Posts Tagged ‘Medicaid’

Attorney General Bondi gives Broward Health deep discount in fraud settlement

Monday, September 25th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Eighteen months ago, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office demanded Broward Health pay more than $5.3 million to settle state Medicaid fraud claims uncovered during a federal whistleblower probe that cost Broward Health $69.5 million.
The post Attorney General Bondi gives Broward Health deep discount in fraud settlement appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

Vote on this story -->>>

House GOP health bill facing fresh House committee test

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The White House and Republican leaders are talking to rank-and-file lawmakers about revising the GOP health care overhaul, hoping to keep a rebellion by conservatives and moderates from snowballing and imperiling the party’s showpiece legislation.
Four days after a congressional report projected the bill would pry coverage from millions of voters, signs of fraying GOP support for the legislation were showing. The measure would strike down much of former President Barack Obama‘s 2010 overhaul and reduce the federal role, including financing, for health care consumers and is opposed uniformly by Democrats.
In a fresh test of Republicans’ willingness to embrace the legislation, the House Budget Committee was considering the measure Thursday. Republicans expressed confidence the bill would be approved, but the vote could be tight. The panel can’t make significant changes but was expected to endorse non-binding, suggested changes to nail down votes.
The bill would eliminate the tax penalty that pressures people to buy coverage and the federal subsidies that let millions afford it, replacing them with tax credits that are bigger for older people. It would cut Medicaid, repeal the law’s tax increases on higher earning Americans and require 30 percent higher premiums for consumers who let coverage lapse.
Overt GOP opposition grew after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected Monday that the legislation would push 24 million Americans off coverage in a decade and shift out-of-pocket costs toward lower income, older people. Obama’s law has provided coverage to around 20 million additional people
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters Wednesday that leaders could now make “some necessary improvements and refinements” to the legislation. But he declined to commit to bringing the measure to the House floor next week, a schedule Republican leaders have repeatedly said they intended to keep.
At a late rally in Nashville Wednesday, President Donald Trump said: “We’re going

Vote on this story -->>>

Heartwarming video shows Medicaid giving hope to Florida’s most vulnerable children

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Health care through Medicaid, particularly for Florida’s most vulnerable citizens — children, the elderly and low-income families — is not an abstract. It is a real need, for real people, and without it, can lead to real suffering.
A fantastic new video shows how the state’s Medicaid program is keeping one Plant City boy alive. It is not just money for lawmakers to spend arbitrarily; it is care for actual people, often those who need it most.
The video is from the Florida Hospital Association, illustrating just what is at stake when lawmakers proposed drastic cuts in the state’s Medicaid program.
The 90-second clip is one of a series in Florida Hospital Association’s “Some Cuts Won’t Heal” campaign, which features families and caregivers from across the state who rely on Medicaid to care for loved ones.
Launching statewide Monday, the digital campaign features the story of Lakota Lockhart, a 7-year-old Plant City boy who has received lifesaving services through Medicaid. Lakota was diagnosed with Central Hypoventilation Syndrome, where the boy literally forgets to breathe at night.
In the video, Dr. Daniel Plasencia, medical director of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, explains that “almost 90 percent of children” he treats at the clinic are on Medicaid.
Without that secondary Medicaid coverage, Lakota’s mother Krystal says, the family would have faced a tragic situation, with only a minimal 30 days of nursing care; not nearly enough to treat Lakota’s chronic condition.
“Cutting funding to care for sick children, the elderly, and disabled isn’t about numbers — it’s about kids like Lakota,” says the campaign’s website, which points out that Medicaid cuts will lead to a host of problems — reduced access to services, longer emergency room waits and widespread uncompensated care.
In the most heartwarming way possible, “Some Cuts” puts a human face on the consequences of cutbacks in the Medicaid program, leaving Florida

