Historic City News received word that during yesterday’s closed session, St Johns County Attorney, Patrick McCormack, was directed by commission chairman Jay Morris to accept a settlement agreement in the lawsuit between the county and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
The Board held the closed session in which they advised the County Attorney with regard to settlement negotiations and litigation expense strategy; the in-camera meeting concluded with the settlement instructions approved.
At issue, a bill from the state telling St Johns County they owed $992,896 in Medicaid payments — after a December round of negotiations, the state recalculated the debt to be $763,268. The county still disagreed saying the billing is replete with errors on the face of it.
McCormack reported to Historic City News that he was prepared to continue to fight the highly disputed balances due on patient accounts that he says go back for several years; some were so old, they should have been statutorily barred.
After the legislature last year approved HB 5301 requiring counties to pay a $325 million backlog in Medicaid payments, more than 50 counties filed a lawsuit in Leon County Circuit Court against the Agency for Health Care Administration.
Many counties made minor settlements after the state offered a 15-percent discount for not challenging the backlogged payments — reported to have brought in $120 million. By the first of this year, only about 29 counties remained in litigation; including St Johns County.
St Johns County will pay $255,000 to end the legal dispute and to insure continued “revenue sharing” payments from the state — payments that could have been withheld, according to the underlying legislation.