'LIP' money falls short of initial estimates – Florida Politics – Florida Politics (blog)
At the height of a budget showdown earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott boasted that his friendship with President Donald Trump‘s administration would result in Florida getting $1.5 billion to help the state’s hospitals.
But months later, the final amount will be considerably smaller, a top state Medicaid official said Wednesday. Instead the state will have about $790.4 million in supplemental Medicaid funds to spend this year.
Beth Kidder, a deputy secretary at the state Agency for Health Care Administration, told the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee that the agency has $303 million in funding commitments from counties to help fund the Low-Income Pool. The money will be used to draw down $487 million in federal Medicaid dollars bringing the total available to just more than $790 million for the supplemental program widely known as LIP.
“The $1.5 billion is not $1.5 billion,” Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Chairwoman Anitere Flores, a Miami Republican, said.
Kidder told the panel that the size of the Low-Income Pool has always been contingent on the receipt of matching local dollars to fund it. While the state in the past has been able to fully fund the program, the federal government has changed its expectations on how money can be spent. For instance, money can no longer be used to help offset losses hospitals incur while treating Medicaid patients. Under the new rules, only charity care can be considered for reimbursement.
The restrictions, Kidder said have made it “onerous and difficult for funders” to agree to provide the required local matching dollars. She also noted that the state didn’t get final approval of what is known as a Medicaid 1115 waiver and accompanying special terms and conditions until August, after local governments had already prepared budgets.