Vote on this story -->>>

Magic Johnson visits Tallahassee to talk up Medicaid managed care

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Magic Johnson visited with Senate Democrats Monday to praise Medicaid managed care programs that are using town hall meetings and church outreach to steer HIV, dental, geriatric, and other health care to poor people in 60 Florida counties.
The programs have served 9,500 people with HIV during the past four years, Johnson said.
Moreover, “our providers and our doctors look like the patients they serve. That’s very important, because they can serve them better, understand their needs,” Johnson said, providing “the best health care they’ve ever received.”
Johnson, who recently rejoined the Los Angeles Lakers as president for basketball operations, later dropped in on Senate President Joe Negron, and was scheduled to meet with Senate Republicans later in the day.
He and Negron talked about health care and baseball — Johnson is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Negron is a notorious Atlanta Braves fan.
Lourdes Rivas, president and CEO of Simply Health Care and Amerigroup Florida, which are administering the managed care program under a contract with the state, said Florida has greatly improved access to dental care — now covering nearly half of its residents, up from a low of 28 percent.
The contract is up for renewal, Rivas said.
Johnson, a “brand ambassador” for the programs, said the importance of dental care cannot be understated. He referred to reports that a child in Washington, D.C., died of a dental abscess.
“We’ve been doing a lot of great things. I just hope that all of you are proud of the work that we’ve been doing. If we are awarded this contract again, we look forward to partnering with all of you and try to do more,” Johnson said.
Caucus members expressed skepticism of GOP plans to block grant Medicaid and cut funding for health care programs, including HIV research.
Sen. Kevin Rader suggested that when Johnson met

Vote on this story -->>>

Florida AG touts $165 million recovered by state’s Medicaid fraud unit

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Florida has proved to be one of the most effective states in the nation last year for recovering Medicaid fraud money.
A report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revealed Florida recovered more than $165 million in otherwise lost funds through fraudulent Medicaid cases during fiscal year 2015-2016, the state’s attorney general said in a statement Thursday.
The report shows Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) is working, according to the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services.
“My Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigators work tirelessly to stop Medicaid fraud and recover stolen funds for taxpayers,” Bondi said in the statement. “This report sends the strong message that we will continue to aggressively pursue anyone trying to defraud Florida’s Medicaid program.”
According to the report, Florida ranked only second in the nation in total funds recovered for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, with New York raking in the most at nearly $229,000,000.
Since taking office in 2011, Bondi’s MFCU has obtained more than half a billion dollars in settlements and judgments in total.
The unit investigates and prosecutes providers that intentionally defraud the state’s Medicaid program through fraudulent billing practices. In addition, the MFCU investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program.
Each year OIG of the HHS publishes a report of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit statistical data from the preceding federal fiscal year.
California and Texas ranked third and fourth, respectively, with California saving more than $136,000,000 and Texas saving more than $128,000,000.
To view HHS OIG’s report, click here.

The post Florida AG touts $165 million recovered by state’s Medicaid fraud unit appeared first on Florida Politics.

Vote on this story -->>>

Rick Scott says ACA replacement is a work in progress

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday that he thinks Florida would be treated unfairly under the current version of congressional Republicans’ Obamacare repeal bill.
Scott did not tell reporters he opposed the bill after meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan in Washington, D.C., though he did say the repeal bill needs to be fair for states like Florida, which did not expand Medicaid. He also said the bill needs to give autonomy to run their own Medicaid programs.
States like Florida which didn’t expand can’t get treated unfairly,” he said. He also called the current plan “a work in progress.”
The newly unveiled proposal would allow states that expanded Medicaid to keep their extra federal funds for the next few years until the program phases out in 2020. The bill would also tie Medicaid funding to the number of enrollees in each state.
States that did not expand Medicaid would get an extra $10 billion over the next five years under the bill and would also have spending cuts for safety net hospitals lifted in 2018, 2 years ahead of Medicaid expansion states.
The post Rick Scott says ACA replacement is a work in progress appeared first on Florida Politics.

