KHI News Service

KanCare MCO names local chief executive

Sunflower State Health Plan hires former FirstGuard CEO Jean Rumbaugh

By KHI NEWS SERVICE | November 12, 2012

Jean Rumbaugh, formerly a senior planning and development official at the University of Kansas Hospital, has been hired as chief executive of Sunflower State Health Plan, which is one of the three companies hired by Kansas to manage its Medicaid program as part of Gov. Sam Brownback's proposed KanCare reforms.

Sunflower is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Centene Corp.

Sunflower State Health Plan

Jean Rumbaugh

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Prior to her four-year stint at the KU Hospital, Rumbaugh was chief executive of FirstGuard Health Plan of Kansas, which was shut down after FirstGuard lost its Kansas HealthWave bid in 2006 after holding the contract for six years.

HealthWave is the state's health program for children and pregnant women in low and moderate-income families. It includes Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program enrollees.

KanCare is scheduled to replace HealthWave, effective Jan. 1, pending needed federal approvals of the plan.

“Jean Rumbaugh is an experienced health care executive with over 20 years of leadership experience with both providers and payers. Her breadth of knowledge and experience will ensure that Sunflower State delivers high-quality care to its members, works in partnership with its providers and achieves the policy goals of the state of Kansas,” Robert Hitchcock, vice president of Centene's Health Plan Business Unit, said in a prepared statement Monday.

Centene officials said Rumbaugh would begin her new job immediately.

In 2006, FirstGuard challenged the state in court after it lost its HealthWave contract to rivals Unicare and Children's Mercy Family Health Partners. FirstGuard claimed the state had bungled the bidding process. But a judge found in favor of the state.

Rumbaugh received her master's degree in health and human service administration from St. Mary's University and a bachelor's degree at Gustavus Adolphus College, according to Centene officials.

“Working with KanCare is an exciting opportunity that is well aligned with Centene’s philosophy of providing fully integrated care, including physical, behavioral, pharmacy and long-term care,” Rumbaugh said in a prepared statement.

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