The Florida Hospital Association is pushing back against a proposed state law that would force hospitals to contract with Medicaid managed-care programs at a time when legislators have approved changes to state law that are expected to move more of Florida's 3.1 million beneficiaries into the programs.
Fla. association opposes measure requiring managed-care Medicaid contracts
The state hospital association said data from 196 Florida hospitals (PowerPoint file) show that the providers have struck a total of 1,333 contracts with Medicaid managed-care companies. Hospital officials say the data prove that state officials don't need a law to mandate that hospitals strike contracts with the insurance administrators.
“The research clearly demonstrates the huge level of commitment by hospitals to ensure our most vulnerable citizens have access to vital healthcare services,” FHA President Bruce Rueben said in an e-mailed statement.
Spokespeople for Sen. Rene Garcia, the sponsor of Senate Bill 1884, could not be reached for comment Friday. The bill is currently pending before the state Senate Budget Committee, though no companion state House bill has been introduced.
The issue has split insurers in the state, with some managed-care firm advocating for the change and some opposing it. Michael Garner, president and CEO of the Florida Association of Health Plans, said the organization is officially not commenting on the proposal because of the differing opinions among its members.
The hospital association said some managed-care operators have expressed concern that the state would not be able to establish adequate networks for Medicaid beneficiaries without mandating hospitals to partner with every eligible plan in their region. However, the hospitals noted that the proposed law would require some hospitals to contract with managed care companies “regardless of the terms,” the news release said.
Gov. Rick Scott last year signed a bill that would move nearly all of the state's Medicaid beneficiaries into managed-care programs operated by private companies, though that program has yet to receive the federal approval needed to implement it.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.