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Mental Health Coordinator Named For Disaster Recovery

Oct 17, 2019

A longtime administrator at two Florida health-care agencies has been named the state’s first mental-health coordinator for recovery efforts after natural disasters, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced Wednesday. 

Stethoscope and gavel.
wp paarz/Flikr

Several civil legal aid organizations in Florida have filed a federal class action lawsuit against the agencies that operate the state's Medicaid system.

Families Fret Over Announced Disability Service Redesign

Jul 18, 2019

By Christine Sexton / News Service of Florida

Two state agencies are set to work on redesigning a Florida program that provides services to more than 34,500 people with disabilities.

And their caregivers and family members are nervous. 

A therapist poses with a young boy at a state health meeting in Tampa.
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

The state Agency for Health Care Administration wrapped up a series of statewide public meetings last week to address proposed changes to the Medicaid program that covers applied behavior analysis therapy.

Child at autism clinic drawing on paper.
Daylina Miller/WUSF News

The state Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) will roll out a GPS tracking pilot program as part of its effort to crack down on Medicaid fraud. 

AHCA Chief, Other Agency Heads Get Senate Approval

May 2, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ controversial choice to run the state Agency for Health Care Administration --- and the massive Medicaid program --- was approved Wednesday by the Florida Senate. 

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Behavioral therapists who work mostly with children on the autism spectrum say the state agency that oversees the Medicaid program is finally starting to listen to their concerns.

Protesters outside the Tampa AHCA office hold signs defending ABA therapy and opposing cuts to Medicaid.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

The state Agency for Health Care Administration is limiting how many people can attend a series of public meetings after so many people showed up to a meeting in Tampa earlier this month that AHCA split it into two sessions.

Governor Ron DeSantis’ pick to head the Agency for Health Care Administration, Mary Mayhew, passed her first Senate confirmation hearing Thursday. Mayhew briefly oversaw Medicaid for the Trump administration, and was over the program in Maine for seven years prior. Some Senators grilled Mayhew on her noted opposition to Medicaid expansion.

Adrianne Smith, behavior analyst and co-owner of Creative Behavior Solutions in Largo, attended AHCA's Tampa public meeting Friday, April 5 with her client, 2-year-old Dominick, and his mom, Renee Capone.
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media/Health News Florida

The state Agency for Health Care Administration has backtracked on its decision to cut Medicaid reimbursement rates for therapists who mostly work with children on the autism spectrum, but other changes are still on the table.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

The state Agency for Health Care Administration received federal approval to create a housing assistance pilot program as part of the Florida Medicaid program.

New AHCA Secretary Has Fans, Detractors

Jan 14, 2019

While Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Mary Mayhew will take the helm at the state Agency for Health Care Administration, it hasn’t been made clear when she will begin the job or how much she will earn.

DeSantis Transition To Include Health-Care Advisory Committee

Dec 7, 2018

The transition team of Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis is expected to announce a health-care advisory committee as soon as next week. 

Senior To Leave Top AHCA Post In January

Nov 28, 2018

The state’s top health-care regulator is stepping down effective Jan. 7.

Justin Senior, the secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, sent an email to his staff Tuesday afternoon saying he will leave the agency to pursue an “outside opportunity.” The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida announced late Tuesday that Senior will become the group's chief executive officer.

Nursing Homes Seek More Time On Generator Requirements

Nov 19, 2018

More than 40 percent of Florida nursing homes are asking health-care regulators for more time to meet backup-power requirements pushed by Gov. Rick Scott after Hurricane Irma last year.

Pointing to an “unprecedented” number of lawsuits, the state Agency for Health Care Administration is asking the Legislature for nearly $1.4 million in additional funding to help pay costs associated with using outside counsel next year, according to a budget document. 

Agency Turns Down Nemours Transplant Plans

Nov 2, 2018

Following a state administrative judge’s lead, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration issued a pair of final orders this week denying a plan by Nemours Children’s Hospital to establish two transplant programs in Orlando. 

As many as half of the managed-care plans providing Medicaid services to Floridians were losing money midway through the year. But key players say they are not worried.

Insurers Shun State Health-Care Website

Oct 1, 2018

The pushback against Gov. Rick Scott’s effort to create a health-care transparency website appears to be more widespread than state officials previously acknowledged.

Health Care Transparency Effort Lags

Sep 27, 2018

With just months left in his term, one of Gov. Rick Scott’s key health-care initiatives remains in limbo.

Medicaid Patients Face Changes In Health Plans

Sep 19, 2018

About 600,000 low-income patients will be assigned to new Medicaid managed-care plans in the coming months after the state ended contracts with their existing plans.

A new Florida rule requiring generators at all nursing homes and assisted- living facilities passed last legislative session after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to much of Florida for an extended period. In Hollywood, Florida 14 people in a rehabilitation center died, and 12 were ruled homicide. A swift push to pass legislation requiring generatros followed, and was signed by Governor Rick Scott in late March. 

State Challenged Over Pasco Hospice Approval

Sep 14, 2018

A preliminary decision by the state to approve a new hospice program in Pasco County faces legal challenges from two companies that were turned down. 

Proposed Hospital Projects Go To State Regulators

Sep 7, 2018

The state received nine “certificate of need” applications for new hospital projects by a Wednesday deadline, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. 

State Reaches Deal On Medicaid Mental Health

Sep 6, 2018

Patients with serious mental illness may have an increased choice of health-care providers under an agreement between the state and one of the largest Medicaid mental-health plans.

Magellan Drops Medicaid Contract Fight

Aug 28, 2018

Magellan Complete Care is dropping its challenge to contract decisions that were part of Florida’s multibillion-dollar reprocurement of the Medicaid managed-care program.

Judge Digs Into Medicaid Contract Disputes

Aug 28, 2018

A legal showdown over contracts in Florida’s multibillion-dollar Medicaid program started Monday in an administrative court.

Recently, enrollment of new behavioral health providers in two South Florida counties were suspended from the state’s low-income health program. 

Hospitals Look To Add Facilities, Expand Services

Aug 8, 2018

Seven different companies want to establish new hospitals or offer new services at existing hospitals across Florida, but at least some of the proposals aren’t in areas where the state says there’s a need. 

Delay In Federal Approval Trims Medicaid Savings

Aug 7, 2018

Nearly $100 million the state assumed would be saved by changing a policy about patient eligibility for Medicaid won’t come to fruition this year.

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