Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Al QExA hearing to be televised today—tune in, or weigh in

Tune in to the hearing today on the QExA program right from your home TV or computer.

“Al QExA” is my name for the Department of Human Services program that has many seniors and persons with disabilities terrified about how they will receive medical care in Hawaii starting in February.

Can you imagine that a few people holed up in a cave over at DHS can strike terror into the hearts of so many people???

If possible, please come down to room 229 of the State Capitol and sign up to testify. Or if not, tune in and let your legislators know what you think after you’ve heard the presentations and testimony today.

The hearing will be broadcast from 9:00 to 3:00 p.m. on `Olelo channel 53, or you can click here to watch the streaming video right on your computer.

According to the hearing notice:

The purpose of this informational briefing is to review and gain legislative and public insight into the recent awarding of a $1.5 billion Medicaid contract covering 37,000 Aged, Blind and Disabled (ADB) population to two for-profit companies. The Department of Human Services (DHS) will switch health services for 37,000 elderly, disabled and blind residents to UnitedHealth Group Inc., of Minneapolis, Minnesota and WellCare Health Plans Inc., of Tampa, Florida, both publicly-traded companies. Concerns and questions have been raised by the public, patients, healthcare providers and consumer groups, regarding the process of moving this vulnerable healthcare population from a current State run fee-for-services program to a managed/coordinated care contract awarded to two for-profit insurance companies that may not have significant cultural understanding and operations in Hawaii. Concerns have also been raised by the public regarding recent investigations of these for-profits by numerous states including but not limited to, Florida and California, and the Federal authorities about possible government overpayments, underpayments to providers, denial of benefits, management shortcomings, waste, and fraud. With the current turbulent stock market, the financial integrity and solvency of the two for-profit entities may also become an issue.

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