Republican legislators keep hammering state officials and managed-care companies about Medicaid payment delays

Republican lawmakers reitarated this week that the companies managing Medcaid in Kentucky are still not paying health providers promptly. According to Sen. Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro, in the year since the state moved more than a half a million people to managed care, the amount owed to hospitals has doubled, Beth Musgrave of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. The state switched to managed care to reduce costs in the federal-state program that pays health care costs for the poor and disabled.

According to state Medicaid Commissioner Lawrence Kissner, WellCare and Kentucky Spirit have been cited by the state Department of Insurance for failing to meet their obligation to the state and the hospitals. A third managed care company, Coventry, has not been cited.

The two companies, notes Musgrave, have submitted plans of correction to the insurance department.

None of the companies testified at Tuesday’s meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare where Bowen and other Republicans voiced their complaints.
Despite the payment problems, Kisser said the move to managed care has helped stem rising costs. As of October, he said, Medicaid was $40 million under budget.

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