Provider files lawsuit to bar Centene subsidiary from winning Missouri prison contract

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Brentwood, Tenn.-based Corizon, which has been providing Missouri's prison medical care for nearly 30 years, filed a lawsuit against the state after it lost out on renewing the contract to Centene subsidiary Centurion Health.

Corizon cited flaws with the bidding process as the basis for the suit, which was filed Aug. 29, according to the Daily Journal Online.

Specifically, the company claims that Centene had "prohibited communications" with state leaders that helped win it the contract over Corizon and three other vendors. Corizon's bid was $15 million per year lower than Centurion Health's, according to the Daily Journal Online

Corizon's appeal to the state claimed the Centene subsidiary did not report that the same Centurion Health employees fired for a Tennessee bidding scandal had a hand in the Missouri bid. That appeal was rejected.

The company is taking the same stance in the lawsuit, alleging that had Centurion Health reported the conflict, it could have affected its bid enough to change the state's decision.

Corizon's current contract ends Oct. 31, and the company claims 700 employees will be lost if the contract is not renewed. 

Editor's Note: Centurion did not reply to requests for comments at the time of publication.

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