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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida lawmakers poised to boost role of HMOs in Medicaid overhaul

HMOs and large health care networks are close to managing nearly all of Florida's $22 billion Medicaid program under an overhaul plan that surfaced in the final days of the lawmaking session.

The Medicaid reform plan, released and debated late Thursday after weeks of secret talks between House and Senate leaders, would require managed care companies to share profits, ban illegal immigrants from receiving benefits and give recipients the option of using a voucher to purchase private health insurance.

Sen. Joe Negron, the Republican sponsor from Stuart, said managed care would save money, improve care and transform Florida into a dynamic health care market.

"With $22 billion up in the air, we'll have plenty of people coming to do business in Florida," Negron said, noting that HMOs that try to leave the state would be fined and blocked from doing business in Florida.

Read more here.

[Last modified: Friday, May 6, 2011 5:53am]


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