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Centene in the headlines: 12 updates in 60 days

Centene is one of the nation's largest health insurers by membership.  Here are 12 updates from the company in the last 60 days:

1. Centene completed the sale of its specialty and rare drug pharmacy Pantherx to Vistria Group, General Atlantic and Nautic Partners July 14. The payer said it intends to use most of the sale proceeds to repurchase stock and the balance to reduce debt.   

2. Centene subsidiary Delaware First Health was awarded a statewide Medicaid managed care contract July 12. With the Delaware contract, Centene is entering its 30th managed care state.

3. Centene subsidiary Health Net released a report July 7 on early lessons it has learned from participating in California's overhaul of its Medicaid system. 

4. Centene subsidiary Magellan Health appointed Derrick Duke as CEO July 7, succeeding former CEO Ken Fasola. Mr. Fasola has been named executive vice president of healthcare enterprises at Centene.

5. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed legislation July 1 that expands the state's Medicaid dental program through the use of legal settlement funds from Centene. Since the start of 2021, Centene has settled with nine states over allegations it overbilled state Medicaid programs for prescription drugs and services through its pharmacy benefits manager, Envolve. New Hampshire settled with the company for over $21 million in December.

6. Citing a plan to adopt a more "modern, flexible work environment," Centene said June 17 it is planning to reduce its real estate footprint by 65 percent. 

7. Centene agreed to pay $13.7 million to settle claims involving its subsidiaries' pricing and reporting of pharmacy benefits and services to New Mexico's Medicaid program. The payer's wholly owned subsidiaries were being investigated over concerns they were layering fees and not passing retail discounts on to the state's Medicaid program, the New Mexico attorney general's office said in a June 13 news release.   

8. Centene quietly bought the St. Louis Ritz-Carlton hotel for $98 million in 2018. A Centene spokesperson said the acquisition "met an immediate need" for hotel accommodation and bought the hotel instead of building one.

9. Centene's Medicare Advantage star ratings for 2023 "are going to be disappointing and unacceptable," according to executives during the company's second-quarter earnings call July 26. Centene Executive Vice President and CFO Drew Asher said the final scores from CMS will drive 2024 Medicare revenue and that work is ongoing to address the issue and create a rebound in the long-term.

10. Centene lost $172 million in the second quarter, but it surpassed investor expectations and raised its earnings outlook for the year.

11. Oregon Centene subsidiary Trillium Community Health Plan named Sarah Brewer plan president and CEO, effective July 25. 

12. Centene signed a definitive agreement to sell its businesses in Spain and central Europe to Vivalto Santé. Vivalto Santé is the third-largest private hospital company in France, operating more than 50 private hospitals, according to a July 25 Centene news release. 

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