Medicaid

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Much of the media attention regarding Thursday's Supreme Court ruling understandably focused on the upholding of the individual mandate. Less publicized was another part of the ruling--the part that said the health care law's expansion of Medicaid placed an unfair burden on states.

The process of opening the Louisville area to Medicaid competition is underway. Passport Health Plan has run Medicaid in the area for 15 years, but the state has been ordered by the federal government to allow at least one more private operator to do business in the region.

A Kentucky lawmaker says implementation of a federal mandate to allow private companies to compete for Medicaid contracts in Louisville could be delayed. Currently, Medicaid in Louisville and the surrounding area is managed by the private company Passport Health Plan. But the federal government has ordered Kentucky to open the area to competition. And the company United Healthcare is already attempting to gain a foothold in the region.

After months of mounting problems, State Auditor Adam Edelen says he will launch a full investigation into Kentucky’s statewide Medicaid Managed Care system. Edelen created a Medicaid task force in February after taking a first look at the managed care system. He also gave recommendations to managed care companies, health care providers and the state on how to make the system run better in the future.

Governor Steve Beshear says the problems with Kentucky’s new Medicaid Managed Care system will be resolved.
 Beshear pushed for the managed care system last year to take some of the administrative burden of Medicaid off of the state. But earlier this week, doctors, pharmacists and hospital officials told lawmakers there were significant problems with the system.

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