Aetna disputes state's $6B Medicaid contracts


Aetna is challenging Louisiana's decision to award contracts for $6 billion to three private insurance companies to help manage the state's new Medicaid program.

In a petition for judicial review, Aetna Better Health, an Aetna Medicaid company, asked a state district court to throw out Louisiana's existing contracts with Amerigroup Louisiana, Louisiana Healthcare Connections and United Healthcare of Louisiana and require the state Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) to solicit new proposals, reported the Baton Rouge Advocate.

Aetna claims DHH, while scoring the companies' proposals, made errors that "were so severe that they raise serious concerns about the integrity of the entire DHH evaluation process and its award to the three chosen ... proposers."

The insurer filed the request Thursday, one day after Louisiana launched the first phase of its new Medicaid program, in which five private companies assume $2.2 billion worth of Medicaid's business and become responsible for coordinating patient care.

"Significant questions still remain regarding the scoring of the winning bids," said Pat Powers, head of Aetna Better Health of Louisiana. "Our judicial appeal is the next step in providing a transparent review of how the largest contracts in state history were awarded."

Aetna previously has disputed the Louisiana Medicaid contracts in administrative and court filings after its own proposal failed to win a contract with the new Medicaid program.

"We are extremely confident in the process used to select the five Health Plans and believe the arguments from those protesting lack merit," DHH Communications Director Lisa Faust said.

To learn more:
- read the Baton Rouge Advocate article
- see the Aetna press release

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