SaintPetersBlog on September 30, 2011:

AHCA asks for another extension in pilot talks

Amid uncertainty about a critical funding program, the state Agency for Health Care Administration asked Thursday for another extension in talks with the federal government about Florida’s Medicaid managed-care pilot program.

The pilot, which requires most beneficiaries in five counties to enroll in HMOs or other managed-care plans, was scheduled to expire June 30. But the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has granted a series of temporary extensions as Florida seeks approval to continue the pilot through June 2014.

The latest extension is scheduled to expire Friday. But in a letter Thursday to the federal agency, AHCA asked for an additional extension through Oct. 15. AHCA officials have said repeatedly that a major sticking point in the talks is the future of the Low Income Pool (LIP) program, which funnels $1 billion a year to hospitals and other providers that care for large numbers of low-income and uninsured patients.

LIP, as it is known, was part of the pilot. The federal government has indicated it might end such programs across the country in December 2013, but Florida is seeking to continue LIP through June 2014.

If the program ended early, it could cost Florida hospitals and providers hundreds of millions of dollars.

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