Fla. Medicaid privatization plans moving forward

Roughly 3 million patients will be moved to for-profit providers

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Florida's request to move Medicaid patients into private managed care programs is expect to be approved.

Federal health officials say that the plan will only be approved if the state resolves several issues to ensure they will be run with transparency and accountability. The state has been negotiating with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for nearly two years. The Associated Press first reported the agreement Wednesday.

The state wants to shift roughly 3 million Medicaid patients into managed care plans that allow for-profit providers to determine their care. The goal of the sweeping bills passed in 2011 was to save the state money on the $21 billion a year program while improving services.

Federal health officials want the state to meet regularly with insurers and patients and have an independent entity monitoring the program.

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