KHI News Service

20 companies respond to request for Medicaid cost-cutting ideas

KHPA looking to private sector for help containing costs

By Dave Ranney | November 03, 2010

Twenty companies have responded to the Kansas Health Policy Authority’s call for ideas on how to hold down state Medicaid spending.

The companies, according to a list provided to KHI News Service by the Division of Purchases:

• Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Topeka.

• Kansas Health Solutions, Topeka.

• Windsor Place, Coffeyville.

• IBM, Leawood.

• Unicare Health Plan of Kansas, Camarillo, Calif.

• ACS – A Xerox Company, Atlanta, Ga.

• Sandata, Port Washington, N.Y.

• ValueOptions, Norfolk, Va.

• Care Management Technologies, Morrisville, N.C.

• Centene, St. Louis, Mo.

• Policy Studies, Inc., Denver, Colo.

• DSKCOS, Erie, Colo.

• Milliman, Indianapolis, Ind.

• Coventry, St. Louis, Mo.

• Family Health Partners, Kansas City, Mo.

• The Lewin Group, Falls Church, Va.

• Active Health Management, New York, N.Y.

• Public Consulting Group, Raleigh, N.C.

The companies’ proposals are not available for public review.

“They are considered part of the development of a potential bid,” said Division of Purchases Director Chris Howe. “The process is one that’s held pretty close to the vest.”

The division, Howe said, is in the process of forwarding the proposals to the health policy authority.

Health policy authority officials have said they hope to use the proposals to generate cost-cutting initiatives for consideration during the 2011 legislative session.

“Our goal is to identify services we can procure through the private sector that will help control the long-term growth in the cost of Medicaid,” Andy Allison, health policy authority executive director, wrote in an email Tuesday to KHI News Service.

“We will need to evaluate the responses we’ve received and identify those recommendations that appear to be ready for procurement,” he wrote. “Depending on the nature of the proposal and the expected budget impact, there may be some that we proceed with after a review by the KHPA board. Others may require specific budget or statutory authority that would have to be approved by the Legislature and governor. We’re going to do our best and move ahead as quickly as we can.”

The health policy authority issued a formal Request for Information on Oct. 11. Responses were due Oct. 29.

At least seven of the 20 companies already contract with the state:

• Unicare and Family Health Partners administer HealthWave, the state’s insurance program for low- and modest-income families.

• Policy Studies Inc. runs the HealthWave application clearinghouse.

• Kansas Health Solutions and ValueOptions manage substance abuse and mental health services, respectively, for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

• Windsor Place has a pilot-project grant with the Department on Aging, providing telehealth services for the frail elderly.

• A Centene subsidiary, Cenpatico, administers the Medicaid-funded mental health benefit package within HealthWave.

Kansas Foundation for Medical Care has several programs aimed at helping providers – doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes - improve health care quality.

In the fiscal year that ended June 30, Medicaid spending in Kansas reached almost $2.6 billon, of which the state’s share was $812 million. The rest was paid for by the federal government.