Vote on this story -->>>

Safety net hospital executives travel to Washington in search of money

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Representatives of hospitals that provide a lot of charity care in Florida were headed to Washington Monday to urge federal health care officials and members of Congress to give them more money and freedom to spend it.
Tony Carvalho, president of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, said members hope the Trump administration will prove friendlier than former President Obama, who trimmed Washington’s Low Income Pool financing for charity care from $2.2 billion to $608 million during the past three years.
That harmed “hospitals’ ability to care for all residents, not just those that cannot pay for their care. Now is the time to correct that injustice and ensure that Florida receives its fair share of federal funding to help cover the costs of caring for the poor and uninsured,” Carvalho said in a written statement.
Texas gets 500 percent more than Florida, he said, and California gets 20 times more.
“While we appreciate Gov. Rick Scott recommending the continuation of today’s $608 million in LIP supplemental Medicaid funding in his proposed 2017-18 budget, we urge his office to work with the Trump administration to secure at least $1.6 billion,” he said.
Scott’s proposed state budget would save $581 million by trimming Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals, and $298 million in supplemental money for for-profit hospitals that stint on charity and uncompensated Medicaid care.
They’d also like more freedom in how they spend charity dollars.
“Current LIP parameters for funding care for the poor and uninsured are too restrictive. Federal officials need to remove the allocation straight-jacket strapped on the state so Florida can direct that the precious LIP dollars be used to benefit the greatest number of patients in need,” Carvalho said.
“Federal officials need to remove the allocation straight-jacket strapped on the state so Florida can direct that the precious LIP dollars be used to benefit

Vote on this story -->>>

Federalism message echoed by Florida health subcommittee members

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

A day after Florida’s House Education Committee voted to send a memorial to Congress seeking fewer strings tied to federal education funding, a health policy panel made the same request for health care funding.
The House Health Innovation Subcommittee on Wednesday approved sending a memorial to Congress asking lawmakers to consider giving Medicaid funding to the states in the form of block grants.
“As you know, Medicaid is supposed to be a partnership. In reality, the federal government is in control,” said state Rep. Frank White, R-Pensacola, who introduced the memorial at the hearing.
“More than at any time in the past, states have the opportunity to have a serious, thoughtful discussion with the federal government about the nature of federal-state partnerships, like Medicaid, and what those successful block grants in Medicaid and other programs might look like,” White said.
White said effective Medicaid block grants would be based on the number of enrollees and adjusted for health risks and income levels. He argued that the states need flexibility to design programs tailored to their specific demographic and geographic needs.
In the public testimony on the memorial, speakers offered a mix of caution and enthusiastic support.
“In the redesign of health care, would you like to be in charge, as the state legislature? Or would you like a bunch of people in Washington to be in charge, dictating terms, creating more requirements, limiting your ability to manage the utilization of your own Medicaid program?” asked U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a freshman Republican who previously represented the Panhandle in the state House.
Gaetz agreed that there were still details to iron out about how the block grants would work, but cited his previous experience as a state legislator and current experience in Congress as he told the subcommittee members that they were best suited to determining Florida’s needs.
“I can say with

Vote on this story -->>>

VIDEO: Matt Gaetz in Tallahassee to promote Medicaid block grants

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Congressman Matt Gaetz was in the Capitol Wednesday to discuss health care reform, including his support for a block grant funding method for Medicaid, the joint state-federal health care program for the poor.
After a structured media availability, the former state representative elected to Congress last year held a more informal gaggle with members of the Capitol Press Corps.
Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican, served in the Florida House for six years.
Below is a Periscope video of his Q&A in the House media room.

More from @mattgaetz https://t.co/9UrTwSPaoP
— Jim Rosica (@JimRosicaFL) February 22, 2017
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
The post VIDEO: Matt Gaetz in Tallahassee to promote Medicaid block grants appeared first on Florida Politics.

