In a commercial...Kentucky Spirit encourages patients not to change their health plans to any other provider because hospitals must accept any patient into their ER.
However officials with ARH say that is the only exception and starting December 31, 2011 they will no longer accept the Kentucky Spirit Health Plan at any of their facilities.
"We will treat them, we will stabilize them and if they need further hospitalization we will have to transfer them to a facility that does participate with Kentucky Spirit" says ARH CFO, Joe Grossman.
As a result, patients who wish to keep receiving services from ARH must choose between two other Medicaid providers, CoventryCare or WellCare.
"The sooner they do that the better because the sooner they will be covered by one of those other plans." adds Grossman.
But the Cabinet for Health and Family Services says many people are not in favor of the hospitals decision to drop one of the three managed care organizations.
"The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has received some complaints about this issue and is investigating the matter but there's nothing more we can say at this time." says Jill Midkiff, Communications Director at the cabinet.
Representatives with Kentucky Spirit say they still have other hospitals in the area for those who wish to keep their health plan. ARH officials say they will continue to see patients who were assigned to Kentucky Spirit through the end of this calendar year.
However, those who would like to switch should call The Kentucky Medicaid Members Service Hotline at 1-855-446-1245. Officials urge patients to choose the plan that best fits you because after December 31st you will have to keep the plan you are on for at least twelve months.