Centene paying $44M to settle overbilling allegations in Iowa

Centene has agreed to a $44.4 million settlement with Iowa to resolve allegations that it overbilled the state's Medicaid program for pharmacy benefits and services. 

Centene operates Iowa Total Care, one of three managed care organizations under the state's Medicaid program, according to a Dec. 15 news release from the Iowa Attorney General's Office. 

The settlement comes after the office reviewed Centene's operations in Iowa after a series of investigations and settlements between the company and other states, according to the release. The review found irregularities in Cente's reporting of pharmacy benefit services costs, including the pricing of prescription drugs.

Proceeds from the settlement will be split between the state and federal Medicaid programs. Centene denies any wrongdoing. 

The payer has settled with at least 14 other states over similar allegations, including a $17 million settlement with Oregon on Dec. 6.  

According to a 2021 Securities and Exchange Commission report, Centene created a $1.25 billion reserve to pay for these settlements. 

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