The Louisiana Supreme Court is weighing whether proposals by insurance companies to run a new health-care delivery system for the poor should be made public.
Three insurance companies that won the contract awards are fighting to keep what they consider confidential and proprietary information out of public view.
Louisiana Healthcare Connections Inc., Amerigroup Louisiana and United Healthcare of Louisiana object to full release of their winning proposals.
The insurance companies are scheduled to take over health care for some 800,000 Medicaid recipients — most of them children.
Medicaid is the government health insurance program for the poor.
Aetna Better Health, one of the losing proposers, has filed court papers seeking release of the full documents.
State District Court Judge Todd Hernandez ruled the documents should be made public.
The companies objected and Hernandez instituted a 45-day stay of his order to give the companies time to appeal his decision.
The three insurance companies appealed to the 1st Circuit but Aetna asked the appeal court to affirm Hernandez’s ruling.
“The 1st Circuit issued an order basically saying that Judge Hernandez was not correct in issuing a 45-day stay,” said state Department of Health and Hospitals general counsel Steve Russo.
The appeal court denied the insurance companies’ request for a stay pending appeal in a brief decision issued Tuesday.
So the insurers went quickly to the Supreme Court which stayed release of the documents, said Russo.
“They got that order pretty quickly,” he said. “They have not yet ruled on the merits.”