Medicaid

Questions Swirl Around Additional Health Money

Apr 21, 2021
A man being helped by a nurse while he sits in a hospital bed looking at her.
Alessandra Tarantino / Associated Press

Florida is getting another boost in federal money after the Biden administration extended a public-health emergency, but it’s unclear if the Republican-controlled Legislature will use the extra cash to bolster health care spending.

For years, state lawmakers have refused to consider expanding the number of people who are eligible for Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Florida Medicaid Expansion Bid Gathers Signatures

Apr 15, 2019
The Florida state capitol.
Michael Riviera / Wikimedia Commons

With more than $400,000 in backing since the beginning of the year, a political committee seeking to expand Medicaid through a constitutional amendment has submitted more than 21,000 petition signatures to the state, according to the Florida Division of Elections website.

Dr.Farouk / Wikemedia commons

A Senate Bill that would permanently cut back the time Floridians have to apply for Medicaid if they want healthcare costs retroactively covered is up for debate when lawmakers reconvene in Tallahassee next week.

Democrats Seek Vote On Expanding Medicaid In Florida

Dec 8, 2017
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Two Democratic lawmakers are calling for voters to decide next year whether Florida should expand the Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Alese Bodiford
Daylina Miller

Imagine being stranded without a ride to the doctor or arriving hours late to medical appointments that your life literally depends on. Those are Florida patients’ most common grievances with a company the state pays to arrange medical transportation for people with disabilities.  



It's a busy Monday morning at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, and Philip Ertel is here for a check-up. The 60-year-old needs refills for his diabetes and cholesterol medications.

Medicaid Expansion

A new survey shows where Florida voters stand on the issue of expanding the Medicaid pool to the state’s low-income residents.

The Texas Medical Center’s Health Policy Institute poll finds 68 percent of Florida voters are in favor of Medicaid expansion and 71 percent would vote for a candidate in favor of Medicaid expansion.

We discuss the results with Dr. Arthur (Tim) Garson, director of the TMC Health Policy Institute.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Duval County’s suicide rate is far higher than the state average — that’s what the latest community Health Needs Assessment Study found.

Local healthcare providers presented the data and improvement plans Thursday.

Rick Scott
The Office of Governor Rick Scott

TALLAHASSEE — A key federal health agency on Tuesday notified Florida and other states that they may not ban Medicaid funding for family-planning services at clinics that also offer elective abortions.

That likely blocks a controversial provision of a new Florida abortion law (HB 1411) signed last month by Gov. Rick Scott.

shredded paper
Dave Bleasdale via Flickr

 

A mistake by Florida healthcare regulators may have exposed the personal information of thousands of Northeast Florida patients.

The Agency for Health Care Administration accidentally sent inspection records to a landfill, instead of a shredder, last month.

 


Embattled Dentist Charged With Medicaid Fraud

Nov 16, 2015
JSO

Dr. Howard S. Schneider, the pediatric dentist who faced allegations of mistreatment of pediatric patients, was arrested Monday afternoon, charged with 11 counts of Medicaid fraud.

According to jail records, 78-year-old Schneider was booked into the Duval County jail shortly before 4 p.m. on 11 counts of unauthorized Medicaid claims. He was being held on $110,000 bond pending a hearing that likely would take place Tuesday morning.

Attorney John Phillips, who represents some of Schneider's former patients, said his office will hold a news conference at 5:30 p.m.  

Florida State Senator Aaron Bean.
Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A Northeast Florida lawmaker is predicting Medicaid expansion won't be a factor during the next legislative session.

Senate Health Policy Chairman Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) said his focus will be on bringing down health care costs, rather than expanding coverage in 2016.

That’s because the federal government agreed to extend funding for uninsured patients through next year.


This week marks 50 years since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. The 2015 Medicare Made Clear Index polled older Americans to gauge perceptions of Medicare, its impact on seniors’ lives over the past 50 years and expectations for the program’s future. We discuss the survey's findings with Michael Lawton, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Florida.

 


The state legislature adjourned for the year without expanding Medicaid to provide health insurance for about 800 thousand low-income Floridians. But the debate is far from over.

Federal money for the Low Income Pool, assigned to hospitals that care for the poor, will decline by another $400 million next year, and state lawmakers again will be under pressure to help hospitals offset their losses. It will also be the final year the federal government will pay 100 percent of costs for any Medicaid expansion plan the state approves.

We discuss the issue with state Sentator Aaron Bean and Representative Mia Jones.


