One of the companies running Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program charges a former executive tried to extort $3 million from the business before she filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit.
Overland Park resident Jacqueline Leary, who had been vice president of contracting and network development at Sunflower State Health Plan, a subsidiary of Centene Corp., filed suit in October, claiming a Centene manager responded to poor financial performance of its Kansas operation by blocking assignment of Medicare beneficiaries to medical providers that had contracted for reimbursement rates in excess of Kansas’ standard rate.
Leary discussed with Sunflower’s vice president of compliance and regulatory affairs, Virginia Picotte, concerns about business decisions “contrary to both SSHP’s (Sunflower’s) contract with the state of Kansas and SSHP’s contracts with its providers.”
But Sunflower, in a legal response filed Monday, said Leary through her legal counsel sought $3 million in February after being fired in January.
“In the February 13, 2014 letter, Plaintiff demanded Defendants Centene Corporation, Centene Management, and (Sunflower) pay her Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000) in seven days and noted that ‘If the matter is unresolved…we will make a formal report on Ms. Leary’s behalf to the Kansas Attorney General and to the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division on these same subjects,’ ” Sunflower’s response said.