Florida officials applied to the federal government on Monday with an official request to transition the state’s Medicaid program to managed care despite vocal opposition from legislative Democrats, The Palm Beach Post reported.
“But Republican Gov. Rick Scott said he was confident the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would approve the request, which supporters say could save the state more than $1 billion when fully in place,” according to the Palm Beach Post report.
Because Florida’s Medicaid program draws more than half of its funding from the federal government, the managed care overhaul needs White House approval. Florida is one of many states currently suing the federal government to block implementation of healthcare reform. That stance could harm the state’s favor in its request to change Medicaid, which serves 3 million Floridians.
According to the Palm Beach Post report, Florida’s Medicaid proposal would divide the state into 11 regions where HMOs and other managed care companies would provide patient care. The first phase would begin in July 2012 with long-term care, and nursing home patients would be fully enrolled by 2013. The federal government would not need to obey this proposed timetable.