Kansas rejects Aetna's Medicaid challenge

The Kansas Department of Administration rejected challenges to the state's Medicaid contract procurement process from Aetna and CareSource, the Kansas Reflector reported July 8. 

In May, the state awarded contracts to manage care for 458,000 individuals to incumbents Centene and UnitedHealthcare. The state selected Healthy Blue, a newly formed collaboration between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, BCBS Kansas City and Elevance Health, over Aetna. 

CareSource, which does not currently hold a contract to manage Medicaid in Kansas, also challenged the decision, according to the Kansas Reflector. 

Jane Brown, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Kansas, alleged in the challenge that the state used an "arbitrary and capricious" process to break a tie in scoring between Aetna and Health Blue, according to the Kansas Reflector. Kansas officials said the state "followed the negotiated procurement process permitted by state statute," the outlet reported. 

"We're disappointed with the state's latest decision given the strength of our protest. We believe the state implemented a flawed procurement process and we're evaluating our options," an Aetna spokesperson told Becker's. 

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