The Florida House voted down an expansion of Medicaid on Friday. Lawmakers were called back into special session this month to try to come to an agreement on health care spending. The Florida Coastal School of Law’s Disability and Public Benefits Clinic has several clients affected by the “no” vote on Medicaid expansion. We speak with Clinic director Sarah Sullivan and law student Jenny Rose.

We discuss the week's biggest news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Andrew Pantazi, Florida Times-Union reporter; Fred Matthews, Examiner blogger; A.G. Gancarski, Folio Weekly and Florida Politics columnist.

Topics include outgoing Mayor Alvin Brown's legacy, Mayor-elect Lenny Curry's transition, the issues facing the new City Council and more.

We also roundup the strange, bizarre and just plain ridiculous news from across the Sunshine State in our Only in Florida segment.

UF Health

UF Health Jax will be forced to close if there is no resolution to Florida’s health care funding crisis says CEO Russ Armistead.

The Florida House and Senate are back in Tallahassee this week after ending their regular session three days early. The two chambers could not agree on how to get health insurance to the state’s low income residents.

During an appearance on WJCT's “First Coast Connect,” Armistead spoke out on the critical issue of hospital funding in Florida.

The Florida Legislature is back in Tallahassee this week after ending their regular session three days early. Things fell apart after the House and Senate could not agree on how to get health insurance to the state’s low income residents. The standoff has real consequences for health care in our area, in particular at UF Health Jacksonville. UF Health CEO Russ Armistead joins us with his thoughts about the way forward for health care funding in Florida.

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

The UF Health Jacksonville hospital is too important to lose. That’s the message state lawmakers representing Duval County are planning to send to Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leadership in a letter next week.

The Duval delegation resolved to write the letter at their meeting in Jacksonville Wednesday after hearing from the public, including hospital executives and a hospital association president.

Gregory Todaro / WJCT News

Congresswoman Corrine Brown and several state legislators rallied in front of Jacksonville hospital on Monday. The Democratic lawmakers declared opposition to Florida Governor Rick Scott’s refusal to expand Medicaid. 

If the Medicaid debate goes unresolved, Brown warns it might fall on local taxpayers to keep hospitals operating.

UF Health

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown is asking the feds to bypass Tallahassee and work directly with the city to keep the UF Health Jacksonville open.

The hospital receives around $95 million a year from a federal program called LIP that covers uninsured, low-income patients. The LIP program is set to expire at the end of June.

We discuss the latest news in the long-running dispute between Governor Rick Scott and the federal government over the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in Florida with Carol Gentry, WUSF Health News Florida correspondent.

Google has announced new rules for the search engine will rank mobile-responsive website. Dave Wingard and Scott Magdalein of Wingard Creative join us with what companies need to know about making sure their site is mobile friendly.

UF Health

On Dec. 17, almost three months before the annual legislative session began, new Senate President Andy Gardiner met with reporters in the conference room of his Capitol office. He talked with the press for 30 minutes, touching on a wide variety of issues, including a plan by business groups and others that would use Medicaid expansion dollars to help lower-income Floridians purchase private health insurance.

According to a legal opinion released from the city’s Office of General Counsel this week, the signs on the exterior of Veterans Memorial Arena advertising the Hunt, Green & James law firm violate the city's charter and state laws. We speak with Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Bishop, who introduced legislation involving this earlier this year.

Florida Senate

Florida Senate Democrats are suing the state’s House of Representatives for quitting before the lawmaking session was scheduled to end this week.

The House adjourned early this week amidst an impasse over health care coverage in the state.

Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

 Updated 4/29 at 9:40 a.m.: 

The legislative session collapsed Tuesday amid an increasingly bitter budget fight over health-care funding, with the House abruptly adjourning and going home in a move that killed scores of bills and deepened the divide between the House and the Senate.

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott filed suit against the federal government to try to stop the Obama administration from linking $2.2 billion in funding for health-care providers to a potential expansion of Medicaid.

Colin Dunn / Flickr

The stalemate between the House and Senate over billions of dollars in health-care funding deepened Tuesday, as the federal government suggested that the fate of a pool of money for hospitals and other medical providers was tied to the state's decision on Medicaid expansion.

Florida looks to lose more federal money set aside for Medicaid than any state that has opted out of expanding the health care program for the poor, says a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.

For the past two years, Florida’s top state lawmakers have opposed expanding the Medicaid program for low-income people under the federal health law. The state has rejected more than $51 billion under the federal Affordable Care Act to increase income eligibility limits and add more people to the rolls. Now one of the state’s most powerful physician groups, the Florida Medical Association is backing a Medicaid Expansion, but it may not be enough to change state lawmakers' anti-ACA stance.

Pages