Tennessee Governor ‘Disappointed’ in Access MedPlus Advertising Campaign
Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist (R) has expressed disappointment in a statewide newspaper and television advertising campaign, sponsored by Access MedPlus, an MCO that insures about 350,000 TennCare enrollees, charging that unnamed "powerful forces" have attempted to shut the MCO down, the Chattanooga Times & Free Press reports. TennCare is the state's Medicaid managed care program which offers coverage to an expanded population. "The governor is disappointed that Access MedPlus has made public statements to scare people," Sundquist spokesperson Alexia Levison said on Jan. 2. Last spring, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance placed Access MedPlus, which insures about 350,000 TennCare enrollees, under state supervision because of the MCO's "chronic inability" to pay health care providers' claims "in a timely manner." The ads appeared in daily newspapers across the state on Sunday and Tuesday, and television spots "blanketed" the state during New Year's weekend. Although the ads provide no specific details, they allege that individuals have made "many false statements" in efforts "to stop Access MedPlus from participating" in TennCare. The ads, urging residents to "call and express their concerns," provide the telephone number of Sundquist's office and a number to contact members of the General Assembly. According to Levison, about 75 people have called the governor's office in response to the ads (Commins, Chattanooga Times & Free Press, 1/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.