Tensions heat up in Trumbull County over managed care organization agreement

Local News

The dispute stemmed from the county getting a new managed care organization

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A weekly commissioners’ meeting got heated in Trumbull County on Wednesday.

“This has been done behind everyone in Trumbull County’s backs,” said commissioner Niki Frenchko.

Tensions between Frenchko and human resources director Richard Jackson were on display.

Frenchko questioned why Jackson signed an agreement with Sedgwick Managed Care Ohio as the county’s new Managed Care Organization (MCO) during the open enrollment period without approval from the board.

“This didn’t come before the board of commissioners or at least it didn’t come before me,” Frenchko said.

“I’ve never had a conversation about this with anyone regarding anything to do with MCOs, that has always been handled by our HR director,” said commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa.

“I wanted the public to be aware that there’s a short open enrollment period and we should be looking at other MCOs as well to see how they perform,” Frenchko said.

MCOs manage the medical part of a workers’ compensation claim.

“The MCO is paid out of our premium share, the Bureau pays it,” said workers’ compensation administrator Nancy Marscio.

And since the county has a policy with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, every two years it needs to choose an MCO firm.

Jackson says his decision to go with Sedgwick was due to its standing on the Bureau’s MCO report card.

“The MCO selection has never been brought before the commissioners as an agenda item,” Jackson said.

Frenchko also questioned why Jackson had a meal with insurance broker Fred Alberini, who was associated with the county’s former MCO firm and has since partnered with Sedgwick.

“It looks extremely political,” Frenchko said.

“What you’re doing is you’re accusing me of taking a bribe. I’m not going to make a decision over somebody buying me a plate of spaghetti,” Jackson said.

In the end, commissioners voted to invite other MCOs to give presentations at a public meeting.

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