FRANKFORT – State officials are calling for sweeping changes to the state’s largest contract after an audit released Tuesday found excessive spending on travel and entertainment, poor oversight and favoritism to certain health care providers.
The staff of Passport Health Plan, a managed care provider of Medicaid, “traveled frequently, stayed in luxury resorts, used limousine services, ate expensive meals and purchased numerous gifts – all with funding received from Medicaid and many without a clear business purpose,” according to the audit. Medicaid is a state and federal program to provide health care for the poor.
As Passport’s revenues grew, the 228-page report from the office of the state auditor found it spent more taxpayer money on lobbying, travel and salaries and provided grants and other money to its original investors over other health care providers in its 16-county region, which includes Jefferson and surrounding counties.
Passport has received about $2.5 billion in state and federal taxpayer money over the past three years.
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