Another Health Care Budget Headache for Florida?

Amid an ongoing dust-up over Florida’s health care spending, there are troubling signs that one of the reforms touted by Gov.Rick Scott may not be saving taxpayers money as initially promised. Scott signed into law in 2011 a measure that shifted Florida’s 3 million plus Medicaid patients into managed care. Scott praised the move and lobbied the federal government to grant approval for the shift.

But now with the overhaul complete Medicaid, HMOs have been pressing the Florida Legislature for rate increases citing losses.

That request, however, is drawing scrutiny from the Scott administration, which is questioning a request for a $400 million mid-year rate increase as well as a 12-percent increase in the upcoming year.

Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Liz Dudek said in a letter to health plans that — if justified — the rate increases the managed care plans are looking for “raise the question of whether (statewide Medicaid managed care) is able to save money after all.”

The Florida Association of Health Plans sent a letter May 20 to Assistant Deputy Secretary for Medicaid Justin Senior. The health plans, she said, have reported a $295 million loss through December 2014. Citing reports with the Office of Insurance Regulation, the HMOs say the losses are  much higher–in the $500 million range.


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