Ohio sues Centene, claims misrepresented pharmacy expenses cost Medicaid millions

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against Centene March 11, claiming the company's subsidiary, Buckeye Health Plan, used a web of subcontractors to misrepresent pharmacy costs, which led to millions of dollars in overpayments by the state's Medicaid department. 

Buckeye Health Plan engaged in an "elaborate scheme to maximize company profits at the expense of the Ohio Department of Medicaid," the attorney general said in a news release. 

The attorney general said the Centene subsidiary filed reimbursement requests for amounts already paid by third parties, failed to accurately disclose to the state's Medicaid department the true cost of pharmacy services, including the discounts it received, and artificially inflated dispensing fees. 

The lawsuit was filed under seal due to a confidentiality and a nondisclosure agreement, the attorney general's office said. 

Centene said that the attorney general's claims are "unfounded" and that it will "aggressively defend the integrity of the pharmacy services provided to the State of Ohio."

"Furthermore, these services saved millions of tax-payer dollars for Ohioans from market-based pharmaceutical pricing," Centene stated. 

Read the attorney general's full news release here

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