Medicaid pilot extended to Dec. 15

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Federal officials Tuesday temporarily extended Florida’s Medicaid managed-care pilot through Dec. 15, amid negotiations about continuing the program through June 2014, reports the News Service of Florida. Florida Medicaid director Justin Senior told the state’s Low Income Pool Council that he thinks negotiations are getting close to the “finish line.” The pilot was originally supposed to expire June 30 but has received a series of temporary extensions. The most-recent extension was scheduled to expire Wednesday. The controversial pilot, which started in 2006, requires most beneficiaries in Broward, Duval, Clay, Nassau and Baker counties to enroll in HMOs or other managed-care plans. Also, the pilot includes the Low Income Pool program, which funnels $1 billion a year to hospitals and other providers that serve large numbers of poor or uninsured patients. One of the remaining issues is whether the federal government will require hospitals to spend more LIP money on new primary-care initiatives.

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