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Senate Proposal to Change Medicaid Procurement Process Draws Criticism

Coalition of health and human services groups oppose provisions of Senate budget proposal.
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Coalition of health and human services groups oppose provisions of Senate budget proposal.

The state has selected six managed care organizations to carry out Medicaid services, amounting to a $20 billion contract, but a provision in the Senate's budget proposal would stop that procurement process and require the state to consider other measures.

The Senate plan would require the state to "significantly take into account" if the managed care organization applying for a contract is based in Ohio.

Other things to take into account, according to the bill language, is the number of jobs created or lost in this state by the award of the contracts; other economic impacts in this state resulting from the award of contracts; and whether the managed care organization has a proven track record of "providing quality services and customer satisfaction."

Paramount Advantage, based in the Toledo area, was the only current provider not selected for a contract set to begin in 2022.

Critics of the procurement process say there was not enough transparency.

Loren Anthes, policy fellow with The Center for Community Solutions disagrees with that assessment.

"The idea that there's a lack of transparency, after the dozens of hearings I've been to, the dozens of meetings I saw, the fact that the state has a website with all this material, is at least misleading, at most it's manipulative," Anthes says.

Anthes says the state used a thorough process to determine which companies provide the best coverage and the Senate's amendment threatens to lower that bar.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow
Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.