At least 17 counties have agreed to settle a lawsuit that stems from the Legislature’s decision this year to try to collect disputed Medicaid billings from local governments, according to a list provided by the state Agency for Health Care Administration, reports the News Service of Florida.
The settlements came after the state and counties agreed last week to put the lawsuit on hold as they continue negotiating Medicaid billing issues. At least 25 other counties remain in the lawsuit, though they have agreed to what is known as an “abatement” of the case until later this year, according to information from the Florida Association of Counties. Still other counties have taken different positions, including three — Broward, St. Johns and St. Lucie — that have gone to the state Division of Administrative Hearings to try to fight state attempts to collect about $30 million in Medicaid billings from Nov. 1, 2001, through April 30, 2012.
A coalition of counties filed the lawsuit in April in Leon County circuit court challenging the constitutionality of the new law aimed at recouping back Medicaid payments and collecting money in the future. By agreeing to settle the case, counties are able to avoid a controversial part of the law that allows the state to withhold what are known as “revenue sharing” payments to recoup past Medicaid money, a court document filed last week indicates.