The Louisiana Department of Health has requested to withdraw its intent to award contracts to four managed care organizations (MCOs) and if the Commissioner of Administration approves this request, LDH will develop and issue a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for the procurement of state contracts with MCOs to manage health care benefits for Louisiana Medicaid enrollees. The existing emergency contracts with Aetna Better Health; AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana; Healthy Blue; Louisiana Healthcare Connections; and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan will be extended until new contracts are awarded and executed. Issuing a new RFP will not interrupt access to care for Medicaid enrollees. Additionally, this will not impact Open Enrollment later this year for current enrollees, which is scheduled for October 15, 2020 through November 30, 2020.

“Now that the current RFP is almost two years old, the Department has decided that it is in the best interest of the people we serve to issue a new and revised RFP,” said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health. “Much has changed in the healthcare industry since the original RFP was drafted, and we must look ahead to innovative solutions in health care delivery while increasing accountability and addressing health disparities.”

In March 2019, the Department issued an RFP with the intent to develop new managed care contracts. Preliminary development of this RFP began in late 2017. Following the state’s procurement and selection process, in August 2019 the Department announced its intent to contract with AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana; Healthy Blue; Humana Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana; and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan. A protest period followed this announcement along with extensions on a decision regarding the protest. Withdrawing this RFP will end the pending protest appeal.

If the request to withdraw its intent to contract with four MCOs is approved, the Department will begin development of the first draft of a new RFP and will work toward publishing it next year. Details of the contents of the RFP cannot be discussed until it is published; however, there will be a renewed focus on moving the needle on Louisiana’s health rankings and improving the health of all Louisiana residents.

Further, Dr. Phillips said, “In developing this RFP we will use national research to ensure we are implementing best practices in the management of managed care organizations and we will use lessons learned from prior experience to ensure the outcome best meets the needs of the people we serve.”

Louisiana Medicaid provides critical access to health care coverage to more than 1.6 million Louisiana residents with a total budget of $13.8 billion. Of the total budget, 74% comes from federal funds, 15% from state funds and 11% from other sources.