Watchdogs Challenge Hawaii’s Proposed|Privatization Of Medicaid Services

     HAWAII (CN) – The State of Hawaii threatens the well-being of more than 37,000 blind, elderly and disabled people by its “scheme” to contract with two private insurers to provide all services for all 37,000 of them, a public watchdog claims in Federal Court.

     The nonprofit Hawaii Coalition for Health claims the state and its Department of Human Services “have failed to reasonably ensure that the required level of access to providers and continuity of medical services will be in place for Medicaid’s most fragile and medically challenged population, the more than 37,000 Medicaid-eligible or enrolled aged, blind, and disabled individuals, wrongfully infringing upon their federal and state law rights and impermissible discrimination against them as a consequence of the fact that they are disabled.”
     The complaint continues: “Defendants’ scheme to contract with two private insurers to provide all services for every one of the State’s Medicaid-eligible aged, blind, and disabled persons under the QUEST Expanded Access Managed Care Plans threatens to substantially infringe upon the clearly established individual federal and state law rights of HCFH members currently enrolled in the state Medicaid fee-for-service plan.”
     The private plans are the Ohana Health Plan and Evercare.
     The coalition wants the transfer of services enjoined. It is represented by Rafael Del Castillo of Wahiawa.

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