AHCA seeks extension in Medicaid pilot talks

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The state Agency for Health Care Administration on Wednesday asked for another two-week extension in talks with the federal government about continuing a Medicaid managed-care pilot program, reports the News Service of Florida. The controversial program, which requires most beneficiaries in five counties to enroll in managed-care plans, was scheduled to expire June 30. But the state has received a series of temporary extensions as it seeks federal approval to continue the program through June 2014. The latest extension was set to expire Wednesday, but state Medicaid director Roberta Bradford sent a letter to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services asking for another extension through Sept. 15. Federal officials had not responded as of noon. Bradford also reiterated that the biggest sticking point is the possibility that the federal government could end the state’s Low Income Pool program in December 2013. That program funnels about $1 billion a year to hospitals and other providers that care for large numbers of low-income and uninsured patients.”Due to the critical nature of the funding, the state is requesting the extension of the current waiver and awaits a final determination by CMS,” Bradford wrote. The pilot program, which started in 2006, requires managed-care enrollment in Broward, Duval, Baker, Clay and Nassau counties. The state also submitted a proposal to the federal government Aug. 1 to move to a statewide managed-care system.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.