Gov. Scott, feds agree to $1.5B commitment to help Fla. hospitals treat low-income patients

Florida's Low Income Pool program to aid the state's safety-net hospitals is set to receive an annual financial boost of $1.5 billion, Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday.

Gov. Scott made the announcement with HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, as well as CMS Administrator Seema Verma and Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Justin Senior.

"Working with the Trump administration to secure a commitment of $1.5 billion in LIP funding for our state will truly improve the quality and access to healthcare for our most vulnerable populations," Gov. Scott said in a prepared statement. "I appreciate their quick turnaround and commitment to working with Florida to provide additional flexibility for how these funds can be used more efficiently, including allowing money to follow each patient. This will provide better healthcare for the individuals intended to be served with this funding."

Former President Barack Obama's administration previously disputed with Florida regarding LIP funding. In April 2015, Gov. Scott declared plans to sue the federal government for allegedly withholding money from the state to force it into expanding Medicaid. CMS agreed to help with LIP funding for two more years in May 2015, although on a lesser scale.

"It is great to have a partner in Washington who is willing to work with us to help our state. Florida was on the frontline of fighting against federal overreach under President Obama and it is refreshing to now have a federal government that treats us fairly and does not attempt to coerce us into expanding Medicaid," Gov. Scott said.

Now that President Donald Trump's administration has agreed to an annual $1.5 billion commitment to LIP funding, some cuts to Medicaid proposed by the Florida lawmakers could be restored, reports the Orlando Sentinel.


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