Centene Agrees to Pay out Massachusetts $14 Million Around Medicaid Prescription Statements

Massachusetts has develop into the most recent state to settle with wellness insurance policies big Centene Corp. around allegations that it overbilled the state’s Medicaid method for pharmacy solutions, KHN has uncovered.

Centene, the nation’s largest Medicaid managed-care insurance provider, will pay out $14.2 million, according to Massachusetts Lawyer Typical Maura Healey. An official announcement is predicted afterwards Thursday.

“This settlement is a considerable end result in our operate to safeguard taxpayer bucks and the integrity of our MassHealth program,” Healey explained in a assertion. “We are happy to protected these resources to assist management Medicaid expenditures and make certain that state methods are directed to the best achievable uses in our health and fitness care technique.”

Centene on Wednesday denied wrongdoing in Massachusetts, as it has in beforehand announced settlements. KHN noted before this month that Centene agreed in July to pay Texas nearly $166 million.

“This no-fault arrangement displays the importance we location on addressing their problems and our ongoing dedication to building the shipping and delivery of health care community, easy and clear,” Centene claimed in a assertion emailed to KHN. “Importantly, this makes it possible for us to go on our relentless focus on offering substantial-quality outcomes to our members.”

Centene delivers health and fitness insurance coverage to 15.4 million Medicaid enrollees throughout the region by contracting with states to go over persons who have disabilities or are in reduced-money people. The St. Louis-based insurance company earns about two-thirds of its earnings from Medicaid, which is jointly funded by state and federal taxpayers.

In a lot of states, insurance organizations this kind of as Centene also administer Medicaid enrollees’ prescription remedies by means of what is identified as a pharmacy gain supervisor. These profit professionals act as middlemen concerning drugmakers and wellbeing insurers and as intermediaries amongst wellness ideas and pharmacies.

Centene’s CeltiCare subsidiary offered insurance coverage to Massachusetts Medicaid enrollees right up until the point out began to overhaul its program. Centene also administered pharmacy gains for the condition Medicaid system, MassHealth, in accordance to the attorney general’s office environment.

A critique by Healey’s business office uncovered “irregularities in the pricing and reporting of pharmacy gains and services” by Centene’s pharmacy rewards supervisor, Envolve Pharmacy Methods, its statement claimed.

Multiple states have settled with Centene’s pharmacy manager organization around allegations that it overbilled their Medicaid courses for prescription medication and pharmacy providers. But the whole number of states is not publicly regarded for the reason that many of the settlement negotiations are executed behind closed doorways. Some states, this kind of as California, have been investigating the corporation, KHN 1st claimed in April.

Prior to the Massachusetts agreement, Centene experienced settled with Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, and Washington for a full of $475 million, according to information releases and settlement documents from attorneys standard in those people states. The Massachusetts settlement, which was signed Sept. 23, provides Centene’s pharmacy providers settlement complete to at least $489 million. Other states have also settled with Centene, but the settlement quantities — and the states them selves — have not been publicly disclosed.

Centene set aside $1.25 billion in 2021 to resolve the pharmacy gain supervisor settlements in “affected states,” in accordance to a July submitting with the U.S. Securities and Trade Fee that did not specify how a lot of states.

Florida and South Carolina have signed authorized agreements with a Mississippi-dependent organization, Liston & Deas, that has represented other states in their pharmacy benefit inquiries into Centene.

Pharmacy reward administrators in normal have drawn growing scrutiny and criticism. The Federal Trade Fee announced in June that it was launching an investigation into the pharmacy profit management sector and its effects on purchaser access to prescription medications and medicine costs.

This story was generated by KHN, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially impartial company of the California Wellness Treatment Foundation.

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