A few weeks ago, I wrote about my experience as a secret shopper by calling the Kentucky Medicaid Hotline. That experience did not turn out well as the automated message was not correct and I had to wait several minutes before I was able to talk to a real person. My overall grade for that experience was a C-.

Since that experience I learned that there may have been outstanding circumstances which played into the high call volume on November 5, the day I called. While it is unfortunate that other families that called that day don’t have the whole story and still had to wait on hold for several minutes, I appreciate the Cabinet for Health and Family Services explaining what happened that day and owning the fact that the automated message was incorrect.

So, based on this new information, I recently ventured into secret shopping again. I am happy to report that I called the Medicaid line four different times in the past two weeks and was able to reach a live person right away. Obviously it’s hard for me to rate the customer service since I’m not a Medicaid member but as far as wait times go, I’d say the Department for Medicaid Services went from a C- to an A.

I won’t deny that we at Kentucky Youth Advocates are still very concerned with managed care as it currently stands. School health programs are threatening to shut down and some providers have given up on Medicaid altogether which is extremely disheartening. However, we do want this system to work and we find hope in the fact that the state is taking steps to hold the managed care companies accountable and make this system work for Medicaid members.

As we move into the new year with lots of changes to Medicaid managed care occurring in and around Louisville , we are committed to helping parents who may not have the full story of what’s going on and find themselves frustrated and confused. We look forward to working with the Cabinet, the managed care companies, the providers and members on making this new managed care system successful in Kentucky.