State faces shortfall in children’s medical program

TALLAHASSEE — A Medicaid program that pays health-care costs for some of the sickest children in the state has an estimated $25 million budget shortfall, a key lawmaker said Monday night.

House Health Care Appropriations Chairman Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, told The News Service of Florida that the estimated deficit in Children’s Medical Services funding for fiscal year 2016-2017 was caused by higher-than-anticipated medical costs of the children served in the program. The costs, he said, exceeded projected estimates and will have to be addressed when lawmakers draw up a budget during the 2018 session.

Mallory McManus, a spokeswoman for the Agency for Health Care Administration, said costs for inpatient and outpatient hospital care, nursing care and home health care were higher than initially anticipated.

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