I asked Gov. Hutchinson’s spokesman J.R. Davis Saturday about reports circulating among legislators that Centene and its lobbyist, former Rep. John Burris, had edited a so-called patient bill of rights and talking points circulated by the governor’s office in support of his bill to turn over parts of Medicaid to a managed care company.

Davis did not respond. (Among my questions was whether Centene would get the work over competitors if the bill passed.)


I asked him Monday morning, following David Ramsey’s report Sunday on the subject, whether the governor’s office had sought input from managed care administrators other than Centene.

He responded:


I provided a statement to David yesterday.

I responded that the statement provided David didn’t specifically answer my question. Here’s the statement:

The savings plan presented in the legislation originated with the Governor’s presentation to the Task Force. The actual drafting of the legislation was coordinated by Bureau of Legislative Research. We asked numerous stake holders for comments on the legislation, and we received numerous suggestions from both providers and legislators. Some of these were incorporated, and some were rejected. The Governor made the initial call and then the legislative sponsors have to agree also since it is their bill. One of the suggestions was the Patients’ Bill of Rights — a good list of principles that protects providers and taxpayers, and the Governor recommended its inclusion in the latest draft.

I responded to Davis that, while the statement made reference to plural providers, it didn’t specifically answer the question of whether more than one managed care provider participated.


He said:

I disagree with you. The statement addresses the whole.

I again asked if a provider of managed care other than Centene participated. He has not responded. 

UPDATE: Now this:

We’ve received feedback from numerous provider groups – including managed care organizations – and advocate groups during this process. At the end of the day, as I mentioned yesterday, the actual drafting of the legislation was coordinated by Bureau of Legislative Research, and the Governor made the call on what all should be included in the bills.

Finally, this office drafted the Patients’ Bill of Rights after receiving feedback from numerous entities.