TAMPA — Hillsborough County commissioners agreed Thursday to settle their share of a lawsuit with the state over its attempt to collect past Medicaid bills from Florida's counties.
Last session, the Legislature ordered the state to collect what it calls unpaid bills for counties' shares of providing health care to the poor or disabled.
Counties challenged the amounts owed and, together with the Florida Association of Counties, filed a lawsuit.
Hillsborough initial bill was $21.2 million for supposedly uncollected payments dating back more than a decade.
The state Agency for Health Care Administration later reduced the county's bill to $9.4 million. Still later, the county's bill was reduced further. And by voting Thursday to pay the full amount before the middle of next month, commissioners get a 15 percent discount. So the final tab for the county is $6.9 million.
Unlike any other county in Florida, Hillsborough has its own indigent health care plan, paid for with a half-cent sales tax. The county will tap reserves from that to pay the Medicaid bill.