- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
- Oh my God! Costco lists Bible as fiction, Ron Burgundy memoir as gospel
- Sarah Palin responds to Martin Bashir’s resignation, praises media
- Obama to send 2 Gitmo terror suspects back to Algeria
Possible D.C. health plan buyer settled Kentucky fraud suit in 2011
One of the companies that has emerged as a potential buyer for a troubled local health plan that covers many D.C. Medicaid recipients settled a $2 million fraud lawsuit filed by Kentucky state officials last year.
AmeriHealth Mercy Health Plan settled the suit with the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General without admitting any wrongdoing. The company has emerged as a potential buyer of D.C. Chartered Health Plan, the city’s biggest Medicaid contractor.
D.C. Chartered has had its own problems lately. It reported losing more than $14 million last year and its owner, Jeffrey E. Thompson, recently resigned as chairman after a raid on his office and home by federal agents looking into political fundraising activities in city government. The company is scrambling to find a buyer so it can continue doing business with the District.
One potential buyer, AmeriHealth Mercy, settled a civil complaint filed by Kentucky regulators accusing the company of filing false reports while it was a third-party administrator for Passport Health Plan, the managed care organization for about 170,000 members in 16 Kentucky counties.
In a news release announcing the settlement last year, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said the investigation centered on an allegation that AmeriHealth Mercy reported false information about cervical cancer screening. In turn, the information helped the company to win $677,000 in bonus payments, records show.
“While AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies always monitors the market and regularly evaluates opportunities to prudently expand our business, we do not comment on rumors or speculation,” spokeswoman Michelle Davidson wrote in an email. “We cannot comment further.”
She referred to previous statements company officials made about the settlement in a report last year by the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper.
“Our agreement to a settlement, as the consent judgment states, does not in any way constitute an admission of wrongdoing and [AmeriHealth Mercy] denies any intent to misrepresent data,” the company said, adding that those involved in altering data were no longer employed by the company.
“We enter into this settlement in order to expeditiously resolve this dispute and to avoid the delay, expense and inconvenience of protracted litigation.”
AmeriHealth Mercy’s name surfaced publicly Tuesday as a potential buyer of D.C. Chartered in a story by The Washington Post, though city officials gave no indication they had any concerns about, or were aware of, the company’s problems in Kentucky.
D.C. Council member David A. Catania, at-large independent, who chairs the council’s Health Committee, was quoted in The Post as saying AmeriHealth had a “stellar reputation,” adding that he was not involved in meeting with potential buyers.
“The council member has said that he is staying out of the solicitation process,” Catania spokesman Brendan Williams-Kief told The Washington Times on Tuesday. “Part of that process would include disclosing information relating to past performance.
“Council member Catania’s priority is that the District gets a reputable health insurance company that can actually build a network of high quality physicians and actually manage the care of our patients.”
Karen Dale, a spokeswoman for D.C. Chartered, declined to comment, saying the Kentucky settlement is an AmeriHealth Mercy matter. Officials at the D.C. Department of Heath Care Finance were not available for comment by press time Tuesday.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Last call: State Dept. bought $180,000 in liquor before shutdown
- Federal prosecutors drop charges against defendants who disappeared
- Bankrupt energy company probed
- Wage nominee at Labor also works for AFL-CIO
- Former Time editor Stengel got big bonus while laying off reporters, heading to State Department
Latest Blog Entries
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
- American teacher shot and killed at Benghazi international school
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
White House pets gone wild!