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Passport Health moves forward on West Louisville project

Evolent Health completes 70% acquisition of Passport from the University of Louisville and founding partners

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Passport Health Plan is taking the next step to revive the construction of its planned headquarters development at Louisville’s intersection of 18th and Broadway. The health plan, which administers Medicaid benefits to more than 300,000 members statewide, announced Monday it is releasing a Request For Proposals (RFP) the week of Jan. 6, 2020 to identify parties interested in developing the prominent site.

Passport broke ground on the Health and Well-Being Campus in early 2018 but halted construction in early 2019 as a result of the Bevin administration’s reduction in Medicaid rates. Now on sound financial ground, Passport is working to advance the development, which would serve as a landmark construction project for West Louisville and likely spur future development in one of the city’s historically underserved corridors.

Passport has been working for several months with the local arm of CBRE, a national commercial real estate firm that will spearhead Passport’s search for a developer. Once completed, the development would house Passport’s administrative offices, projected to include roughly 700 employees.

The campus will also become home to Evolent Health’s national Medicaid Center of Excellence and other businesses committed to addressing social factors in West Louisville. Passport has secured Memorandums of Understanding from several mission-aligned organizations that are committed to occupy space within the development. Passport’s relocation to the site is contingent on its ability to serve as one of the state’s Medicaid managed care organizations beyond its current contract.

Of its total membership base, approximately 200,000 Passport members live near the site and 75,000 members live within a 10-mile radius. Passport coordinates care for about 1 in every 2.4 West Louisville residents, with a highly localized and proactive care management that incorporates social determinants of health. Passport is committed to a model that integrates community-based service providers and clinicians in addressing care for the whole person. To that end, Passport employees sit on 200 appointed local boards and hold over 3,500 meetings with community agencies and other community leaders statewide each year.

“Passport is proud to have served West Louisville for 22 years and remains committed to the vision for the Health and Well-Being Campus – to treat health holistically and address not only physical ailments but the social factors that contribute to them,” said Passport CEO Scott Bowers. “This campus will clearly help uplift our members and help improve their health and well-being for years to come.”

Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, president of the University of Louisville said, “This is a great step forward for the Health and Well-Being campus. The University of Louisville is proud to be a part of the new development and looks forward to being on site with programs to engage the West Louisville community. The University and Passport share a strong commitment to helping our neighbors through economic development and access to health services.”

Gov. Andy Beshear, who took office in December, announced on Dec. 23, 2019 that the commonwealth would reissue the Medicaid RFP in January for the contract period beginning July 1, 2020. Passport plans to respond to the RFP.

“Passport has made tremendous strides over the past 18 months, enhancing our population health and care management capabilities and overhauling our operating model,” Bowers said. “Those changes, combined with additional support from Evolent, have considerably strengthened our position as the state’s only provider-led, community-based health plan and allowed us to restart the development process for the site at 18th and Broadway. We also look forward to submitting a competitive state RFP bid that demonstrates our strength and value, and hopefully earns us the opportunity to continue serving Medicaid members beyond June 2020.”