Florida’s Medicaid overhaul will impact the state’s nearly 3 million poor or disabled recipients as lawmakers work to save money by shifting patients into private managed care networks.
As the Agency for Health Care Administration travels the state soliciting public comments on the plan, one concern being voiced is an amendment that allows health care providers to deny certain treatments if they raise a religious or moral objection.
“If a woman came in for healthcare, she could be denied family planning services if the particular healthcare provider decided that he or she didn’t believe the woman should have birth control or anything included in family planning services,” said Wendy Grassi of Planned Parenthood of Central and Southwest Florida. “Which by the way include women’s gynecological exams, breast and other cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and also birth control.”
The amendment was added by Sen. Joe Negron (R-Palm City) on behalf of Catholic services.
“There’s been some misunderstanding about the amendment,” said AHCA Deputy Secretary Roberta Bradford. “As part of the application process, a provider would indicate whether they would be willing to provide a service, not necessarily deny a service, so to speak. If they are unwilling, it would still be available to the individuals and the agency would work with the individuals on how to obtain that care.”
The federal centers for Medicare & Medicaid services have to approve the plan before it can be implemented, Bradford added.
AHCA will submit the Medicaid overhaul plan for federal approval by August 1. Statewide implementation of the plan is slated for completion by 2014.
Friday, 17 June 2011 09:55