Vote on this story -->>>

Nursing homes fighting plan to eliminate certificate of need program

Monday, February 20th, 2017

The top legislative priority for Florida’s nursing homes this year is to kill a proposal, backed by Gov. Rick Scott, to repeal a requirement that they demonstrate a demand for new beds before they can expand or build new facilities.
SB 676, by Rob Bradley, and CS/HB 7 by Alex Miller, and would eliminate the certificate of need program at the Agency for Health Care Administration for all health care facilities.
Eliminating the requirement for nursing homes “would be extremely disruptive,” Florida Health Care Association chief lobbyist Bob Asztalos told reporters during a briefing Monday.
The association, which represents 82 percent of the skilled nursing facilities in Florida, fears competition from newer, shinier “Taj Mahal” facilities would drive down occupancy rates.
That’s what happened in Texas, where the occupancy rate hit 70 percent after the state scrapped its certificate of occupancy requirement, Asztalos said.
In Indiana, eliminating the requirement led to the construction of “so many buildings that they were looking at taxpayer money to buy buildings to take them off line,” he said.
“We don’t want to see Florida make the same mistakes,” Asztalos said.
Staffing levels would be “watered down,” said Rob Greene, CEO of Palm Garden Healthcare, which operates a network of facilities.
The association would like to see expansion limited to about 3,750 beds through July 2017, targeted to areas where they’re needed.
Free-market advocates, including Scott, argue an open marketplace would lower costs and increase quality.
“The government sets our rates. If there were a true free market, we would set our rates that the state would pay us for our care. But how do you have a free market where they set our rates?” Asztalos said.
The existing system is in the best interests of nursing homes, he conceded, but it also serves the state’s policy of placing patients in home- or community-based care.
“It’s not like

Vote on this story -->>>

Florida seniors, be careful what you wish for with Donald Trump, Medicare

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Florida’s estimated 3.8 million senior citizens wanted change. They wanted to, how you say, drain the swamp? They voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in November.
With voters age 65 and over, Trump won Florida by 17 percent. That likely was the difference in a statewide race he won over Hillary Clinton by about 119,000 votes.
Here is part of the change they voted for. His name is Tom Price, just confirmed in the Senate as Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services by a party-line vote of 52-47. Seniors may become better acquainted with him the next few years. He is the guy who The Washington Post says wants to privatize Medicare and Medicaid.
“Under his vision, both programs would cease to be entitlements that require them to provide coverage to every person who qualifies,” the Post reported. “Instead, like many House Republicans, he wants to convert Medicaid into block grants to states — which would give them more latitude from federal requirements about eligibility rules and the medical services that must be covered for low-income Americans.
“This plan would also require ‘able-bodied’ applicants to meet work requirements to receive health care benefits — an idea that the Obama administration has consistently rebuffed.”
I wonder how that will go over with the good folks in Charlotte, Sumter, Sarasota and Citrus counties. They are among the 11 “grayest” counties in the country.
Sumter, with nearly 53 percent of residents age 65 or older, ranks No. 1 on that list compiled by Pew Research. It is the only county in the nation to have that distinction.
Sumter, by the way, voted 69 percent for Trump. Charlotte, the second-grayest county in the land, delivered 62 percent in favor of Trump. Citrus was 68 percent. Sarasota was 54 percent.
To be fair, some of the angst over Price is about what he

Vote on this story -->>>

Rick Scott: Obamacare expanded the welfare state

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who has asserted that he is helping President Donald Trump work on a replacement for “Obamacare,” made his feelings known about the Affordable Care Act again on Friday.
In an editorial on CNN‘s website, Scott made a number of points.
Among them, that the Affordable Care Act was nothing more than an expansion of the welfare state, and an usurpation of state’s rights when it comes to handling Medicaid.
“With Obamacare,” Scott writes, “President Obama enacted a massive expansion of the welfare state. And, not surprisingly, Obamacare has resulted in widespread increases in premiums and costs are expected to continue increasing.”
Scott’s preferred option — and likely the one the Trump administration will land on — block grants to the states for low-income health care.
“States can do a far better job administering the Medicaid program than the federal government can. If Florida is given the flexibility to run our own Medicaid program, we will be more efficient and less wasteful than the federal government,” Scott notes.
“Liberal Democrats,” asserts Gov. Scott, “have a game plan for America: everything for free, provided by the government, paid for with your tax dollars. There is a name for this approach, and it is called socialism. President Obama gave it a try, and in the process he proved what we already knew — it does not work.”
“Government assistance must be the last resort,” Scott adds, “not the first stop. This is no time for Republicans to go wobbly or get weak in the knees about repealing Obamacare. If we refuse to roll back the welfare state, what real purpose do we serve?”
With many people expecting Scott, termed out next year, to challenge Democrat Bill Nelson for his Senate seat, an oped like this serves multiple purposes.
It reminds national conservatives that, when it came to Medicaid expansion, the governor

