House Speaker Greg Stumbo has filed a bill to move complaints about late payments in Kentucky's Medicaid system from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the Department of Insurance.
Health care providers—such as hospitals and doctor's offices— have complained about severely late payments since the managed care system started. Currently, the cabinet deals those issues that arise when one of the state's Medicaid operating companies delays payment to a health provider.
Stumbo said state Auditor Adam Edelen is monitoring the Medicaid issues and has told the speaker that the issues are a problem.
"There's about a $500 million difference between what the MCOs have been paid and what they have paid out," said Stumbo, a Democrat from Prestonsburg. "That's a lot of money to be laying around and not being paid."
Under Stumbo's House Bill 5, payments couldn't be late for more than six months and any disputes would go for review to the Department of Insurance's independent counsel.
Earlier this week, those MCOs and Cabinet Secretary Audrey Haynes told House lawmakers that things were improving on late payments to providers.
But Stumbo says it's time to take payment issues away from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and for those decisions to be moved to the Department of Insurance, which already solves such issues in the private insurance market.
Under House Bill 5, an independent counsel would hear late payment cases and rule on who's at fault.