Medicare, Medicaid allowed as defendants in suit

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A federal judge is allowing attorneys for Appalachian Regional Healthcare to add the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a defendant in the health care chain's lawsuit against the managed-care company Coventry and the state of Kentucky.

The ruling was reported Friday in the Lexington Herald-Leader. It came in response to ARH's motion, filed in January in U.S. District Court in Lexington, that said the federal agency's failure to scrutinize the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has resulted in an unstable managed-care system heading toward collapse.

Three managed-care companies were hired by the state in 2011 to help control costs in the federal-state health care program for the poor and disabled. More than 540,000 Medicaid members from 104 Kentucky counties were moved to Kentucky Spirit, Coventry Cares and WellCare.

The transition has been beset with problems.

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