Appeals Court denies request to keep managed care firm Ky Spirit in state through August

07/01/2013 12:06 PM

The Court of Appeals on Monday denied the state’s motions to prevent managed care company Kentucky Spirit from leaving the commonwealth for another two months paving the way for the firm to pull out on Friday.

Kentucky Spirit, a subsidiary of the St. Louis-based Centene Corp., announced it would leave July 5 — a year before its contract with the state was up — because it was losing money on the deal.

The Health and Family Services Cabinet, however, had asked the Court of Appeals to order Kentucky Spirit to stay at least through Aug. 31 so that Medicaid officials could transition the 125,000 people enrolled in Kentucky Spirit to the other two managed care firms still operating in the commonwealth.

The appeals panel noted that the circuit court already ruled that the state “unreasonably failed to plan for the July 5, 2013 transition date.”

“There is no evidence that Kentucky Spirit created a crisis to exploit to its financial advantage — it simply made a business decision for which it may be answerable in damages. On these facts, the Court cannot conclude that irreparable injury has been adequately demonstrated,” the decision said.

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