Vote on this story -->>>

Congressional Puerto Rico task force releases final recommendations

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

A bipartisan Congressional task force heavily influenced by Florida’s U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio released its final report Tuesday on dealing with Puerto Rico’s economic collapse offering scores of recommendations for helping the U.S. territory, its economy and it’s people.
Authorized last summer by the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, or “PROMESA,” the task force has been working for six months to prepare a blueprint for the official federal agency created in that same law that will oversee the territory’s economic governance for the near future, the Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Board.
Most of the recommendations could be passed by Congress and signed by the president, pushing reforms independent of the management board. Some are recommendations for the island’s commonwealth government to tackle. Others fall more in line with hopes for changes.
“The Task Force is of the view that Puerto Rico’s best days lie before it, not behind it.” the Congressional task force members including Nelson and Rubio wrote in a joint statement issued Tuesday. “The members of the Task Force have worked across party lines to identify steps that can be taken to help Puerto Rico’s economy stabilize and grow. The Task Force hopes that its work will serve as a platform for continued bipartisan efforts to support the American citizens in Puerto Rico.”
The island’s economy is spiraling downward, and the governor announced in June of 2015 that the Puerto Rico government could not pay its $70 billion in debts. Unemployment, poverty and crime rates are higher than any state’s. Puerto Ricans are fleeing by the ten thousand a month, mostly to Florida, and overwhelmingly to Central Florida. Island schools, first-responder agencies and other agencies have been cut to what many observers say are critically low levels. Health care reportedly has been particularly rocked

Vote on this story -->>>

Joe Negron envisions block grants system for Medicaid in Florida

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Senate President Joe Negron wants to start prepairing for a day when Congress turns the Medicaid system into a block grant program administered by the states.
“What I’d like to see the Legislature do … is to start building the framework of what a block grant program would look like now that there is a reasonable chance that that could happen,” the Republican from Stuart told reporters Tuesday during a briefing in his Capitol office.
“I don’t want to wait until the federal government acts and Congress acts and we go into the next session and try to build it. I would like to fill out the model of what a Florida-run Medicaid would look like, and then — if and when Washington acts — Florida would be ready to go.
Donald Trump has proposed switching Medicaid, which mostly covers low-income people, from an entitlement program largely paid for by the federal government into block grants that would allow states to excercise more control. They could save money by providing care to fewer people.
Negron cast his proposal in more generous terms — as a way of “rather than treating Medicaid as a program where even the vocabulary that we use is disparaging, in my opinion — we say someone is on Medicaid, as if its an addiction; no one says, ‘I’m on health insurance’ — use an ownership adjective,” he said.
“I would like to see a system that empowered our friends and neighbors, millions of them, who get their health care from Medicaid.”
In other words, Medicaid no longer would represent “second-tier medical care,” Negron said.
“That’s what I aspire to. Part of that would come if the state is given the opportunity to build a program that looks like Florida and addresses our issues.”
Such a system also might address the “Medicaid gap” — a problem for

