State regulators late last week issued a request for proposal for managed-care organizations to create a health plan that would cover the state's entire Medicaid program. Kentucky's current Medicaid budget--most of which would go to the new company--is around $6.5 billion, covering 800,000 Medicaid beneficiaries.
At present, Louisville, Ky., and a set of counties surrounding it, is the only area of Kentucky covered by a managed-care plan, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. That contract, with Passport Health Plan of Louisville, would be taken over by the winning bidder. The new RFP "opens up every area of the state for all kinds of managed care," Rep. Jimmie Lee, a Democrat from Elizabethtown, Ky., told the newspaper.
Finally getting the okay on the new plan after months of contentious debate in the state legislature, regulators are moving fast to get RFP responses in just five weeks, by May 25, and to get the new plan totally in place by July 1, according to the Courier-Journal.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (KCHFS) have been clear that one of the plan's primary objectives is to save the state money. And it's not mincing words about how that should happen. KCHFS officials specify they want the winning bidder to find ways to reduce inappropriate use of ER visits, and "promote patient responsibility," for their own care.