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A legal fight related to Medicaid providers and wages is dropped

Industry groups and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration have agreed to end a legal fight about part of last year’s state budget that could have opened Medicaid providers to litigation if they didn’t pay a $15 minimum wage to “direct care” workers.
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Industry groups and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration have agreed to end a legal fight about part of last year’s state budget that could have opened Medicaid providers to litigation if they didn’t pay a $15 minimum wage to “direct care” workers.

It was centered around part of last year’s state budget which could have opened Medicaid providers to litigation if they didn’t pay a $15 minimum wage to “direct care” workers.

Industry groups and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration have agreed to end a legal fight about part of last year’s state budget that could have opened Medicaid providers to litigation if they didn’t pay a $15 minimum wage to “direct care” workers.

Attorneys for the Florida Ambulance Association, the Florida Assisted Living Association, two other plaintiffs and the Agency for Health Care Administration last week filed a joint motion in Leon County circuit court to dismiss the case. The motion said a new state budget that took effect July 1 did not include the disputed issue.

Last year’s budget included fine print that directed money to the agency to adjust reimbursement rates so Medicaid providers would pay at least $15 an hour to direct-care employees. Also, the budget said that as of Jan. 1, employees could file civil lawsuits against providers that did not pay $15 an hour, including possibly class-action lawsuits.

The Leon County case focused on the constitutionality of the part of the budget that could have led to employee lawsuits. Last week’s motion to dismiss the case indicated the budget fine print had not led to lawsuits.

“The parties agree that, with the adoption of the 2023 budget, employees will not have a cause of action for alleged underpayment of wages after June 30, 2023,” the motion said.