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Florida enhances program for disabled children

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm •  Published: February 11, 2013

State officials said they have travelled the state meeting with children in the homes and have repeatedly stressed that all the medically necessary services are being provided, but parents and doctors often disagree with the agency over what services are considered medically necessary.

Critics said the state has already been using the care coordination model and that it's primarily designed to control costs. The state still hasn't decided how much they will defer to children's doctors when deciding what services to pay for, said Matthew Dietz, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

However, he said the policy change is a step in the right direction.

"The state of Florida has admitted that there is a problem, and that this problem needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, rather than welcoming all of the stakeholders, including the many children we represent, and the putative class of all kids with disabilities, and the federal government, AHCA has ignored them and again decided that it knows what is best for these families with children with disabilities," he said.

Officials said in a statement that the "changes clarify misunderstanding of its current policies and exemplify the agency's existing commitment to ensuring that children in Florida promptly receive Medicaid services in the most integrated setting appropriate to meet their needs."