Yesterday’s announcement that Kentucky Spirit is choosing to pull out of Kentucky is not surprising given the multiple issues over the past year.  Some of those issues, indeed, lay with the state and others, frankly may well lay with simple business metrics of how Kentucky Spirit bid and billed.

There will be time to focus on the “why”.  The immediate need is to focus on the “now.”  This transition has the potential to cause disruptions in care for children. The Cabinet has to be extra diligent in giving affected families adequate notice that they will have to change plans and assistance in selecting a new plan and finding new providers if needed. There has been widespread confusion among parents over the past year as to how to navigate the new managed care system, and this may well add to the confusion. The state needs a proactive outreach to help families during this transition to ensure children receive the care they need at the time they need it. We believe that there continues to be real potential in managed care, but this announcement gives pause to any independent observer.

The bottom line is that families cannot be put on a health care “merry go round” and the state must ensure that no family is taken for that kind of ride.