Feds grant another extension in Medicaid talks

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The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration received another 15-day extension Thursday in negotiations with the federal government about continuing the state’s Medicaid managed-care pilot program, reports the News Service of Florida. The pilot was scheduled to expire Thursday, but the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services agreed to push back the date to Sept. 30. AHCA also received a series of earlier extensions to allow more time for nailing down details of a three-year continuation of the pilot. Started in 2006, the pilot requires most Medicaid beneficiaries in Broward, Duval, Clay, Baker and Nassau counties to enroll in HMOs or other types of managed-care organizations. If agreement is reached, the pilot will continue through June 2014. State officials have said that an unresolved issue is funding for the Low Income Pool program, which is part of the pilot and funnels $1 billion a year to hospitals and other providers that care for large numbers of uninsured and poor people. The federal government is looking at ending such programs in December 2013, which could cost Florida providers hundreds of millions of dollars.

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.