Tallahassee, Florida – In order to award billions of dollars in Medicaid managed-care contracts, on Friday, Florida lawmakers passed a plan that will help set the stage for the Agency for Health Care Administration.
After the House agreed to drop a controversial proposal that dealt with disputes between managed-care plans and “essential” providers, such as children’s hospitals and teaching hospitals, the bill (SB 1950) passed.
The House proposal could have led to withholding what is known as Medicaid “supplemental” payments from essential providers that do not reach agreements to be part of managed-care networks.
The proposal included a mediation process designed to try to help spur essential providers and managed-care plans to reach agreements.
According to House sponsor Sam Garrison, R-Fleming Island, this week the goal of the proposal was to ensure that Medicaid beneficiaries will be able to receive specialized care from the essential providers. But hospitals objected, saying it would give an unfair advantage to managed-care plans in negotiations. They were backed by the Senate, which declined to go along with the House proposal.
Garrison acknowledged disappointment Friday in changes to the final version of the bill. “It’s a bicameral legislature,” he said. “We have to work through these sorts of things.”
In 2011, Lawmakers created a system in which most Medicaid beneficiaries are required to enroll in managed-care plans.
The Agency for Health Care Administration has gone through lengthy processes twice to award contracts to managed-care plans and is expected to begin the third round this year.