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Published: Friday, 8/17/2012

Judge dismisses Aetna's case against Ohio


COLUMBUS -- A judge dismissed a lawsuit Thursday that had blocked Ohio from moving forward with certain Medicaid contracts, clearing the way for the state to proceed with the tentative agreements it has with five health plans, state officials said.

Aetna Better Health of Ohio had sued the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in a dispute over the scoring of the contract applications.

But a Franklin County Common Pleas judge dismissed the case during a hearing on the issue, Kasich administration officials said.

The eventual contract winners will provide health care services to more than 1.6 million poor and disabled people, or roughly two-thirds of the state's Medicaid population.

The contracts provide billions in government work to the companies.

State officials had tentatively selected Aetna for a contract in April and then revoked the decision in June. Aetna claimed the state retroactively changed the definition of certain requirements in its request for contract applications, and it wanted its contract reinstated.

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