Significant management improvements at Passport Health Plan, audit finds

Passport Health Plan has improved significantly since a 2010 audit uncovered wasteful spending and other problems, a new audit has concluded.

The managed care organization that cares for Medicaid recipients in Jefferson and 15 surrounding counties “has made significant improvements in accountability and financial record-keeping,” a press release from Audrey Tayse Haynes, the new secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “Patient satisfaction with the health care provider remains high,” she states.

“The audit is a follow-up to former State Auditor Crit Luallen’s scathing report of November 2010 in which Luallen found lavish spending by Passport’s former executives on travel, meals and other expenses,” reports Tom Loftus for The Courier-Journal. “It also questioned transfers of about $30 million of reserve funds to the major health-care organizations represented on Passport’s board of directors.”

Gov. Steve Beshear ordered a plan to correct the problem, which involved replacing Passport’s executives, among other changes. Though there has been improvement, “after having exclusive rights to the region for about 14 years, Passport will have to bid against other managed care organizations if it wants to be among those that will serve it in 2013,” Loftus reports.

Still, since the state has switched to managed care for the rest of the state and severe problems have surfaced with the three companies that have been hired to serve those recipients, Passport’s reputation has improved substantially. State Auditor Adam Edelen said in February the state was unprepared for the quick transition to managed care in the rest of the state. (Read more)

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