United joins protest over loss of Medicaid contracts

February 8, 2018 GMT

UnitedHealthcare has protested its loss of a contract to manage services for Medicaid recipients.

Molina Healthcare of New Mexico also filed a protest Monday with the state Human Services Department over loss of its contract to manage services for recipients of Medicaid, the state-run health care program for low-income people.

Both United and Molina allege errors by the department in its evaluation of the companies’ proposals to continue serving Medicaid recipients. They also say a contract consultant used by the department had a conflict of interest because of ties to a winner bidder.

The Human Services Department announced last month that Molina and UnitedHealthcare, both in the final year of a five-year contract, would no longer provide Medicaid managed care services beginning in 2019.

The department said it would retain Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico and Presbyterian Health Plan as Medicaid managed-care providers and that it was contracting with a new provider, Western Sky Community Care, a subsidiary of Centene Corp. of St. Louis.

The Human Services Department has defended the contracting process as competitive and fair.