Florida Reaches Settlement Agreement in Kids' Medicaid Case

Posted at 6:44 PM, Apr 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-05 14:46:47-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - Florida health officials have reached a settlement ending a class-action lawsuit alleging the state is violating federal mandates by failing to deliver critical health services to millions of children on Medicaid.

One of the biggest victories for the plaintiffs requires insurance plans to provide a "reasonable opportunity" for pediatricians to earn rates that are on par with Medicare, which typically pays more than Medicaid.

In later years, those reimbursement opportunities will extend to specialists, addressing a huge gap in the system by improving doctor participation and preventing children from having to travel long distances to receive treatment.

Florida's reimbursement rates are among the lowest in the country.

State health officials did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.