TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/FNS) – Florida lawmakers approved a bill Friday that would, over time, change the system of billing counties for Medicaid.

Under the proposal, during the 2013-14 fiscal year counties will pay $269.6 million. While next year, the total will increase to $277 million.

Counties would continue to see gradual increases in later years, with the state changing the formula for determining how much each county pays.

The bill would shift to billing counties based on their numbers of Medicaid enrollees, which differs from the current billing process.

The Senate voted 33-6 to approve the bill (SB 1520), which was followed by a 79-38 vote in the House.

The issue centers on longstanding requirements that counties pay to cover certain hospital and nursing-homes costs for residents.

But the payments became controversial last year, when lawmakers argued that counties owed money to the state. Counties, however, contended that the state’s billing system was riddled with problems.

The Legislature passed a law aimed at recouping back payments and collecting money in future years.

“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”


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