Columbus, OH — In case you missed it, Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran appears to be in the back pocket of major health contractors and drug distributors while running the department, she just won’t admit how extensive her ties really are.
In an Ohio Capital Journal report Wednesday, Marty Schladen outlines yet another potential corruption scandal within the DeWine administration, as Corcoran refuses to admit how deep she’s invested in CVS Health, UnitedHealth Group and Express Scripts, several of the state’s largest health contractors. In fact, each of those companies handled billions of dollars in state business since Corcoran took over the Medicaid department in 2019. If this sounds familiar, it’s because there’s a long pattern of the DeWine administration tapping “regulators” who have deep ties to the industries they’re supposed to oversee (Sam Randazzo, anyone?).
“Since she became director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid in January 2019, Maureen Corcoran has owned stock in some of the department’s biggest contractors. Given the size of those contracts, they could have increased the value of the stock Corcoran owned,” writes Schladen.
“This is yet another prime example of how untrustworthy DeWine and his allies are while showing there is a complete lack of leadership in Ohio. Once again, we see people with close ties to industry minding the store within the DeWine administration. Corcoran needs to stop dodging questions, and do the right thing for Ohio by fully disclosing her business dealings,” said Matt Keyes, spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party.
You can read more from the Ohio Capital Journal report here and below:
Since she became director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid in January 2019, Maureen Corcoran has owned stock in some of the department’s biggest contractors. Given the size of those contracts, they could have increased the value of the stock Corcoran owned.
But while she complied with one set of state disclosure requirements, Corcoran won’t say just how much stock she owns in such companies as CVS Health, UnitedHealth Group and Express Scripts — each of which has done billions of dollars worth of business with the Medicaid department since Corcoran started running it.
In addition, Corcoran won’t say if she filed legally required affidavits disclosing that she had an ownership stake in corporations the department hired earlier this year as part of its $20 billion managed-care re-procurement or the company the state hired to run its $1 billion OhioRISE program. Should they be found, violations of the law could carry criminal penalties and invalidate contracts signed without proper disclosures.
When Corcoran took the reins of the Medicaid department, she held a stake in some companies that were getting a lot of scrutiny over their business with the state. Two were CVS Caremark and OptumRX, pharmacy middlemen that together were handling more than $2 billion a year in prescription-drug transactions for the department.
“There are two things Maureen Corcoran could do,” [Catherine] Turcer said. “One would be to publicly identify how much over the $1,000 she owns and allow the public to weigh in. The other thing she could do so the public didn’t worry about the conflict of interest is actually divest herself of these stocks.”
Potentially more ominous for Corcoran and her department is another question they haven’t responded to: Whether Corcoran filed affidavits disclosing her interest in companies with whom the department recently entered into huge contracts.
It’s unclear whether Corcoran continues to own stock in UnitedHealth or CVS, or whether she disclosed any ownership when contracts were let this year. But the state law governing such disclosures spells out potential criminal penalties for violations and it says any contract so made “is void and unenforceable.