Health News Florida WUSF by Daylina Miller
September 17, 2018
The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a lawsuit against Florida Gov. Rick Scott to get public records related to the state’s Medicaid AIDS care contracts.
The nonprofit, through its subsidiary Positive Healthcare, serves 2,000 patients with AIDS and HIV in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The organization’s contract to provide Medicaid managed care was not renewed for 2019.
Jeffrey Blend, assistant general counsel for the foundation, said the group is asking for copies of all communications between the Governor’s office and all applicants or bidders — as well as their lobbyists — for Florida’s Medicaid AIDS care contracts in the state Agency for Health Care Administration’s 11 service regions.
The action was filed last week in the Second Judicial Circuit in Leon County. Blend said the state ignored repeated requests for these records, forcing the lawsuit.
“It has essentially has been ignored,” Blend said. “We waited the requisite time and still haven’t received any response. So our attorneys have filed a suit to compel the governor’s office to produce those records.”
In a separate public records request lawsuit filed against Scott in July, the same court granted AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s petition for a Writ of Mandamus ordering the Governor to make records of his schedule, calendar and other events—including campaign and fundraising events—publicly available by Sept. 15.
“The concern is that the state is needlessly disrupting this care with no good policy reason to do so,” Blend said.
But Mara Gambineri, Deputy Communications Director for Scott’s office, sent WUSF and Health News Florida a statement about the situation via email, which said the state has been actively communicating with AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s attorneys.