The Richmond Register

Local News

June 10, 2011

Kentucky looks at Medicaid concerns

FRANKFORT — The state plans to sign contracts with vendors to provide managed care for Kentucky’s 820,000 Medicaid recipients within just three weeks, but some lawmakers Thursday questioned if state government can properly oversee the change.

Like most states, Kentucky confronts a growing Medicaid population and rising costs during a period of economic downturn and constrained state revenues and budget. The General Assembly — divided by a Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate — deadlocked last spring over how to manage a shortfall in the Medicaid budget. Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear proposed, and ultimately won approval, of a plan to move from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement to a managed care approach.

But Republicans, led by Senate President David Williams who is running against Beshear for governor this fall, contend the administration and Cabinet for Health and Family Services isn’t up to implementing the plan in time to save enough money to cover the shortfall.

Thursday cabinet officials went before the Interim Joint Committee on Program Review and Investigations to respond to a legislative review of Medicaid which questioned the cabinet’s oversight of Medicaid. Committee Chairman Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, said the report raises concerns the state is not prepared to implement and manage “the massive changes” involved in the move to managed care.

Higdon said there are also “unanswered questions about what the cabinet’s role will be after the changes.”

Sen. Katie Stine, R-Southgate, asked Medicaid Commissioner Neville Wise if the cabinet has the expertise to negotiate with prospective vendors which have submitted proposals to manage the state-federal health care system for the poor and disabled and will part of the savings come from fewer state employees after the delivery of services is turned over to private vendors.

 Wise said he, Cabinet Secretary Janie Miller and an outside financial firm will negotiate the contracts but the state will need to retain its current employees to oversee vendor performance and continue to determine client eligibility. He said they have the necessary expertise to negotiate contracts and to monitor the vendors’ performance.

Wise’s budget official, Beth Jurek, said Kentucky has wrung most of its administrative cost savings out of the program already, consistently placing among the lowest three states for Medicaid administrative costs.

Most of the close questioning came from Republican senators while Democratic House members Rick Rand, D-Bedford, and Ruth Ann Palumbo, D-Lexington, defended the plan to save money through managed care.

Stine also questioned Wise closely about the state’s ability to implement the program by July 1, but Wise said the “target” had always been simply to have contracts signed by July 1. He wouldn’t say when the change to managed care might be fully implemented.

He revealed, however, that in order for a vendor to have its proposal considered it had to make proposals for three types of geographic service areas: statewide; statewide except for counties around Louisville currently served by Passport’s managed care system; and individual proposals for all eight service regions in the state.

That indicates there may be multiple vendors managing the service. Passport already delivers managed care to 16 counties surrounding Louisville and the state could negotiate a renewal of that contract. It could also award contracts to multiple vendors to manage care in different regions of the state — or it could award a contract for service to one vendor for the entire state.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ cnhifrankfort

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 2-11 Mangan.jpeg Man indicted in I-75 wreck that killed two

    A man who police believe started the chain of events that led to the deaths of two people on Interstate 75 in February was indicted on several felony charges Wednesday in Madison Circuit Court.
    Bryan M. Mangan, 56, of South Bend, Ind., was indicted on six counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, tampering with physical evidence and operating on a suspended license.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Man charged with reselling employer’s equipment

    A man who worked for a local satellite TV company has been charged with ordering extra equipment and selling it online.
    Charles William Hensley, 39, of Manchester, worked for the Multiband Corporation at its Richmond office, according to a Richmond police report.
    Multiband maintains DIRECTV’s installations, service and upgrades for single-family homes in 20 states and commercial sites nationwide.

    April 24, 2014

  • Saturday is National Drug Take-Back Day

    A nationwide initiative to dispose of prescription drugs in a safe manner will take place Saturday.
    Three Madison County sites are available for residents to get rid of their unused, unneeded or expired prescription drugs as part of the eighth annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day:
    • Richmond Police Department, 1721 Lexington Road, box is outside by the front door.
    • Kentucky State Police Post 7, 699 Eastern Bypass, across from the EKU stadium, box is inside at the front door.

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-25 Revue 1.JPG Retro Radio Revue

    “Stan O’Donnell’s Retro Radio Revue,” presented by Rose Barn Theatre, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Gillum’s Sports Lounge in the Richmond Mall.
    The production focuses on the performers of the show and the follies and chaos that take place as the unexpected ensues. Local musical performers from Madison County will be showcased throughout the production.
    Gillum’s will provide a full menu service and cash bar beginning at 5:30 p.m.
    Tickets for the show are $15 and available at the door or in advance at www.rosebarntheatre.org.
    The event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit arts organization.

    April 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • 4-25 Crit Luallen.jpg Luallen says no to 2015 governor’s race

    After months of deliberation, former state Auditor of Public Accounts Crit Luallen announced Thursday she will sit out the 2015 race for governor.
    The announcement disappointed friends and associates who see Luallen as an able and experienced administrator — she served in six gubernatorial administrations — but also someone with the character and integrity to restore confidence in government.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blue Grass Army Depot sponsors 5K

    The Blue Grass Army Depot is hosting a 5K run/walk Saturday in support of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
    The no-entry-fee event will begin and end at the depot’s new sports complex ball fields, according to a news release from the installation. Preregistration is available online at www.bluegrass.army.mil or starting at 9 a.m. the day of the event.

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24 UKatWaco1.jpg Wildcats encourage Cardinals to work hard in school

    University of Kentucky student athletes Kastine Evans, a guard on the women’s basketball team, and Jon Hood, a guard on the men’s team, stopped by Waco Elementary School on Wednesday to talk about the benefits of working hard in school.

    April 23, 2014 4 Photos

  • Mayor, commissioner pay changed

    The Richmond City Commission approved 4-1 a new pay scale for the mayor and commissioners at a special-called meeting Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-24 Lorenzo McWilliams.jpg Harrodsburg to get old Richmond police mobile computers

    Richmond is donating to the city of Harrodsburg eight of 39 old computers formerly used in police cruisers.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-24 HOSAblooddrive.jpg Health science students organize blood drive

    Aside from the gift cards and free snacks, 50 Madison County high school students have other reasons for donating 35 pints of blood Wednesday to the Kentucky Blood Center at Madison Central High School.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results