Thursday, April 7, 2011

Passport Health Plan drops secrecy; governor calls on corrections non-profit to do likewise

Passport Health Plan, the managed-care organization for Medicaid in the Louisville area, announced today that it would no longer fight to keep its records secret, deciding not to appeal a ruling by Attorney General Jack Conway that it had to give records to The Courier-Journal because most of its money comes from the state.

"The announcement came the same day Gov. Steve Beshear said he wants Dismas Charities Inc., a halfway-house company that stymied a state audit by refusing to fully release its financial information, to open its records as well," reports Deborah Yetter of the Louisville newspaper, which "has published stories detailing questionable spending by both Passport and Dismas, and legislators and state officials have demanded greater accountability from both." Louisville-based Dismas says it gets 22 percent of its funds from the state, 3 points short of the threshold for being subject to the open-records law.

Passport's interim CEO, Mark Carter, said in an article on the paper's op-ed page that the decision "was not based upon legal advice but was made as part of the continuing evolution, perhaps even transformation, of the plan." He said state Auditor Crit Luallen's scathing report on the plan "has served as a very beneficial wake-up call to our organization."

Luallen "was rebuffed in her attempt to audit Dismas," and yesterday "said outside companies that do state business must be held accountable for their use of tax dollars," Yetter writes. Today the state issued a request for proposals to expand Medicaid managed care to other parts of the state. Luallen told Yetter, “I think if government is going to privatize services … we have to have a higher level of accountability, not a lower level of accountability.” (Read more)

1 comment:

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