It was Kentucky’s third failed attempt at seeking bids for Medicaid contracts with outside healthcare companies when a Kentucky judge threw out $8 billion in Medicaid contracts awarded to six different insurance companies, citing multiple flaws in the state’s bidding process. Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ordered the state to rebid the entire package, the Courier-Journal reported. The flaws “cast a cloud over the process’s legitimacy,” Shepherd said in his order.
- Previous failures to bid for Medicaid Contract: The first round of contract awards came under former Gov. Matt Bevin in late 2019. The second round came last year after Gov. Andy Beshear tossed out those contracts and ordered them to rebid, citing questions about the awards, although the outcome was unchanged.
- Kentucky’s untiring Attempt: This would make the third time Kentucky will have to seek bids for the contracts, which are for outside companies to manage health care for people covered by Medicaid. In a brief statement, the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services said: “The judge’s orders are being reviewed and next steps are being determined.”
- Errors and flaws cited: Shepherd cited errors by the state in the latest round in scoring the bids, its refusal to consider all aspects of bids, and a potential conflict of interest at one of the successful companies as reasons for ordering a new round of bids.
- State procurement procedures to benefit healthcare: State law “provides that public procurements must be conducted in a manner that increases public confidence in procurement procedures, that ensures fair and equitable treatment of bidders, and that maintains quality and integrity in the procurement process,” Shepherd wrote in the 35-page order and opinion.
- Final jurisdiction till further notice: The federal government provides around 70% of the costs of the $12-billion-a-year program, which is Kentucky’s largest health plan. Until the situation further changes, Shepherd said all current contracts will remain in place so as not to disrupt health services for the around 1.5 million Kentuckians who get health coverage through the federal state Medicaid health plan.