As Florida Governor Rick Scott is sworn into office, his administration has proposed a number of sweeping changes to the state’s health care regulatory system, including the reorganization and consolidation of health care agencies, and comprehensive Medicaid reform such as the statewide expansion of Medicaid managed care. These health care priorities and major initiatives are outlined in a report issued by Governor Scott’s Health and Human Services Transition Team.
On January 3, 2011, House Bill (HB) 115 was filed, which seeks to reorganize most of Florida’s health and human services agencies into a single agency — the Department of Health & Human Services — with six regional offices statewide. HB 115 also would create the Central Office of Investigative Services, designed to coordinate investigations with federal agencies and provide regional oversight for all investigations relating to Medicaid fraud, complaints against health care professionals, providers, and managed care organizations, child abuse and adult abuse.
These issues and developments, along with recommendations and strategic considerations, are discussed below.
House Bill 115
HB 115, filed by Representative Janet Adkins (R-12th District), seeks to reorganize most of
Under HB 115, four of Florida's health care agencies (AHCA, the DOH, Department of Children and Families, and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities) would be combined into the Department of Health & Human Services. The proposed Department of Health & Human Services would establish the following Program Divisions responsible for administering programs in 16 different service areas for each region: Medicaid, Long-Term Care, Mental Health, Adult, Child Care, Foster Care, Quality Assurance, Domestic Violence, Economic Self-Sufficiency, Family Safety, Refugees, Substance Abuse, Contracting, Legal, Administrative, and Benefits.
HB 115 also would create the Central Office of Investigative Services. This additional enforcement arm would likely work in partnership with the existing federal-state cooperative health care enforcement efforts, such as the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) and the multi-agency Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which has now expanded into Miami-Dade County and the Tampa Bay area. Because federal and state enforcement agencies are directing additional resources toward health care enforcement,
HB 115 is likely the first of many proposals to significantly revamp the structure and operation of
Health and Human Services Transition Team Report
HB 115 follows on the heels of the December 18, 2010 report issued by the governor’s Health and Human Services Transition Team, outlining the Transition Team’s health care priorities. The 68-page report recommends the following three major initiatives:
Recommendations and Strategic Implications
In light of the significant majorities in the House and Senate, and an ambitious agenda from the newly elected governor, health care suppliers, providers, facilities, and plans need to understand that considerable changes in the delivery of, and payment for, health care in
These changes will affect the existing relationships health care suppliers, providers, facilities, and plans have with key personnel at the current
It is imperative for businesses that participate in the delivery and payment of health care services in
A copy of HB 115 is available online at: http://tinyurl.com/4f6myuz.
Legal News Alert is part of our ongoing commitment to providing up-to-the-minute information about pressing concerns or industry issues affecting our health care clients and colleagues. If you have any questions about this alert or would like to discuss this topic further, please contact your Foley attorney or any of the following individuals:
Nathaniel M. Lacktman
Paul W. Lowell
Jonathan P. Kilman
Gary D. Koch
George W. Ash
Lawrence W. Vernaglia