Tuesday, December 09, 2008

QExA hearing to be televised today—tune in

Tune in to the hearing today on the QExA program right from your home TV or computer.

The hearing will be broadcast from 9:00 to 3:00 p.m. on `Olelo channel 53, or you can click here to watch the streaming video right on your computer.

According to the hearing notice:

The purpose of this informational briefing is to review and gain legislative and public insight into the recent awarding of a $1.5 billion Medicaid contract covering 37,000 Aged, Blind and Disabled (ADB) population to two for-profit companies. The Department of Human Services (DHS) will switch health services for 37,000 elderly, disabled and blind residents to UnitedHealth Group Inc., of Minneapolis, Minnesota and WellCare Health Plans Inc., of Tampa, Florida, both publicly-traded companies. Concerns and questions have been raised by the public, patients, healthcare providers and consumer groups, regarding the process of moving this vulnerable healthcare population from a current State run fee-for-services program to a managed/coordinated care contract awarded to two for-profit insurance companies that may not have significant cultural understanding and operations in Hawaii. Concerns have also been raised by the public regarding recent investigations of these for-profits by numerous states including but not limited to, Florida and California, and the Federal authorities about possible government overpayments, underpayments to providers, denial of benefits, management shortcomings, waste, and fraud. With the current turbulent stock market, the financial integrity and solvency of the two for-profit entities may also become an issue.