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Lawmakers Plan to Question Coventry CEO Over Contract Issues

Kentucky lawmakers will get their first chance tomorrow to ask a private Medicaid operator why it?s having so much trouble negotiating contracts with healthcare providers.

The CEO of CoventryCares will speak to lawmakers at a meeting of the Interim Joint Health and Welfare Committee. Coventry has been fighting with the Eastern Kentucky hospital network Appalachian Regional Healthcare over reimbursement rates and a new contract.

?"You know if he sits there and stonewalls and don'?t answer some very simple questions or questions that seem to be bothering people about their operations then I think he'?ll be silly not to respond,"? says House committee chairman Tom Burch.

Lawmakers will also get their first chance to meet the new Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Haynes. Haynes, who was hired toward the end of this year's regular session, has met with various legislative leaders, but she hasn't yet to appear before the committee.

?"You know anything can happen at these meetings, questions can pop up and once the Secretary is there, she didn'?t say that she was just there to greet us and give us an overview or something. I'?m sure some questions will be asked of her,"? says Burch.

Kenny Colston is the Frankfort Bureau Chief for Kentucky Public Radio (a collaborative effort of public radio stations in Kentucky). Colston has covered Kentucky's Capitol and state government since 2010. He is a Louisville native, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. When he's not tracking down stories about Kentucky politics, you can often find him watching college sports, particularly football.
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