UnitedHealthcare can protest loss in $12B Pennsylvania Medicaid contract

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court reversed an earlier decision that denied UnitedHealthcare from protesting a lost bid to partially manage the state's Medicaid program.

Here are three things to know about the decision.

1. In an April 10 court ruling, Judge Michael Wojcik named several reasons why the state erred in denying UnitedHealthcare its protest bid. Specifically, Mr. Wojcik determined a Dec. 19, 2016 meeting Medicaid officials held with Centene CEO Michael Neidorff — whose Centene subsidiary was also vying for the contract — was unauthorized.

2. In December 2016, UnitedHealthcare filed protests over its loss to help manage Pennsylvania Medicaid benefits that cover 2.2 million beneficiaries. The largest winners of the bids included Gateway Health Plan and UPMC for You, with Gateway covering all of the state's five Medicaid zones and UPMC covering four.

3. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services denied UnitedHealthcare's protest bid June 5, 2017, arguing UnitedHealthcare failed to show it had been aggrieved by the Dec. 19 meeting. However, Mr. Wojcik's decision overturned that decision — possibly opening the door to a new Medicaid bid selection in Pennsylvania.

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