Conflict of interest claims muddy billion-dollar North Carolina Medicaid contracts

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services asked a state tribunal reviewing how it awarded contracts for its managed Medicaid program to reject claims that its process was influenced by conflicts of interest, according to WRAL.

Aetna Better Health of North Carolina, which narrowly missed out on the contract, has alleged the department's scoring process is flawed. The health plan claimed results may have been skewed by potential conflicts of interest between DHHS employees and Blue Cross. Blue Cross won one of five spots to help manage the program, which has an annual price tag of $6 billion.

The department and Blue Cross argue relationships, such as a romantic one between a committee member who analyzed proposals and a Blue Cross executive, don't equal a full-on conflict of interest, according to WRAL. State officials were aware of the relationship, the department said. 

Aetna's petition is before the state's Office of Administrative Hearings, according to the report.

Read the full article here.

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