Medicaid transparency passes House panel review

A state House panel Tuesday endorsed a bill that would open records related to the Jindal administration’s Medicaid managed care program.

The private sector-based Bayou Health program covers two-thirds of the state’s Medicaid participants and involves some $3 billion in state spending. Medicaid recipients get their health care through one of five health plans.

“This bill is a transparency bill,” said state Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Sulphur, of his Senate Bill 55.

The bill would require the state health agency to provide “a wide variety of information, creating oversight of what’s going on in our Medicaid system,” said Johns.

Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed similar legislation in 2012.

“It was a miscommunication of what the bill actually did,” Johns said. “They have come to agree with us that this bill brings a lot more transparency to the Medicaid program.”

The Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee sent the bill to the full House floor for further debate. The measure was heavily supported by health care related groups.