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Health

Mississippi reaches $55.5 million settlement with healthcare giant Centene

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(credit: Centene Corporation)

Attorney General Lynn Fitch and Auditor Shad White announced Monday a $55.5-million settlement with Centene, the largest Medicaid managed care organization in the United States. The agreement also call for full transparency related to pharmacy benefit claims.

The settlement resolves allegations of overpayments as a part of Mississippi’s Medicaid program.  Following suspicions that Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) were inflating their bills, in 2019, the Auditor’s Office launched an investigation to review invoices produced by a Centene-owned company. Contracts required payments be capped by certain industry-standard prices, and the PBM was charging Medicaid more than the allowed price cap.

“I do not care how large or powerful the company is, Mississippi taxpayers deserve to get what they paid for when the state spends money on prescription drugs, and we will stand up for the taxpayers if they do not get a square deal,” said Auditor Shad White. “I’m grateful for the joint work between my staff, the data analysts, and the Attorney General’s team for bringing this to a conclusion.”

The agreement represents one of the largest civil settlements following an investigation by the Office of the State Auditor in Mississippi history.

“This settlement makes clear that the days of hiding behind a convoluted flow of money and numbers are over,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch.  “And, I appreciate the work of Auditor White and his staff in helping achieve this success for the people.”

similar lawsuit against Centene exists in Ohio, where Centene allegedly overcharged Ohio taxpayers millions of dollars.

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