Vote on this story -->>>

Donald Trump action on health care could cost Planned Parenthood

Monday, December 19th, 2016

One of President-elect Donald Trump‘s first, and defining, acts next year could come on Republican legislation to cut off taxpayer money from Planned Parenthood.
Trump sent mixed signals during the campaign about the 100-year-old organization, which provides birth control, abortions and various women’s health services. He said “millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood,” but he also endorsed efforts to defund it.
Trump once described himself as “very pro-choice.” Now he’s in the anti-abortion camp.
Still, the Republican has been steadfast in calling for repeal of President Barack Obama‘s health care law, and the GOP-led Congress is eager to comply. One of the first pieces of legislation will be a repeal measure that’s paired with cutting off money for Planned Parenthood. While the GOP may delay the impact of scuttling the law for almost four years, denying Planned Parenthood roughly $400 million in Medicaid funds would take effect immediately.
“We’ve already shown what we believe with respect to funding of Planned Parenthood,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters last month. “Our position has not changed.”
Legislation to both repeal the law and cut Planned Parenthood funds for services to low-income women moved through Congress along party lines last year. Obama vetoed it; Trump’s win removes any obstacle.
Cutting off Planned Parenthood from taxpayer money is a long-sought dream of social conservatives, but it’s a loser in the minds of some GOP strategists. Planned Parenthood is loathed by anti-abortion activists who are the backbone of the GOP coalition. Polls, however, show that the group is favorably viewed by a sizable majority of Americans — 59 percent in a Gallup survey last year, including more than one-third of Republicans.
“Defunding Planned Parenthood as one of their first acts in the new year would be devastating for millions of families and a huge mistake by Republicans,” said incoming

Vote on this story -->>>

CNN reports, eloquently, on the nightmare that is Florida Medicaid

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

It’s been ten years, almost to the day, since Congressman-elect Charlie Crist pulled $360 out of his pocket to pay for a year’s supply of thermal blankets for 12-year-old Kevin Estinfil, and pulled the plug on state lawyers who’d been fighting in the Third District Court of Appeal to deny the boy the basic supplies that were keeping him alive.
Back then, Crist was the Florida Attorney General who had just been elected Governor, and Kevin was confined to a Medicaid group home for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Kevin’s case turned up on Crist’s radar thanks to bad publicity courtesy of Miami Herald reporter Carol Marbin Miller, but not before the state had spent enough money jerking Kevin’s caregivers around to pay for a warehouse full of thermal blankets.
Today, half of Florida’s children rely on Medicaid “insurance,” and the plan is managed as badly now as it was a decade ago.
People who study Medicaid for a living will not be surprised by anything in the damning new report from CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, and neither will families who have sacrificed their savings, their careers, and any hope of a normal life for the sake of a child who will never be able to care for himself.
For the rest of us, Cohen’s look into the lives of Florida’s “health care refugees” is a bone-chilling holiday buzzkill.
Among the refugees are Kim and Richard Muszynski, formerly of Boynton Beach. With good jobs and longtime Florida roots on both sides of their blended family, they could not have imagined packing it in and starting over in Colorado.
But that’s what they did, after five-year-old daughter Abby, who was born with a life-threatening genetic disorder, had one near-death experience too many due to the toxic combination of underfunding and red tape for which Florida’s

Vote on this story -->>>

Marco Rubio promises to push for Medicare reimbursement increases for Puerto Rico

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio promised Wednesday he will push for increased doctor reimbursements for Medicaid and Medicare as part of a package to bring Puerto Rico federal benefits in line with states.
Rubio, a Republican member of the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Congressional Task Force on Puerto Rico Economic Growth, met with an invited group of 20 Florida-resident Puerto Rican business and political leaders gathered in Orlando to seek suggestions on what the task force should push for from the federal commission overseeing the restricting of the territory’s finances.
There, Rubio promised to back those reforms and others including tax credits to assist the people on the island in dealing with the economic crunch that is near bankrupting the government, straining services and decimating health care options as doctors flee the island. But he did not agree with everything suggested, notably as he defended keeping the 96-year-old Jones Act that regulates shipping to and from the island.
“I’m very confident that is going to be one of the recommendations that we’ll offer,” Rubio said of increasing Medicare payments to doctors so they can be encouraged first to serve Medicare patients and second to not flee the island seeking more money. “And I am hopeful it will make it into the task force’s document.”
The round-table style meeting, which featured Republican state Reps. David Santiago, Rene Plasencia and Bob Cortes, a few representatives of Puerto Rican chambers of commerce and bar associations, and a few other business groups, and former U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Coello Novello, was officially a congressional meeting, not a campaign event.
Rubio is seeking re-election against U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of West Palm Beach. And he later, he acknowledged the importance of the Puerto Rican vote for him, or Murphy, to win Florida. And Rubio contended that he’s worked for six years on Puerto Rican issues, and accused

