Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) (09.07.07) - Tuesday,
Florida regulators should reconsider their award of a two-
year, $10 million Medicaid HIV/AIDS contract to a
Jacksonville-based disease management firm, an administrative
law judge said Thursday. The state's Agency for Health Care
Administration (AHCA) lacks sufficient information to assess
whether Specialty Disease Management Services has the
financial capability to execute the contract, said the judge,
recommending that it be rebid.
The ruling follows an appeal of the award filed by AIDS
Healthcare Foundation, which has provided disease management
services to 8,000 Medicaid patients in Florida since 1999. Los
Angeles-based AHF, which also operates a clinic and pharmacy
in Jacksonville, is scheduled to continue its services through
The judge recommended that AHF's proposal also be rejected
since accreditation paperwork was not included and because the
company's cost estimate could exceed the contract's limits.
AHCA is not obligated to accept the judge's recommendations
and has up to 40 days to decide on how to proceed, said agency
spokesperson Fernando Senra. "At this point we are reviewing
the recommendation," he said.
AHF officials said they plan to rebid for the contract. The
judge's issues with AHF are "technical" in nature, said
President Michael Weinstein. "It does not relate either to our
financial viability or the quality of care that we provide,"
"We have the lives of 8,000 people to be concerned about,"
said Weinstein. "This an extremely vulnerable population, not
only because they suffer from a life-threatening illness, but
also because they suffer from poverty and a variety of other