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Medicaid privatization firm selection challenged again

The Times-Picayune, August 24, 2011

A major insurance firm is continuing to protest its exclusion from the Louisiana's planned $2.2 billion privatization of coverage for more than 800,000 of the state 1.2 million Medicaid enrollees. Aetna Better Health Inc., a subsidiary of Aetna Inc., already lost an appeal with Louisiana Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein, who in July announced the selection of five firms slated to run the planned managed-care networks. Now the firm has asked Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater to throw out Greenstein's selections. Among several claims, the insurer alleges in a letter to Rainwater that Greenstein's agency did not follow the parameters of its requests for proposals to participate in Gov. Bobby Jindal's signature health initiative. The company also notes that Greenstein rejected Aetna's appeal of the selection on Aug. 11, just a day after the company submitted "supplemental information" to its Aug. 8 appeal. The firm also continues to argue that it is at a disadvantage on appeal because Greenstein's agency has withheld its scoring sheets and portions of the winning bids from three firms: Louisiana Healthcare Connections Inc., a subsidiary of Centene; AmeriHealth Mercy of Louisiana Inc.; and AmeriGroup Louisiana Inc. The state cites a pending legal dispute in which those firms have sought to block the release of what they claim is proprietary information.