Council asks move to managed care be delayed 90 days

The massive switch to managed care organizations for Kentucky’s Medicaid program, pushed by Gov. Steve Beshear, isn’t in the bag yet. The Advisory Council for Medical Assistance, which advises officials on Medicaid issues, has asked that the switch be delayed by 90 days. It is supposed to happen Oct. 1, the Lexington Herald-Leader‘s Jack Brammer reports. (Photo by H-L’s Pablo Alcala)

“All we’re asking for is to give everybody more time to get this thing implemented,” said Ron Poole, who represents the Kentucky Pharmacists Association. “We’re 49 days away, and all practitioners and providers have not yet received a contract … They need time to review the contracts and determine if they want to participate.”
Poole told Brammer he didn’t think the request to delay would be granted, but insisted it’s needed. Jill Midkiff, a spokewoman for the state health cabinet, said she could not comment on the request because “it had not received any notification or official recommendation from the council,” Brammer reports.
The move to managed care is the state’s answer to plug a $139 million hole in the Medicaid budget. Privatizing the program will mean providers will be paid on a per-patient, per-month basis, which Gov. Beshear said will save $1.3 billion over three years. Right now, providers are paid on a fee-for-service basis, meaning they bill for each service that is provided. The move will affect more than 800,000 Kentuckians. (Read more)
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