Bidding on Medicaid contract scrapped

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ATLANTA — A state agency has canceled the contract bidding to offer care coordination services to more than 400,000 Medicaid beneficiaries who have disabilities or are elderly.

The contract proposals that were received were “over budget,’’ according to a state website that announced the bid cancellation.

Care coordination for the “aged, blind and disabled’’ population was envisioned as part of the state’s effort to improve services and reduce spending. This beneficiary category represents roughly 28 percent of Medicaid enrollees in Georgia, but it accounts for 60 percent of the overall costs of the program.

The state had issued a request for proposals for the care coordination program in December.

A Department of Community Health spokeswoman, Lisa Marie Shekell, confirmed that the agency is canceling the bid solicitation. She said Commissioner Clyde Reese would address the issue at this week’s agency board meeting.

It was not immediately apparent whether the state would simply abandon the idea or would revive it in another contracting effort.

Georgia’s proposal for care coordination for the aged, blind and disabled, as designed, would have allowed enrollees to have access to a nurse phone line and case management services. It would also help connect patients with medical providers, Jerry Dubberly, the state’s Medicaid chief, said last year.

Under the plan, nothing would change in terms of benefits and in reimbursements to providers, Dubberly said. The additional services were to be optional for enrollees.

The services could produce $5 million to $10 million in savings in the second year of implementation, state officials said.

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