Magellan Health said it will lay off 80 workers at its care management center in Baton Rouge beginning Nov. 30 because it is losing a contract with the state to manage mental health and addictive disorder services for Medicaid patients.
In a letter sent Monday to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Magellan officials said the layoffs would take place from the end of November to Feb. 28. The layoffs at the center in Perkins Rowe, off Perkins Road and Bluebonnet Boulevard, are expected to be permanent.
It was not clear whether the Baton Rouge office will close as a result of the layoffs. In the letter to the workforce commission, though, Magellan officials list a wide range of job titles that will be eliminated, including directors, care managers and supervisors.
Magellan officials were unavailable for comment late Tuesday.
Instead of one company caring for Medicaid patients’ maladies, such as drug addiction, schizophrenia and other behavioral problems, the care will be covered by the five private insurance companies the state pays to manage the medical care of more than 920,000 Medicaid patients.
Kathy Kliebert, secretary for the state Department of Health and Hospitals, said previously the administration wanted to move toward private insurance companies handling the care for behavioral disorders for the state’s low-income and uninsured residents. The year-long move allowed Magellan to remain on contract while transition plans were developed and contracts worked out with the five Bayou Health insurance companies.
Kliebert had said the move was unrelated to the audit’s criticism. She noted that physical illnesses and mental issues should be treated as one because one impacts the other.
Marsha Shuler, of the Advocate’s Capitol news bureau, contributed to this report.