By: News Intern Katherine Jones
ST. PAUL- The Minnesota Department of Human Services told health plans it is canceling its request for proposals for health coverage for families and children in 80 Greater Minnesota counties across the state. Instead, DHS will enter into negotiations to renew the current contracts for next year.
For more than a decade, DHS competitively bid health care contracts, which involves review by counties and the Minnesota Department of Health. Competitive bidding and other reforms saved the state more than $1 billion. In 2015, the Office of the Legislative Auditor reviewed the process and found it to be sound.
A court decision issued on Aug. 30 involving the state’s contracting for health care coverage made it impossible to complete contracts in time to avoid disruption for enrollees and to meet timelines required by law. This action ensures continuity of care and keeps DHS in compliance with federal law, according to Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead.