BAKERSFIELD, CA - A six-hour debate over who will manage Kern County's employee healthcare plan ended with a contract extension for now. The current administrator of that plan, Managed Care Systems, has been accused of a conflict of interest.
Managed Care Systems is owned by GEMCare and GEMCare is partly-owned by Dignity Health, which also owns several hospitals in town. The allegation is that Managed Care Systems has been steering county employees to Dignity's hospitals.
Supervisors are considering a plan to use three out-of-state firms to run the healthcare plan to remove any hint of a conflict but they didn't come up with a plan Tuesday night. Instead, for now, the board decided to extend the Managed Care Systems contract for 90 days.