Lawsuit Alleges Problems With Kansas Medicaid

A former executive with a private company managing part of the Kansas Medicaid program alleges in a federal lawsuit that she was wrongly fired for protesting potentially improper cost-saving measures.

Jacqueline Leary filed the suit this week. Leary was fired from her position as vice president for the Sunflower State Health Plan in January. Sunflower is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Centene Corp.

The lawsuit contends that in 2013, Sunflower stopped assigning Medicaid participants to doctors with health care providers who were being paid a higher-than-standard rate for services. The suit alleges the practice potentially violated the company’s contract with the state.

The state’s $3 billion-a-year Medicaid program provides health coverage for the needy and disabled.

Centene declined to comment.

Sunflower is among three companies managing the state’s Medicaid program.