Health Sec. Haynes: Passport 'will be just fine' competing with other managed care firms

10/09/2012 07:05 AM

Passport will “be just fine” even though it will have three managed care companies to compete against to serve Medicaid patients in the Louisville Metro area, said Audrey Haynes, the state’s Health and Family Services Cabinet secretary.

Last week, the cabinet announced three other managed care companies — Coventry Cares, Humana and Wellcare of Kentucky — can compete to handle coverage of Medicaid enrollees in a 16-county region that the non-profit Passport Program has served exclusively through a contract with the state for nearly 15 years.

Haynes said she believed — or hoped — Passport’s chief executive, Mark Carter, was wrong when he predicted Passport will have cutbacks and layoffs. Carter made those comments to the Louisville Courier-Journal’s Tom Loftus over the weekend.

Haynes, speaking on a panel with other cabinet secretaries on Monday at the Kentucky Youth Advocates’ Step Up for Kids forum, outlined how the process will go for Louisville-area families and patients who rely on Medicaid to cover their medical needs.

The cabinet will initially assigned each Medicaid enrolllee in the Louisville region to one of the four managed care organizations, Haynes said. They will be assigned based on a list of criteria, such as the medical needs of the patients and the specialties of the physicians in the networks. The lowest factor on the priority list will be price, Haynes said.

Starting in December, enrollees will have 30 days to switch from the organization to which they’ve been assigned. And there will be another 90 day trial period starting Jan. 1 in which enrollees can change provider networks.

Here’s what she said about Passport’s competitive advantage:

_Programming Note: Watch Pure Politics on Tuesday night to see what Secretary Audrey Haynes said about the potential expansion of Medicaid in Kentucky, as well as reaction from other cabinet secretaries about some of the key issues facing Kentucky families and children. _


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