Dispute causes Ky. health departments to make cuts

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Health departments across Kentucky continue to make cuts because of a dispute between the state and a managed-care company hired to help serve Medicaid patients.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the cuts include laying off workers, ending school health programs and decreasing clinic hours.

Kentucky Health Departments Association President Scott Lockard told the newspaper that health departments cut 53 workers last year, and another 95 have been cut this year. He said some departments are facing furloughs through July 1.

The problems stem from a $7.9 million debt that managed-care provider Kentucky Spirit is contesting in court. As part of the lawsuit, the company has declined to reimburse health departments for some services.

A spokesman for Centene Corp., which owns Kentucky Spirit, declined to comment due to pending litigation.

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