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low income pool

Florida hospitals recently learned that an agreement between the state and federal governments will provide them with up to $1.5 billion to cover care for people who can’t pay.

But local governments will have to put up $559 million in matching funds before hospitals can access all of that money.

Managed Care Extension, LIP Money Approved

Aug 4, 2017

Dealing with two major issues in Florida's health-care system, federal officials Thursday approved a five-year extension of a statewide Medicaid managed care program and finalized a $1.5 billion pot of funding to help with charity care.

Scott Signs Health Care, Renewable Energy Bills

Jun 19, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott late Friday signed 13 bills, including a 59-page health care bill that is linked to the new state budget.

‘LIP’ Money May Be Closer To $1 Billion

May 10, 2017

While Gov. Rick Scott's administration has reached agreement with the federal government on as much as $1.5 billion for the Low Income Pool program, the actual amount going to hospitals in the coming year could be closer to $1 billion, a key lawmaker said this week.

The state budget includes deep cuts to hospitals that serve the poor and lawmakers are betting on federal money to help offset the losses.

Florida budget leaders will have to decide how to structure about $651 million in Medicaid cuts for hospitals and also will grapple with issues such as how much money nursing-home residents should keep each month for personal needs.

The infusion of 1.5 billion dollars in the state budget to help cover health care for low income Floridians could go a long way toward bridging the divide between the House and Senate spending plans. 

Details Still Being Worked Out On ‘LIP’ Program

Apr 14, 2017

Saying only the "number is final," Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Justin Senior said Thursday that details still need to be finalized about how Florida can use $1.5 billion in funding through the Low Income Pool program.

Health Care Money Gives Boost To State Budget

Apr 13, 2017

As they worked to craft the state's next budget, Florida lawmakers got some unexpected help Wednesday: hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for hospitals that could free up state money to be spent elsewhere.

Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida members are worried federal and state lawmakers will reduce health care funding for low income Floridians.

House, Senate Agree On Health Budget

Mar 4, 2016

House and Senate budget chiefs reached agreement Thursday night on two areas of the state spending plan for the year beginning July 1, striking deals on funding for environmental programs and health care.

Lawmakers Agree On 'LIP' Hospital Funding

Mar 1, 2016

Facing a nearly $400 million cut in the coming fiscal year, House and Senate budget negotiators late Monday agreed on a plan for divvying up money in the Low Income Pool program, which helps pay for hospital care for poor and uninsured patients.

Last year, lawmakers in Tallahassee fought over how to fund health care for uninsured Floridians. Now two new reports say county leaders are the ones who really need to be concerned.

Hospital Group Says More 'LIP' Money Possible

Nov 4, 2015

With Florida facing a funding cut next year in a major health-care program, the president of a hospital-industry group said Tuesday he thinks it remains possible to get federal approval for more money.

The federal government is standing firm in its decision not to increase funding for indigent health care in Florida next year.

State health officials hoped the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would pony up more than $304 million in matching funds for a program called the Low Income Pool, down from a half billion this year.

One Jacksonville Senator isn't worried about the decrease in funds. At least for now.


Gardiner Says Health Funding 'Remains To Be Seen'

Oct 15, 2015

With Florida facing another cut next year in a key hospital-funding program, Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, said Wednesday it "remains to be seen" whether lawmakers will use state tax dollars to help deal with the reduction.

Arguments Set In Scott LIP Lawsuit

Jun 8, 2015

A U.S. District Court judge will hear arguments June 19 in a lawsuit filed by Gov. Rick Scott against the federal government in a dispute about the Low Income Pool health-funding program.

Chief U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers issued an order Thursday scheduling the hearing on Scott's motion for a preliminary injunction in the case.

Feds Take Aim at Gov. Scott's LIP Lawsuit

Jun 2, 2015

Describing the state's arguments as "baseless," federal officials this week fired back in court against Gov. Rick Scott's contention that the Obama administration has unconstitutionally tried to link expanding Medicaid with the continuation of a key health-care funding program.

FL Could Get Low Income Pool Funds

May 21, 2015

The Obama administration has made an offer that it hopes will resolve Florida’s $1 billion state budget stalemate over health care funds for poor people.

Federal health officials agreed to extend Florida’s hospital funds for another two years, but only at about half the amount the state received last year. That means Florida lawmakers may have to dip into the state budget to fill the gap or state hospitals will get less money in the coming year.

