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Washington has not signed off on Rick Scott’s new LIP proposal, feds say

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The federal government received Gov. Rick Scott‘s proposal to revamp the Low Income Pool and “continues to be engaged with Florida,” but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “has not communicated approval,” a spokesperson for HHS said Friday.

Ben Wakana said CMS is reviewing the proposal as well as the public comments and is “working to understand the implications of the letter as well as the viability and sustainability of the proposed funding mechanism.”

Florida was advised last week that it tentatively could expect a $1 billion Low Income Pool program for the 2015-16 year and a $600,000 LIP program for the following year. Deputy Medicaid Director Justin Senior sent a letter to HHS advising that the press misreported the information and that the state could receive a $2 billion-plus program.

Senior proposed using $1 billion in county dollars and matching it with federal Medicaid dollars and increase hospital rates.

A different approach than the Senate LIP model, Scott’s plan would result in a $200 million reduction in Medicaid payments and the for-profit facilities would gain more than $100 million. Scott is the former chief executive at the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain.

Scott has pushed to keep the LIP program at current funding levels, which would mean that no general revenue would be required to fund the program. That frees up money Scott would like to use to cut taxes and increase education funding.

Lawmakers return to Tallahassee on Monday to begin a 20-day special session on the budget and health care. LIP funding contributed to the impasse that prevented lawmakers from passing a budget during the regular legislative session.

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