Agency for Health Care Administration

AHCA Ends VA Hospital Access Lawsuit

May 14, 2015

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration on Wednesday dismissed a nearly year-old lawsuit aimed at giving state inspectors access to federal Veterans Affairs medical centers and documents.

AHCA and two individual plaintiffs filed a notice in federal court in Tampa that they were dismissing the case, and U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell formally approved the dismissal. The federal government fought the lawsuit, arguing last year that the U.S. Constitution's "Supremacy Clause," bars states from regulating federal activities without consent.

Hospice Seeks Stay In Dispute With AHCA

Mar 31, 2015

Warning of potentially "devastating consequences," a Central Florida hospice firm Monday sought a stay from the 1st District Court of Appeal in a dispute with the Agency for Health Care Administration about the firm's license.

Nursing home beds have been in short supply in Florida for more than a decade.

But the Agency for Health Care Administration on Friday will authorize its top picks to add another 3,100 spots across the state.

The end of this 14-year moratorium can’t come soon enough for Lillian Lara of Orlando.

Her 87-year-old father fell in December and, after a hospital stay, he’s had a bed in the short-term rehabilitation section of The Commons at Orlando Lutheran Towers.

AHCA Plans to Close Three Field Offices

Jan 24, 2015
Agency for Health Care Administration

With Florida now enrolling most Medicaid beneficiaries in managed-care plans, the Agency for Health Care Administration plans to close three field offices this summer, Secretary Liz Dudek told lawmakers Thursday.

The agency last year closed field offices in Tallahassee and Ocala and plans additional closures of offices in West Palm Beach, Panama City and Alachua.

State: Old Medicaid System For Kids 'No Longer Exists'

Jan 7, 2015
Florida Senate

Arguing that Medicaid has undergone a transformation, state officials pushed back Wednesday against a federal judge's finding that Florida has not properly provided health care to low-income children.

"Everything around the program has changed,'' state Medicaid director Justin Senior told the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. "He (the judge) is critiquing a situation on the ground that no longer exists, and that's unfortunate."

Florida Medicaid has spent at least $30.6 million in the past year on costly drug treatments for Hepatitis C, according to records from the Agency for Health Care Administration. 

Most of the spending was for Sovaldi, an antiviral approved by the Food and Drug Administration in December 2013. It was fast-tracked after clinical trials showed it had a high cure rate for patients in advanced stages of liver disease who were infected with the most common strain of the Hepatitis C virus.

State Attempt to Reopen Medicaid Case Draws Fire

Oct 30, 2014

With a federal judge possibly close to ruling in the case, plaintiffs' attorneys are objecting to a state attempt to offer new evidence in a lawsuit about whether Florida has adequately provided care to children in the Medicaid program.

The lawsuit, which has been spearheaded by the Florida Pediatric Society, was filed in 2005. A trial ended in 2012, and federal judge Adalberto Jordan is expected to issue a ruling soon, according to court documents.

Seven health plans have won bids to enroll Medicaid recipients in Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee and two other counties next year as Florida rolls out its statewide mandatory managed-care program, the Agency for Health Care Administration announced Monday.

Another seven health plans will be available in those counties especially for Medicaid patients who have chronic diseases, such as HIV/AIDS or serious mental illness.  Tampa-based Freedom Health is sponsoring four of the specialty plans, for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lung disease and congestive heart failure.

U.S. Navy

In a long-awaited move, federal health officials on Friday granted Florida's request to expand its five-county pilot Medicaid managed-care project statewide.  Mindful of how some Florida Medicaid HMOs have behaved in the past, the deal includes what an independent analyst called "unprecedented consumer protections."

Nearly half of Universal Health Care customers -- those enrolled in one of Universal's Medicare plans --  need to act immediately if they want to protect themselves from the possibility of unexpected expenses next month.

If they switch plans by Sunday, March 31, they will be fully covered under their new plan as of Monday, April 1. If they don't, the federal government will automatically enroll them in traditional Medicare. If they had prescription-drug coverage under Universal, they will be automatically enrolled in a drug plan.