Think Tank Touts Medicaid Reform Pilot to Feds, Urgest Statewide Expansion Approval


“A social safety net program that is both pro-patient and pro-taxpayer”

NAPLES – The federal agency deciding the fate of Florida Medicaid patients and taxpayers now has factual research, not just liberal talking points, as it deliberates over whether to permit a statewide expansion of Florida’s successful Medicaid Reform Pilot.

The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today urging the agency to approve six pending waiver and amendment requests that would authorized the state’s Reform Pilot to expand statewide. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed, and Governor Rick Scott signed legislation to implement statewide Medicaid reform, pending federal approval.

The letter was sent with the 24-page study authored by FGA President and Chief Executive Officer Tarren Bragdon comparing the Reform Pilot to traditional Medicaid and commercial HMOs.

“It is critical CMS has factual research on hand. The decision CMS makes regarding Florida’s waiver and amendment requests is of significant consequence to Medicaid patients and taxpayers across our state,” Bragdon explained in his letter.

The letter highlights the many successes Florida’s Reform Pilot has achieved, including more plan choices for enrolled patients, additional services, better patient health outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, and lower taxpayer costs.

Reform Pilot patients had better health outcomes for 64 percent of measures on a widely-used health care effectiveness benchmarks, HEDIS, compared to patients confined to traditional Medicaid. In 68 percent of measures, Reform Pilot patients had greater health improvement compared to non-Reform patients. Reform Pilot patients are also happier with their care and services, with 83 to 100 percent of satisfaction measures among Reform Pilot patients at or above national benchmarks for Medicaid managed care and commercial HMO plans.

“Meaningful health reform accomplishes two essential goals: patient health outcomes must improve, and patients must be satisfied with the care they receive. The Medicaid Reform Pilot has met and exceeded these goals,” Bragdon said.

Taxpayer savings have spiked as well. The Reform Pilot has already saved taxpayers an estimated $118 million annually. If statewide expansion goes into effect, Florida taxpayers could expect savings up to $901 million annually.

“Traditional Medicaid funding consumes almost one-third of Florida’s $69 billion state budget,” Bragdon wrote. “As Medicaid costs continue to grow faster than general tax revenue, important future investments in education, infrastructure and job creation are put at risk. Medicaid must be transformed. Now, the health future of Florida’s Medicaid patients and the fiscal future of Florida taxpayers rest with CMS.”

CLICK HERE to see the letter sent to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.