Author

Marty Schladen

Marty Schladen

Marty Schladen has been a reporter for decades, working in Indiana, Texas and other places before returning to his native Ohio to work at The Columbus Dispatch in 2017. He's won state and national journalism awards for investigations into utility regulation, public corruption, the environment, prescription drug spending and other matters.

Medicaid giant settles with fifth state

By: - December 8, 2021

Centene, the nation’s largest Medicaid managed-care provider, has settled fraud allegations with a fifth state, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Monday. The $27.6 million Kansas settlement comes after Mississippi, Illinois and Arkansas announced settlements totaling $154 million. All of those follow a settlement with Ohio — the only state to actually sue the company […]

For one drug at least, biggest insurers force Medicare patients to buy the most expensive

By: - December 7, 2021

In theory, the point of managed care is to save money by negotiating with providers for lower prices. So it would seem that the biggest managed-care providers would use their clout to negotiate the lowest prices from doctors and hospitals and for medicine. But for at least one drug, the largest Medicare managed-care companies are […]

Big questions remain in huge Medicaid procurement

By: - November 29, 2021

A Franklin County judge earlier this month dismissed a lawsuit over the largest public procurement in Ohio history. But important questions remain about potential corruption and conflicts of interest among key players who had a say in how the contracts were awarded. It’s unclear whether those questions will be answered. In April, the Ohio Department […]

Congressional group takes up PBMs, strikes a partisan tone

By: - November 26, 2021

Members of Congress last week took up an issue potentially of great importance: What to do about powerful health conglomerates who play an increasingly powerful role in the drug-supply chain. But the event also demonstrated the harsh partisanship that increasingly paralyzes Congress in the face of difficult problems. Rep. James Comer, R-Ky, called the forum […]

As if COVID wasn’t bad enough, experts warn of lingering symptoms

By: - November 25, 2021

With nearly 5,000 new cases of COVID per day, Ohio and the rest of the world are still dealing with a pandemic that started nearly two years ago. What we’ve barely begun to deal with, two experts said last week, is the long hangover many experience as “long COVID.” That expression refers to a set […]

Economists pan stadium construction as economic development

By: - November 22, 2021

Publicly funded stadiums are a bad deal for taxpayers panel of Ohio economists surveyed on the matter overwhelmingly responded earlier this week. In fact, just two of 23 respondents said the economic benefits of publicly funded stadium projects outweigh the costs.

In sworn statements, Ohio Medicaid director might have contradicted herself

By: - November 15, 2021

Did Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran know earlier this year that she owned stock in health giants CVS and UnitedHealth as she awarded enormous contracts to subsidiaries of both? In separate sworn statements, she seems to be saying no and yes. After a month of questions, Corcoran still hasn’t disclosed just how much stock she […]

Attempt to block $22 billion Medicaid contracts dismissed

By: - November 10, 2021

A judge on Tuesday dismissed an attempt to overturn more than $22 billion worth of managed-care business as the Ohio Department of Medicaid tries to reshape the way it works with 3 million low-income and disabled Ohioans. However, questions remain about potential conflicts of interest on the part of some involved in awarding the business. […]

Ohio Medicaid: It’s not a conflict if you only own stock in the parent company

By: - November 9, 2021

Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran didn’t have a conflict of interest when she signed multi-billion-dollar contracts earlier this year, her department’s attorneys are arguing. That’s because she only owns stock in parent corporations — not their Ohio subsidiaries to whom she awarded contracts. The department made the argument in a Friday motion in a court […]

CVS sometimes forces people to use its pharmacies. Now the Supreme Court will weigh in

By: - November 5, 2021

It’s a practice long complained of in Ohio. CVS Health and other massive corporations often use their pharmacy middleman subsidiaries to force people to get the most expensive class of drugs from the businesses’ own mail-order pharmacies. Some call the practice “patient steering.” CVS and companies such as UnitedHealth and ExpressScripts/Cigna say the arrangements save […]

Are companies still inflating the cost of Medicaid drugs? 

By: - November 4, 2021

Last week, Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran revealed something with potentially far-reaching implications: When her department calculates how much to pay managed-care companies she’s not sure if it it knows the true cost of the prescription drugs for which it is shelling out billions. If the drug middlemen hired by Ohio’s Medicaid managed-care contractors are […]

After Ohio scandal, Medicaid managed-care giant to exit the pharmacy business

By: - November 2, 2021

Centene, the nation’s largest Medicaid managed-care company, is planning to stop its work as a pharmacy middleman, or pharmacy benefit manager. Executives last week said the company is issuing a $30 billion request for proposals from an outside contractor to take over the work. The news comes after Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sued the […]