New Kentucky Medicaid commissioner appointed

In the face of serious turmoil caused by the move to managed care for Kentucky’s poor and disabled, a new Medicaid commissioner has been appointed. Lawrence Kissner starts his new job July 1.

Gov. Steve Beshear acknowledged the privatized system, now run by four managed-care companies, has run into some bumps and said he feels Kissner will “ensure that the Medicaid program is more cost efficient and, most importantly, more effective in providing high quality care to the Kentuckians we serve.”

Kissner has nearly 30 years experience in the private insurance industry, 17 of which were specifically in managed care. Most recently he was president and CEO of Magnolia Health Plan in Jackson, Miss., a managed care company. In Kentucky, he will over see the program which serves more than 800,000 Kentuckians. He replaces acting commissioner Neville Wise, who has spent more than 22 years in various positions in the Medicaid program. He will remain with the department. (Read more)

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