CMS Approves Florida Medicaid Demonstration Under New Era of State Flexibility

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Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a five-year extension of Florida’s Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) section 1115 demonstration that allows the state to operate a capitated Medicaid managed care program and a low-income pool (LIP) to provide continuing support for the safety net providers that furnish charity care to the uninsured.

“This program gives Florida the ability to care for its most vulnerable and at-risk citizens. Its renewal also provides flexibility to use the funds in a way that meets the unique needs of the State while reducing burden by eliminating duplicative reporting and documentation requirements,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “This extension has a positive and direct impact on people’s lives and their ability to access care. Florida’s program offers an innovative and realistic pathway to tackling some of Medicaid’s biggest challenges.”

This demonstration equips the state with new tools to help it meet the following goals:

  • Provides necessary financial support to public teaching hospitals, children’s hospitals, and other hospitals for the care they furnish to low-income uninsured Floridians; and
  • Strengthens the breadth of access to and quality of providers participating in Florida’s managed care program, including care provided by many Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and Rural Health Centers (RHC).

This agreement is the first demonstration approved through CMS’s new approach to state reporting activities. The agency will monitor progress toward state-selected benchmarks and work with the state to design a meaningful program evaluation. These changes are consistent with CMS’s commitment to lessen or remove inappropriately burdensome and/or duplicative state reporting activities.

Today’s announcement further builds on a joint commitment from Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D. and CMS Administrator Seema Verma to partner with states in improving the Medicaid program and the lives of those it serves. In the March 14, 2017 letter to governors, Secretary Price and Administrator Verma expressed a commitment “to empower all states to advance the next wave of innovative solutions to Medicaid’s challenges—solutions that focus on improving quality, accessibility, and outcomes in the most cost-effective manner.”

For more information regarding the five-year extension of the Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) section 1115 demonstration in Florida please visit: https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/section-1115-demo/demonstration-and-waiver-list/waivers_faceted.html.

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