Vote on this story -->>>

Marco Rubio promises to push for Medicare reimbursement increases for Puerto Rico

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio promised Wednesday he will push for increased doctor reimbursements for Medicaid and Medicare as part of a package to bring Puerto Rico federal benefits in line with states.
Rubio, a Republican member of the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Congressional Task Force on Puerto Rico Economic Growth, met with an invited group of 20 Florida-resident Puerto Rican business and political leaders gathered in Orlando to seek suggestions on what the task force should push for from the federal commission overseeing the restricting of the territory’s finances.
There, Rubio promised to back those reforms and others including tax credits to assist the people on the island in dealing with the economic crunch that is near bankrupting the government, straining services and decimating health care options as doctors flee the island. But he did not agree with everything suggested, notably as he defended keeping the 96-year-old Jones Act that regulates shipping to and from the island.
“I’m very confident that is going to be one of the recommendations that we’ll offer,” Rubio said of increasing Medicare payments to doctors so they can be encouraged first to serve Medicare patients and second to not flee the island seeking more money. “And I am hopeful it will make it into the task force’s document.”
The round-table style meeting, which featured Republican state Reps. David Santiago, Rene Plasencia and Bob Cortes, a few representatives of Puerto Rican chambers of commerce and bar associations, and a few other business groups, and former U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Coello Novello, was officially a congressional meeting, not a campaign event.
Rubio is seeking re-election against U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of West Palm Beach. And he later, he acknowledged the importance of the Puerto Rican vote for him, or Murphy, to win Florida. And Rubio contended that he’s worked for six years on Puerto Rican issues, and accused

Vote on this story -->>>

Marco Rubio promises to push for Medicare reimbursement increases for Puerto Rico

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio promised Wednesday he will push for increased doctor reimbursements for Medicaid and Medicare as part of a package to bring Puerto Rico federal benefits in line with states.
Rubio, a Republican member of the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Congressional Task Force on Puerto Rico Economic Growth, met with an invited group of 20 Florida-resident Puerto Rican business and political leaders gathered in Orlando to seek suggestions on what the task force should push for from the federal commission overseeing the restricting of the territory’s finances.
There, Rubio promised to back those reforms and others including tax credits to assist the people on the island in dealing with the economic crunch that is near bankrupting the government, straining services and decimating health care options as doctors flee the island. But he did not agree with everything suggested, notably as he defended keeping the 96-year-old Jones Act that regulates shipping to and from the island.
“I’m very confident that is going to be one of the recommendations that we’ll offer,” Rubio said of increasing Medicare payments to doctors so they can be encouraged first to serve Medicare patients and second to not flee the island seeking more money. “And I am hopeful it will make it into the task force’s document.”
The round-table style meeting, which featured Republican state Reps. David Santiago, Rene Plasencia and Bob Cortes, a few representatives of Puerto Rican chambers of commerce and bar associations, and a few other business groups, and former U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Coello Novello, was officially a congressional meeting, not a campaign event.
Rubio is seeking re-election against U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of West Palm Beach. And he later, he acknowledged the importance of the Puerto Rican vote for him, or Murphy, to win Florida. And Rubio contended that he’s worked for six years on Puerto Rican issues, and accused

