State Medicaid awards contract to California group over Mississippi True

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Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg has feuded with MississippiCAN and its insurers.

The Division of Medicaid awarded three contracts with MississippiCAN, its managed care company, on Friday.

United Healthcare, Magnolia Health and Molina Healthcare, which is based in California were selected from among seven groups seeking contracts.

United Healthcare and Magnolia Health have been part of MississippiCAN since the agency began transitioning patients to its managed care program in 2011. Molina Healthcare is a newcomer to the field of managed care in Mississippi.

Managed care is a lucrative field in Mississippi. The Division of Medicaid spends approximately half of its $6 billion federal and state budget on its managed care programs.

One high-profile company that applied but did not receive a contract was Mississippi True. The company, which was a partnership between more than 60 hospitals across the state, would have been the largest provider-owned managed care company in the country.

Chuck Reece, chairman of the Mississippi True board, said he was disappointed with Medicaid’s decision.

“We are obviously disappointed to not have been awarded a contract opportunity with the Division of Medicaid in Mississippi.  As a group of providers that continue to be committed to finding solutions for higher value care for our patients, we are considering our options at this point,” Reece said.