Louisville-based Passport Health Plan has hired an interim CEO as part of a restructuring effort prompted by a critical audit that found extravagant spending by Passport executives and conflicts of interest.    

Passport manages health care for Medicaid recipients in Jefferson and 15 surrounding counties.

The hiring of Mark Carter Wednesday came hours after Governor Steve Beshear presented Passport leaders with an 11 point “Corrective Action Plan.”   The governor said Passport’s nearly $800 million state contract will be at risk if the plan is not followed.

“It will result in the contract terminating on June 30 and that contract will not be renewed should they fail to take those steps,” he said.

Carter, who heads a Louisville accounting firm, will replace the University of Louisville’s Dr. Larry Cook as Passport CEO.

Beshear is also demanding the ouster of Passport’s Executive Vice-President Shannon Turner and Associate Vice-President Nici Gaines,  both of whom were sharply criticized in the audit.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."