A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Franklin County Circuit Court delays hearing in Passport Health Plan rate case; now set for March 5

A Franklin County Circuit Court judge, at the request of the state’s attorneys, has delayed the initial hearing in a lawsuit Passport Health Plan filed against the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Originally scheduled for Tuesday, the hearing will now take place March 5.

Passport filed suit on Feb. 15 after months of discussions with leaders at the Cabinet and its Department for Medicaid Services attempting to resolve recent changes to the state’s Medicaid reimbursement model, which directly and negatively impact the Louisville region, where most of Passport’s members live. The changes resulted in a 4.1 percent decrease in reimbursement rates (a nearly $140 million annual budget shortfall for Passport) for a 16-county region that comprises Jefferson and surrounding counties, where Passport members account for approximately 65 percent of all Medicaid beneficiaries. Meanwhile, the reimbursement rates for the remainder of the state saw a 2.2 percent increase, making Passport the state’s only Medicaid Managed Care Organization to receive a composite rate reduction.

The complaint seeks immediate and long-term relief. The filing is part of the dispute resolution process outlined in Passport’s contract with the state and was the necessary next step to ensure adequate reimbursement to Passport’s extensive network of providers. Passport employs nearly 700 people whose jobs also are placed in jeopardy pending a resolution to the rate dispute.

“While we appreciate the court’s willingness to give this matter the fair and thorough consideration it deserves, time is of the essence to ensure that Passport remains viable for the long-term future,” said Passport CEO Mark Carter. “In addition to our many discussions, we also have provided CHFS and DMS leadership with detailed reports from actuaries showing the need for adequate and equitable Medicaid rates in the Louisville region, especially considering that health care costs are substantially higher in the urban area than most other parts of the state. A relatively modest amount of state funding would keep Passport in business, preventing care disruption for our members and the loss of hundreds of good-paying jobs. We look forward to a positive outcome for all parties during next Tuesday’s hearing.”

In the wake of the suit and Passport’s mounting financial losses resulting directly from the rate changes, the nonprofit MCO last week announced a halt to construction on its new downtown headquarters being built at the intersection of 18thand Broadway.

From Passport Health Plan

Related Posts

Leave a Comment