News Around the State

Published 10:23 am Monday, February 18, 2019

Nonprofit sues Ky. over Medicaid reimbursement rates

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Passport Health Plan has filed a lawsuit alleging that Kentucky’s cuts to Medicaid reimbursement rates will result in the nonprofit going out of business by March.

According to the lawsuit filed on Friday, the Louisville-based organization is asking a judge to bar the state from imposing the cuts and repay millions of dollars in cuts for the past eight months. The suit names Gov. Matt Bevin’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services as the defendant.

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Passport Health Plan provides managed care for most of Kentucky’s 1.3 million Medicaid enrollees.

Cabinet spokesman Doug Hogan says the state is reviewing the lawsuit, but added that the complaint came as a surprise because Passport has not identified “legitimate issues” with the state’s rates.

Widow of Ky. worker files lawsuit against utility

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The widow of a worker who was killed last year when his dump truck came into contact with high-voltage power lines at a construction has filed a negligence lawsuit against a Kentucky utility company.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader , Vickie Lynne Everman filed the suit Thursday in Fayette Circuit Court.

Everman claims Kentucky Utilities/LG&E was reckless and failed to de-energize the power lines before allowing the contractors to work on the site.

Utility spokeswoman Chris Whelan said the company was deeply sorry for the Everman family’s loss, but added that the company was in compliance with “applicable regulations.”

William Everman was moving debris into a pit and had raised the dump truck’s bed, causing it to come into contact with power lines.

Guard fired, inmate charged following accidental release

CATLETTSBURG, Ky. (AP) — A supervisor for a Kentucky detention center has been fired following an investigation surrounding the accidental release of an inmate.

Boyd County Jailer Bill Hensley says the guard — whose name is not being released — did not follow proper release protocol that led to the accidental release of 31-year-old inmate James Brewer on Tuesday. The guard will not face charges.

However, Hensley also said that a separate inmate has been charged with facilitation and conspiracy to escape in connection to Brewer’s release. The 35-year-old Todd Anthony Lesniak is accused of giving Brewer is identification bracelet and information to help coordinate the escape.

Hensley says the escape never would have happened if the guard had followed proper protocols.

Brewer was captured three hours after being released.

Senate passes bill to allow wine shipments into the state

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A bill that would allow direct out-of-state shipments of wine to Kentucky consumers has won overwhelming approval in the state Senate.

Senators voted 29-5 on Friday to pass the bill, which now goes to the state House.

Republican Sen. Max Wise, the bill’s lead sponsor, says Kentucky is among five states that don’t allow direct wine shipments to consumers in their states.

He says that many Kentuckians who visit vineyards in other states would like to become members of out-of-state wine clubs and have wines shipped directly to them. The measure would allow each adult to purchase up to 24 cases of 9-liter bottles each year through such shipments.

The legislation is Senate Bill 99.