Illinois’ Department of Healthcare and Family Services is moving ahead following an audit that blasted its process for awarding state worker health care contracts. The auditor general says last year’s process was so poorly documented that his team had no idea if what the department did was in the state’s best interest. The state awarded $7 billion in health care contracts to Blue Cross Blue Shield, even though many areas don’t have Blue Cross primary care providers.
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The decision was contested, and DHFS director Julie Hamos says litigation stemming from the protest has been settled. “We agreed as part of that settlement plan that we would issue another opportunity, a supplemental [request for proposals], for potential bidders to come back and show us what services they can offer,” she said. Companies have until late next week to submit bids to cover one or several of four Downstate regions: northern, southern, eastern and western Illinois. The six-county region of Chicago and the suburbs is not included.