In a letter Thursday to Gov. Rick Scott, federal officials stressed that they would not use Low Income Pool hospital funds to cover anyone who could be covered by Medicaid expansion, but they also acknowledged the loss of those funds may be difficult for the state. The current hospital funds are $2.1 billion dollars, put up by the state and federal government. The administration’s preliminary offer drops that to $1 billion for the 2015-2016 fiscal year and to $600 million the following year.

The proposal is still subject to a formal review but federal officials said they wanted to work with the state in good faith, recognizing that the Legislature needs to pass a budget by June 30 to avoid a state government shutdown.

“The decision about whether or not to expand Medicaid is a state option … (R)egardless of whether a state expands Medicaid, uncompensated care pool funding should not pay for costs that would be covered in Medicaid expansion,” federal health officials said in the letter.

The funds, which are part of a federal program that covers the hospital bills of uninsured and Medicaid patients, were supposed to end this year as President Barack Obama’s health care program grew. Patients covered by the low-income pool were supposed to be covered by Medicaid, but the Florida House and Scott have balked at expanding it.

The bitter standoff between the Republican governor and the Obama administration tore apart the state legislative session, with the House abruptly adjourning three days early last month. Scott sued the Obama administration, comparing federal officials to the TV mobster show “The Sopranos” and accusing them of withholding the hospital funds because the state wouldn’t expand Medicaid.

The dispute created a $1 billion hole in the governor’s budget that should now be much easier for lawmakers to address when they return for a special session June 1.

Scott pressed for the extension for months, even visiting Washington twice and blaming the Obama administration for ruining his budget and ignoring his timeline even though he’s known for more than a year that the funds were ending. He waited until mid-April to submit a proposal, although the months-long required public comment period made it impossible to get an answer before the Legislature adjourned last month.

The Obama administration and hospitals want the governor to expand Medicaid to more than 800,000 low-income Floridians and will not spend federal hospital funds on those who would be covered by Medicaid expansion. That’s because federal health officials say it’s more efficient to use the money to give people health insurance than to pay hospitals for caring for the uninsured retroactively.

But Scott and Republican House leaders refuse to accept any money tied to the Affordable Care Act - including Medicaid expansion. They even snubbed a Senate proposal that would eventually take billions of federal dollars and allow the Medicaid expansion recipients to buy private health insurance - a solution that Scott has fought for in the past.

The House and Senate recently announced they would discuss Medicaid expansion during the special session, snubbing the governor’s call to focus only on the budget.

Senate leaders had prepared to move ahead with a health care coverage plan during the upcoming special session, but the announcement from the federal government bolsters the argument of House Republicans who maintained that the state would continue to receive a decent chunk of the hospital money without having to expand Medicaid.

During a recent closed-door session, House and Senate budget chiefs discussed the House’s objections to the Senate’s current proposal. Senate budget chief Tom Lee agreed there were “reasonable” concerns raised about the Senate plan.

Scott Names Hospital Panel Without Hospital Executives

May 12, 2015

  

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday appointed nine people --- none of them hospital executives, and only one of whom appears to have significant medical experience --- to a commission meant to examine the economics of health care and hospitals in Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott’s call for an investigation of hospital finances, officially issued this week, had a familiar ring to Floridians in the health-care industry.

“My first thought was, ‘Gee, didn’t we just do that?’” said Linda Quick, president of the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association. She was one of those asked to testify at a 2011 hearing held by Scott’s first hospital-financing panel, created shortly after he was sworn into office.

Florida is asking a judge to order the Obama administration to keep giving the state millions for its hospitals.

The state on Thursday asked a judge to impose an injunction on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, alleging the state is illegally being forced to expand Medicaid in order to get low-income pool hospital funds. Governors in Texas and Kansas are also supporting Florida's litigation.

Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott says he and the Obama administration are still far apart on health care financing issues that have paralyzed the state's efforts to pass a new budget.

After meeting privately with federal Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell on Wednesday, Scott said the two "had a good conversation," but added, "we don't have resolution."

Florida officials have a new proposal to try and keep $2.2 billion federal health fund for the uninsured.

The Low Income Pool, or LIP, reimburses hospitals for the care of uninsured patients. The new plan would reimburse based on the quality of care.

The Agency for Health Care Administration took public comment for the first time Wednesday. Poinciana retiree Jim Guth said he supports the program, but doesn’t like the strings attached to federal dollars.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli surprised lawmakers Tuesday when he abruptly adjourned the chamber three days before the legislative session was scheduled to end. He did so because the House and Senate are far apart on a budget plan.

  

Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday he is suing the Obama administration for withholding hospital funds because the state won't expand Medicaid.