A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

State officials say they are working through details and plan to request re-approval of Medicaid waiver

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today State officials told a legislative committee that they are working through details and will be seeking re-approval of the Medicaid waiver that a federal judge halted last month. Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Adam Meier and Deputy Secretary Kristi Putnam testified before the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee on Wednesday about the status of the...

House Democratic Caucus asks state health officials for detail on how, why Medicaid benefits removed

In a letter sent Tuesday to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the House Democratic Caucus called on Secretary Adam Meier to offer a more detailed explanation about recent actions that removed three key health benefits for 460,000 Kentuckians enrolled in Medicaid. (Click to read full letter) The letter, which was signed by all 37 House Democrats, was initiated by state Representatives Joni...

CHFS distributing updated resources to help providers check Medicaid benefit eligibility

In response to changes resulting from the recent judicial decision on Kentucky HEALTH, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is making updated guidance available on Medicaid benefits. “The Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) has not changed any policies relating to the eligibility of pregnant women and children, and they should continue to receive all services, including vision and...

Eric Clark named new commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services

A new Commissioner has been named in the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS). Eric Clark begins the role of DCBS Commissioner immediately. Clark is an experienced government administration professional who specializes in organizational leadership, program development, public policy, project management, and advocacy. He has been with the Cabinet since 2015 serving as Legislative Director...

State provides Q&A sheet to providers, patients in wake of ruling blocking Medicaid plan

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News As the Cabinet for Health and Family Services scrambles to deal with the fall-out from a court ruling that vacated the state’s new Medicaid plan, which was set to go into place Sunday, July 1, its call centers and front-line staff are using a new question-and-answer document to help health-care providers advise their Medicaid clients. The document says...

Kentucky’s new Health Secretary Adam Meier makes move from creating policy to delivering it

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The state’s new health secretary moved from a policy job that he loved to one that puts him squarely into a position of delivering those policies he helped to create, a decision that he didn’t take lightly. Gov. Matt Bevin “didn’t have to twist my arm,” Adam Meier told Kentucky Health News in an interview. “It was a big decision...

Agencies offering new resources for state’s Medicaid recipients transitioning to Kentucky HEALTH

Kentucky HEALTH, the Commonwealth’s new program for certain able-bodied adults receiving Medicaid, begins on July 1, and several state agencies are working to make the transition as smooth as possible for those recipients. “We have numerous print and digital resources now available that will help the people of the Commonwealth understand and take advantage of Kentucky’s new Medicaid program,”...

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services recognizes human services employees

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has recognized several human services staff from across the state for their exemplary service to the commonwealth. The employees, part of the CHFS Department for Community Based Services, were honored at the Governor’s Mansion this week for leadership and accomplishments over the past year. CHFS Secretary Adam Meier told the honorees they...

CHFS names Howard Commissioner of Dept. for Public Health; announces additional changes

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has made the following announcement regarding key leadership positions in various departments. Dr. Howard Dr. Jeffrey Howard, M.D. is now Commissioner for the Department for Public Health (DPH). Dr. Howard has been acting Health Commissioner since November 2017. Dr. Howard attended Union College, University of Louisville School of Medicine and the...

CHFS cites budget constraints in announcing closure of Eastern State Hospital Long Term Care Facility

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) announced Tuesday the Eastern State Hospital Long Term Care Facility will be closed due to state budget constraints. The facility currently serves 14 residents with acquired brain injuries (ABI) or geriatric residents with long-term care needs. Eastern State Hospital, a state-owned psychiatric facility, is managed by UK HealthCare and primarily serves...

Bevin names Meier as Secretary of Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Putnam as Deputy Secretary

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Thursday the appointment of Adam Meier as Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Meier will lead policy and operations for the state’s largest cabinet, responsible for human services and healthcare programs. Meier most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, focusing on the formation of essential administration-wide health, workforce, and...

CHFS Inspector General finds mismanagement of child support funds in Breathitt County

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is seeking to recoup more than $85,000 in overpayments made to the office of Breathitt County Attorney Gary Salyers. The move follows an investigation into the Breathitt County child support enforcement program. The investigation specifically relates to use of the child support enforcement monies. The Breathitt County Attorney’s office is contracted with...

Bevin administration opposes motion for preliminary injunction on bill banning abortion procedure

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Bevin administration attorneys have filed a brief on behalf of acting Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Scott Brinkman, opposing a motion for a preliminary injunction in federal court filed by the ACLU and Louisville abortion clinic EMW Women’s Surgical Center that would delay the enforcement of House Bill 454, which bans one form of abortion in Kentucky. Gov....

Kentucky Department for Community Based Services celebrates opening of new Perry County office

The Kentucky Department for Community Based Services officially opened its new Perry County office this week with a reception and tour of the facility on Highway 15 in Hazard. DCBS is the agency that provides child and adult protective services and determines eligibility for Medicaid, welfare assistance, child-care assistance, food stamps and other programs. “Our priority is to provide quality and...

Gov. Bevin appoints Leathers as commissioner for Department of Workforce Investment

Ray Leathers of Shelbyville, a decorated U.S. Army veteran with 40 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, has been appointed commissioner of the Department of Workforce Investment by Gov. Matt Bevin. Leathers replaces Beth Kuhn, who will now be overseeing the community engagement component of Kentucky HEALTH through the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “Ray Leathers is bringing...

Kentucky Office for the Blind to provide employment opportunities at state cafeterias

In support of Gov. Matt Bevin’s Kentucky Work Matters Task Force, blind and visually impaired Kentuckians will soon have increased career opportunities in the food service industry. The Kentucky Office for the Blind will assume management later this spring of two cafeterias that primarily serve state employees. The cafeterias are located at the Transportation Cabinet and the Cabinet for Health...

Dept. for Public Health recommends Hepatitis A vaccination for at-risk counties in Kentucky

Due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A, the Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is recommending vaccination for everyone residing in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties.   To date, 214 cases have been reported in the Jefferson County/Louisville area. Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties have each reported...

April is Minority Health Month in Kentucky; health status report reveals alarming statistics

Governor Matt Bevin has proclaimed April as Minority Health Month in Kentucky. The Department of Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) joins Governor Bevin, public health professionals and advocates in heightening awareness of health issues affecting minority populations in Kentucky. During Minority Health Month, DPH’s Office of Health Equity releases the 2017...

Legislature sends governor Medicaid drug measures to help independent pharmacies and consumers

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A bill to allow pharmacists to tell their patients the least expensive way to pay for their medications and one to put the state back in direct charge of its Medicaid drug program have received final passage and are on the desk of Gov. Matt Bevin. Sen. Wise A revised version of Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, would put the Medicaid...

Ky leads nation in counties with local syringe exchanges, but not in most vulnerable communities

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Kentucky has long ranked high among the states in the number of counties with local syringe-exchange programs. Now it leads the nation, according to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. But most of the counties deemed most vulnerable to outbreaks of HIV or hepatitis C due to intravenous drug use have not approved exchanges. Forty-five of the state’s 120...