Washington State Health Care Authority has reset the probable release date for a 2012 contract that will combine the Medicaid managed care program called Healthy Options with the state’s Basic Health Plan, which provides coverage for the working poor.

The Authority originally planned to distribute the Request for Proposals to possible bidders as early as this month. However, agency director Doug Porter said that the analysis and review would take longer and that the release date would be extended to as late as September 15, 2011.
“We had built extra time into the planning process, so we are still on track to meet the intended coverage start date of July 1, 2012,” Porter said.

The joint procurement project is one of a number of Health Care Authority initiatives aimed at improving care, expanding service delivery options and implementing payment reform and quality control features. The procurement also is investigating the possibility of including populations like aged, blind or disabled clients who have not been covered by managed care before.