Vote on this story -->>>

Personnel Note: Beth Kidder named interim deputy secretary for Medicaid

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Beth Kidder is Florida’s new interim deputy secretary for Medicaid, overseeing the state’s nearly $26 billion state program that pays health costs for the poor.
Christine Sexton of POLITICO Florida reports the announcement was made Oct. 6 in an email to Agency for Health Care Administration employees.
In the current year budget, Sexton writes, the Medicaid program is slated for $25.7 billion, which could increase to $26.4 billion to pay health care costs for elderly and disabled Floridians who qualify.
Kidder is taking the place of Justin Senior, who left Oct. 3 to become the agency’s interim secretary.
Senior replaced Liz Dudek, who has led the AHCA since the agency’s creation in the 1990s.
State records show Dudek was paid $141,000 annually. Senior, who reported directly to Dudek, earns $142,000 a year.
Dudek, who resigned unexpectedly Sept. 21, served as AHCA Secretary for both Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist.
Before becoming interim deputy secretary for Medicaid, Sexton notes Kidder served as assistant deputy secretary for Medicaid policy and quality. According to a state government website, Kidder has been with the state since 2001 and earns $120,000.
The post Personnel Note: Beth Kidder named interim deputy secretary for Medicaid appeared first on Florida Politics.

Vote on this story -->>>

Jac Wilder VerSteeg: Gun foes should “politicize” deaths

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

A recent Dana Summers political cartoon in the South Florida Sun Sentinel and other Tribune newspapers depicts in its first frame a thoughtful-looking Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama saying, “In light of the recent shootings, we need to think about guns and ask ourselves the obvious question.”
Then, in the punchline frame, Clinton and Obama, both grinning now, say, “How can we politicize this?”
It’s an intellectually lazy cartoon that does nothing more than repeat the NRA-approved response when any politician dares to notice the massacres taking place across America. When any elected official or advocacy group tries to offer gun laws that might reduce the death toll – and cites the carnage du jour – they are accused of politicizing the deaths.
The accusation implies that politicians such as Clinton and Obama don’t really care about the victims, which is a lie. And it implies that politicizing the deaths cheapens them. In fact, what cheapens the tragic deaths is ignoring them, blaming the victims (for not having guns to shoot back) and, most of all, working to perpetuate the gun culture that costs so many lives.
Plus, as is obvious to all, the NRA and its vast stable of kowtowing politicians also politicize the deaths.
But let’s take a step back and ask, is it wrong and unusual to politicize death?
Of course not. Look at almost any aspect of death – particularly violent or sudden death – and related political activity surrounds it.
You could say that, in Judeo-Christian tradition, God was the first entity to politicize death. A prohibition against homicide is included in the 10 laws He handed down to Moses.
Today, the death penalty is heavily politicized. Should we do it? When should we do it? How should we do it? Are we doing it fairly? It’s an issue in elections and

Vote on this story -->>>

Broward Health’s $70 million settlement leaves risk of criminal charges

Monday, September 21st, 2015

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Court documents describe the massive healthcare fraud that led Broward Health to pay $69.5 million to settle a whistleblower’s lawsuit last week as an illegal “scheme of mutual enrichment” between the hospital system and its physicians. Was it a criminal scheme?
The post Broward Health’s $70 million settlement leaves risk of criminal charges appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

Vote on this story -->>>

Illegal kickbacks to doctors to cost Broward Health $69.5 million

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Taxpayer-supported Broward Health has agreed to pay $69.5 million in penalties to settle federal allegations that it paid illegal kickbacks to nine doctors who referred patients to its hospitals in a scheme that went on for more than a decade.
The post Illegal kickbacks to doctors to cost Broward Health $69.5 million appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

Vote on this story -->>>

White House wants more aggressive effort on Medicare, Medicaid billing errors

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

By Fred Schulte
Center for Public Integrity
White House budget director Shaun Donovan called for a “more aggressive strategy” to thwart improper government payments to doctors, hospitals and insurance companies in a previously undisclosed letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell earlier this year.
The post White House wants more aggressive effort on Medicare, Medicaid billing errors appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

Vote on this story -->>>

THE MIAMI METROPOLIS -your source for news, music, sports, movies, restaurants, reviews, weather, travel, arts, tech and events in Miami