Coventry Health Care To Pay $3 Million To Avoid Prosecution In Medicare Case

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The Bethesda, Md., health insurer that Aetna is planning to acquire for $5.6 billion agreed to pay millions of dollars to avoid criminal prosecution.

The Baltimore Sun’s Kevin Rector reports:

The payment by Coventry Health Care Inc. is related to the company gaining advantage over competitors by allowing its employees to inappropriately access a federal Medicare database, according to the Maryland U.S. attorney’s office.

Aetna said in August it will pay about $5.6 billion to acquire Coventry and the Hartford-based company will take on Coventry’s debt, driving up the transaction price to $7.3 billion.

According to an agreement with prosecutors, top officials at Coventry Health Care Inc., which is incorporated in Delaware but headquartered in Bethesda and provides group and individual health insurance to some five million members nationally, knew of the inappropriate use of the database and did nothing to stop it until a federal agency raised concerns.

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About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by Politico.com, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (businessjournalism.org, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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