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Medicaid Adds Buckeye to Winning MCO Bidders

Buckeye Community Health Plan will remain among Ohio’s Medicaid managed care companies, after the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) announced its addition to the list of contract awardees following the settlement of a lawsuit against parent company Centene.

When ODM announced its contracted MCOs in April going forward, Buckeye's bid was put on hold pending further review, citing the then-litigation by the state Attorney General, which alleged Centene’s use of subcontractors misrepresented pharmacy costs, inflated dispensing fees, and more. Nonetheless, ODM recently released a statement saying it had completed its review of Buckeye’s bid and awarded the company a contract.

Centene agreed to pay $88 million to settle the lawsuit in June. Buckeye also filed a protest of ODM’s deferral of a decision on its bid, noting it had received the second-highest score among applicants.

Buckeye joins a list of fellow MCOs including fellow incumbents UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio, Molina Healthcare of Ohio and CareSource Ohio, as well as Humana Health Plan of Ohio, AmeriHealth Caritas Ohio and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Incumbent managed care vendor Paramount Advantage is still in the midst of its lawsuit with the state over its exclusion from the latest contract awards. ODM rejected Paramount’s administrative appeal, leading the Northwest Ohio insurer to sue. A judge denied Paramount’s request for a temporary restraining order to freeze contract implementation pending the outcome of the case, and set the matter for trial before a magistrate in October.


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