Florida receives final permission to privatize Medicaid

June 14, 2013 

It's just a formality since the deal was announced months ago, but today Florida officially received the waiver it needs to privatize Medicaid. Gov. Rick Scott first announced in February that the state had received conditional approval from the federal government to allow private companies to administer the Medicaid program for roughly 3 million participants.

That was the same day Scott said he would support Medicaid expansion, his decision based in part on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' conditional agreement on granting the managed care waiver. The governor and the Senate agreed on an expansion alternative that would have qualified for $51 billion, but House Republicans blocked the deal.

Here is more from the governor's office on the final managed care waiver:

Gov. Rick Scott today announced the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gave final approval to amend the 1115 waiver demonstration, which allows the state to extend an improved model of managed care to all counties in Florida and will require managed care for certain populations. In addition, program operations and safeguards have been enhanced as this waiver amendment allows the state to improve upon the managed care model originally developed for the five-county reform demonstration that began in 2006. Gov. Rick Scott said, “Florida is leading the nation in improving cost, quality and access in the Medicaid program. CMS’s final approval of our Medicaid managed care waiver is a huge win for Florida families because it will improve the coordination of care throughout the Medicaid system. Healthcare providers can now more effectively manage chronic conditions and work with families to provide preventative treatments. When I met with HHS Sec. Sebelius in DC, I underscored how important it was for Florida to have increased flexibility in our Medicaid program by granting us the ability to utilize private insurers and other innovative providers. With this long awaited waiver, we will be able to provide Medicaid users with quality, value-based and patient centered care.”

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